Eaglehawk reigns supreme at country track and field championships; athlete awards to Brett Gilligan and James Woods

Some of Eaglehawk's victorious country track and field championships team gather for a photo.Picture: SANDI MARSH
Some of Eaglehawk's victorious country track and field championships team gather for a photo.Picture: SANDI MARSH

EAGLEHAWK YMCA regained its status as country Victoria’s number one athletics club at the weekend’s track and field championships in Ballarat.

Athletes from all four Flack Advisory Bendigo Region clubs were in hot form as Eaglehawk led the race to win the Margaret Saunders Country Cup ahead of Bendigo Harriers and South Bendigo.

Three days of hot competition began on Australia Day at Llanderris Reserve and wound up Sunday afternoon.

The Borough’s versatility and depth was on show as it racked up 1611 ½ points and plenty of gold, silver and bronze.

Bendigo Harriers was next best in the duel for team glory on 1282 as South Bendigo fought on to be third on 1219 points.

Eaglehawk earned the Ex-Athletes Cup as the number one women’s team.

The David Kitt Memorial Trophy for number one men’s team was regained by Bendigo Harriers.

Bendigo University marked its best country titles by being 12th overall and won the men’s 50-plus class.

Among the many highs for Bendigo region were the best veteran male athlete award being presented to Harriers’ ace and president Brett Gilligan, and the best under-16 athlete trophy awarded to South Bendigo’s James Woods.

Bendigo Harriers’ ace and president Brett Gilligan won the best veteran male athlete award at the Victorian country track and field championships.

Bendigo Harriers’ ace and president Brett Gilligan won the best veteran male athlete award at the Victorian country track and field championships.

Gilligan’s gold medal-winning streak in the 40-plus division was 100m, 400m hurdles, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, discus, javelin and shot put.

A great meet for Woods was capped by victory in the under-16 high jump, pole vault, javelin and shot put.

Best for Eaglehawk included Terry Hicks and Kathryn Heagney, 60-plus; Denise Snyder, open; Olivia Graham, Niah Langtree and Lachlan Start, under-20; and Poppy Palmer, under-14.

Eaglehawk's Denise Snyder

Eaglehawk's Denise Snyder

A multiple gold medallist at Paralympic level, Tim Sullivan added to Eaglehawk’s run as he won the 40-plus 200m.

Multiple gold medallists from Bendigo Harriers included Geoff Shaw, 60-plus; Anne Buckley and Debby Kirne, 50-plus and Melinda Gilligan, 40-plus.

Stars for South Bendigo included Carol Coad, 50-plus; Peter Curtis and Teleah Hayes, open; Emma Berg, open and under-18; Joan Self, 60-plus; and Taryn Furletti, under-16.

The “A team” of Rhys Lias, Tyler Leonard, Jack Popplestone and Jake Hilson clocked 3:34.49 to win the open 4 x 400m relay ahead of Bendigo Harriers, 3:37.30; and South Bendigo B.

University’s Anthony Messerle won the open discus and javelin; Craig Green triumphed in the 50-plus 800m and 3000m; and clubmate Mike Bieleny in the 50-plus 1500m.

Mike Bieleny

Mike Bieleny

The University line-up of Ross Douglas, David Heislers, Mike Bieleny and Craig Green clocked 1:00.82 in the 4 x 100m relay to be the 50-plus champions.

Athletes from metropolitan clubs competed on invitational basis, but did not earn points.

Final team standings: Eaglehawk 1611 ½; Bendigo Harriers 1282; South Bendigo 1219; Geelong Guild 1222 ½; Wendouree 812; Athletics Chilwell 776; Eureka 433 ½; Ballarat Harriers 395; Ballarat YCW Harriers 336; Wodonga 290; South Coast 242; Bendigo University 198; Corio 179; Wellington 175; Albury 110; Bellarine 97; Deakin 76; Traralgon Harriers 58; Gippsland 32; United Kingdom 10.