EAGLEHAWK’S eyes are firmly fixed on retaining its status as the number one club at this weekend’s Victoria Country athletics championships in Bendigo.
The Hawks will face fierce opposition from Bendigo Region rivals Bendigo Harriers and South Bendigo, as well as Geelong Guil, across the three-day meet at the La Trobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Flora Hill.
In recent years, Bendigo University has soared up the teams standings.
University was 12th a year ago and will be doing all it can to achieve a top-10 result.
At the 2018 showdown in Ballarat it was Eaglehawk, Bendigo Harriers and South Bendigo which went one, two, three in the race for the Margaret Saunders Cup.
Home-track advantage will play a crucial role when the track and field action runs from Saturday afternoon through to Monday.
Eaglehawk is the reigning women’s team champion, and Bendigo Harriers holds the David Kitt Memorial Trophy as number one men’s line-up.
The championships have drawn athletes from Albury, Ballarat Harriers, Wodonga, Traralgon, Wellington, South Coast, Casey Cardinia, Bellarine, Corio, Deakin, Wendouree, Eureka, and many more.
Athletes to watch include Eaglehawk sprint star Kye Mason and the versatile David Chisholm; South Bendigo’s field event ace Emma Berg and jumps star James Woods; Bendigo Harriers’ Antonio Vaitohi and Ben Powell in the sprints; and University’s multi-talented Andrea Smith and fields ace Anthony Messerle.
Reigning world decathlon champion in the 70-plus class, Geoff Shaw is likely to bolster the Bendigo Harriers points tally from the seven events he has nominated for.
Families representing Bendigo Region clubs include Douglas, Evans, Berg, Burge, Padgham, Kadri, Cooper, Hilson, Hicks, Osborne, Farnell, Curtis, Graham, Marsh, Noden, Norton, Guillou, Heislers and Hoskin.
In some instances its parents and offspring, grandparents and grandchildren, or siblings from the Tickell, Miller, Hall, Langtree, Heagney,Rowe, Gavriliadis, Robinson, Hromenko, Southern, Creer, Roberts, Shaw, Vaughan, Saunders and Vaitohi families who will compete in track, field, or both.
Harriers points tally from the seven events he has nominated for.
Athletes from Melbourne-based clubs compete on invitational basis.
A tally of more than 2000 individual entries includes 650 spread across the four clubs in Bendigo Region.
The action begins with the field events at 2pm Saturday.
First of the track events on Saturday is at 4pm.
Sunday’s meet starts at 9am.
The championships finale on Monday kicks off with the 10,000m duels on track as the field program starts at 9am.