THERE were exciting duels for placings as the Bendigo Bank Dragon Mile was run on Easter Sunday at the Flora Hill track.
It was vastly different to previous runs as the long-running tradition marked its return after being cancelled in 2020.
The Dragon Mile, 1600m, and Mini Mile, 800m, had been run in the lead-up to the gala procession through the heart of Bendigo.
The Bendigo Harriers Athletics Club teamed up with Bendigo Bank and InterSport Bicknell's to host an event for school students at the Bendigo Regional Athletics Complex in Flora Hill.
A revamped event drew 65 athletes across various age groups to the home of Flack Advisory Services Group-backed Athletics Bendigo in Retreat Road.
The Buckell wins, Matt and Ned achieved fastest times for the 1600m as they clocked times of 4.18 and 4.25 in the years 11-12 event.
William Lovett from Xavier College ran a brilliant race in 4.31 to win the years 9-10 boys race from the in-form Logan Tickell from Bendigo South East SC in 4.50 as Angus Macafee was third in 4.55.
A second was the margin between Charles Barrett from St Bernard's Essendon and Merlin Tzaros from Wangaratta High School in the years 7-8 boys race.
Barrett won in 4.54 from Tzaros, 4.55, and Bendigo South East's Avery McDermid.
The classy Chelsea Tickell won the years 7-8 girls event in 5.44 from Girton Grammar's Zara Paul and Bendigo SE's Ebony Woodward.
It was a dramatic finish to the grade 5-6 boys race as Strathfieldsaye's Joel Riordan was a second in front of Holy Family's William Blake.
Next best was Girton Grammar's Hugh Casey.
Harcourt Valley's Kate Wilson won the grade 5-6 girls event from Marist College's Charlise McQueen and Tahlia Thorpe.
The Mini-Mile, an 800m event for grades four and under was well supported.
Quarry Hill's Jonty McDermid took out a closely-fought boys race from Bradley Riordan from Strathfeldsaye and Tate McQueen from Marist College.
It was a St Therese's double in the girls Mini Mile as Mila Childs and April Wainwright were first and second from Elise Stoltz of St Joseph's.
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