CHAMPIONSHIP honours and a place in the selection trials for the national cross-country titles are up for grabs in this Saturday's running of Athletics Victoria's XCR19 series at Bundoora.
Racing on the slopes at Bundoora Park will also double as the Victorian All Schools cross-country titles.
The Bendigo Region has made a superb start in the men's division two and five teams challenge and division four women.
Athletes in the open and masters divisions in Saturday's third round of XCR19 will race 10km.
Distances for juniors cover 3km, 4km, 6km or 8km.
In the open action, Bendigo University's Andy Buchanan is likely to lead the team's charge.
The national 10km cross-country champion in 2017 and '18, Buchanan won the series opener at Jell's Park and was runner-up on the St Anne's Winery course at Myrniong.
Bendigo Region's runners in the open and masters divisions at Bundoora are Buchanan, Jayson Carter, Darren Hartland, David Heislers, Kye Jenkyn, Luke Millard, Nigel Preston, Joanne Russell, Ben Stolz, Stephen Van Rees (University); Anne Buckley, Juliet Heah, Brady Threlfall, Jill Wilkie (Bendigo Harriers); Debby Kirne (South Bendigo).
South Bendigo's Archie Reid will race in the under-20 8km contest.
Juniors bound for Bundoora are Harriers' Harrison Boyd, University's Jayden Padgham and South Bendigo's Logan Tickell.
In the battle for team honours, Bendigo is second in men's division two.
The race is being led by APS United, 27, from Bendigo, 25, Knox on 24, and Frankston, 24.
Bendigo and Richmond Harriers are second and first in men's division five.
The Harriers have scored 29 points and Bendigo is in hot pursuit on 27.
After not fielding a team in round one, Bendigo was runner-up in women's division four at St Anne's Winery and eighth overall as Collingwood Harriers and Doncaster are joint leaders.
In the 50-plus women's class, Bendigo was second in round two, and the region will be vying for points in 40-plus women, 50-plus men, and division seven men.
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