ATHLETICS Bendigo’s cross-country representatives will be chasing more individual and team glory in this Saturday’s third round of Athletics Victoria’s XCR ’21 action at Cruden Farm.

The Athletics Bendigo Region was in great form in the Jells Park relays and then at Larnder Park.

Round three will be a 12km individual leg on the testing Cruden Farm course near Langwarrin.

Bendigo leads the men’s division two ladder.

A powerful line-up is led by dual national 10km cross-country champion Andy Buchanan and includes the experienced Brady Threlfall and Jamie Cook from Bendigo Harriers.

South Bendigo young gun Archie Reid, and the Buckell twins, Matt and Ned from University Pride, have played key roles in the Bats’ charge to the top.

The race for the men’s open champion athlete award is led by Buchanan, first and fastest at Jells Park and Lardner Park, and includes Threlfall in ninth place.

Bendigo Region stars such as Buchanan, the Buckells, Reid and Threlfall planned to compete in various distances at last weekend’s Gold Coast Marathon.

The COVID outbreak put a stop to the marathon event for the second year running and to Buchanan’s first hit-out at the gruelling 42.2km distance.

Bendigo’s women’s squad for Saturday is Anne Buckley, Brianna Maddern, Tullie Rowe, Jill Wilkie and Alice Wilkinson.

The race for the 50-plus women’s short-course championship is being led by Buckley.

The in-form Tullie Rowe is fourth in the under-18 girls’ championship.

A strong junior squad includes Angus Macafee, Max Rowe and Mason Woodward.

Standings in the under-16 championship have Rowe in eighth place and Bats’ team-mate Lucas Tickell on top spot.

Also in Bendigo’s squad to compete across various divisions are David Heislers, Nick McDermott, Glenn McMillan, Luke Millard, Nigel Preston, Jim Russell, Matthew Schepisi, Nathan Stoate, and Stephen van Rees.

Well-known for his orienteering and regaining feats, Jim Russell is fourth in the 60-plus men’s short-course championship in this XCR series.

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