EAGLEHAWK and Bendigo Harriers made great starts to Athletics Victoria Shield League in Saturday’s track and field action at the Bendigo Regional Athletics Complex in Flora Hill.
Having soared into Premier division, Eaglehawk scored 32,668 points in round one to be fourth on the ladder.
Glenhuntly used the powerplay to double its points tally and lead the premier division table on 20 points from Essendon, Doncaster and Eaglehawk.
Promoted to division two after being runner-up in division three last season, Bendigo Harriers scored 20,753 points across Saturday’s action.
In the lead-up to the club’s 100th anniversary in 2022, Bendigo Harriers is fifth on the division two table.
The Harriers and South Bendigo showdown will be a highlight across all AVSL rounds.
South Bendigo scored 18,674 points in the season opener to claim four points and be seventh on the ladder.
Bendigo University worked hard for a tally of 1775 points to be seventh of nine clubs in division five.
Standings after round of the 2021-22 AVSL season:
Glenhuntly 20 (power play), Essendon 9, Doncaster 8, Eaglehawk 7, Diamond Valley 6, Box Hill 5, Collingwood 4, Nunawading 3, Chilwell 2, Geelong Guild 1.
Sandringham 10, Mornington 9, Western Athletics 8, Eureka 7, Bendigo Harriers 6, Keilor St Bernards 5, South Bendigo 5, Ballarat Harriers 3, Wyndham 2, Ringwood 1.
Williamstown 11, Maccabi 10, Ivanhoe 9, South Coast 8, Deakin 7, Richmond 6, Bendigo University 5, South Melbourne 4, Shepparton 3.
A highlight of Eaglehawk’s success on day one was seven athletes featuring in the top 100 of the Shield League’s most valuable athlete award.
The Hawks were well-represented in many age groups.
Eaglehawk’s charge was led by multi-talented competitor and coach Terry Hicks on 1326 points.
Competing in the men’s 65-plus division, Hicks was 16th on the MVP leaderboard.
Another of the Borough’s veterans and versatile athletes, David Chisholm who is in the 50-plus class scored 1251 points to be 38th in the MVP race.
Several of the club’s young guns were to the fore.
Cameron Smith scored 1155 points in the men’s under-18 division to be 64th as clubmate William Beaton tallied 1134 in the same age group to be 68th.
In the under-16 girls class, Lily Marsh from Eaglehawk AC scored 1075 points to be 98th overall.
A memorable start to the season included the record-breaking feat of Eaglehawk’s Olivia Graham in the hammer.
A mark of 50.69 metres is now the Bendigo Centre record at women’s open level for the hammer throw.
By the end of the competition, Graham had scored 1088 points to be 87th, as clubmate Denise Snyder also starred at open level in high jump and long jump for a tally of 1136 to be 67th in the MVP standings.
Highs for Harriers were the score of 1287 by Geoff Shaw, a world masters decathlon champion in the 70-plus age group.
Shaw was 27th in the MVP race as young clubmate Jake Gavriliadis, who competes at under-16 level, tallied 1237 to be equal 40th.
South Bendigo veteran Greg Hilson also scored well in the 50-plus class for a tally of 1187 to be equal 53rd.
A great start by South Bendigo included the record-breaking feat by Trudy Haines in the 300m hurdles.
A time of 1:07.25 broke the Centre record for 50-plus that Haines set in March this year.
South Bendigo’s Carol Coad, Joan Self, Annette Curtis and Peta Dawe completed the non-scoring 4 x 100m relay in 1:17.86 to break the Centre record for the 60-plus division.
There were 120 competitors at Saturday’s meet in Bendigo.
Competition not only drew athletes in the Bendigo Harriers, Eaglehawk, South Bendigo and Bendigo University colours, but also those on invitation basis, or representing Essendon, Chilwell, Preston, Ringwood and Shepparton.