Athletics Bendigo Region has capped a brilliant cross-country season by being premier in four divisions of the XCR series by Athletics Victoria. There is still one round to go, but after last Sunday’s success at the Burnley Half Marathon, ‘the Bats’ cannot be moved from the top rung in Men’s Premier, Divisions Four and Seven, and Women’s Division Four.

A fifth placing in the teams category of the half-marathon at Burnley on Father’s Day was enough for the Bats to be champions in men’s premier division.

It’s the first time Bendigo has reigned supreme in the top grade of XCR.
At Burnley it was Geelong which was number one in men’s premier division from Melbourne University, Box Hill, Glenhuntly, and Bendigo.
Times and placings for the Bats in the 21.1km showdown were Brady Threlfall, 1:55.56, 5th; Nathan Stoate, 1:09.37, 25th; Jamie Cook, 1:10.11, 5th; Luke Crameri, 1:14.23, 66th; and Glenn McMillan, 1:14.42, 68th.
The feats of Ingrid Woodward, 1:25.13, 28th; Alice Wilkinson, 1:27.08, 34th; and Vanessa Bull, 1:38.30, 68th; ensured another win for Bendigo in women’s division four and an unbeaten run in all nine rounds.

Bendigo won men’s division four at Burnley and was second and third in men’s division seven.

There were many personal bests achieved by Bats team-mates in the Burnley half-marathon.
Those to cut their times for the 21.1km distance were Rory Flanagan, four minutes; Aaron Norton and Chris Timewell, three minutes; Darren Hartland and Alice Wilkinson, two minutes; Luke Crameri, 90 seconds.

Bendigo was also represented in the 21.1km run by Matt Buckell, Nigel Preston, Matt Heislers, Andrew Creer, Phil Noden, Jake Delaney, Nick McDermott, Luke Millard and Juliet Heahleah.

The 5km contest included Bendigo’s Phoebe Lonsdale lowering her mark by about a minute to 18.27 as Tully Lang ran a PB of 20.51. Young guns to run for the Bats in the 5km were Mason Woodward, 17.27; Max Rowe, 18.00; Tullie Rowe, 18.41; Poppy Donaldson, 20.42; Ebony Woodward, 22.15; Isla Mithen, 23.21.

Season finale to XCR22 will be on September 17 when the Tan Relays are run.