BENDIGO Bats capped a flying start to Athletics Victoria's XCR '21 series in Saturday's cross-country action at Jells Park.
Athletes from country and metropolitan regions competed team relays across various distances and age groups.
A group of 36 represented Flack Advisory Services Group-backed Athletics Bendigo.
Bendigo was victorious in the men's open division two and also raced to second place in the overall standings.
University Pride star Andy Buchanan ran fastest time of the 6km leg in 17.30 minutes.
It was an outstanding feat less than two days after he broke Bendigo's residential record for the open 3000m as he ran in the national championship decider on Box Hill's track.
Buchanan joined forces with Archie Reid, Matt and Ned Buckell, Brady Threlfall and Nathan Stoate in the Jells Park showdown.
An overall time of 1 hour 53.54 minutes for the team of six was not far behind St Stephens which was fastest of all in 1:51.04.
Bendigo also won the under-18 boys event, and was runner-up in the women's open division four relay.
Young guns Jayden Padgham, Harrison Boyd and Logan Tickell won the under-18 boys 3 x 3km contest in 28.53.
The line-up of Jill Wilkie, Anne Buckley and Alice Wilkinson clocked a time of 1:17.39 across their relay legs of 3km to be second in women's open division four.
All four Bendigo clubs - Bendigo University, Bendigo Harriers, Eaglehawk and South Bendigo were represented across a range of age groups and distances.
Those to race for Bendigo Bats for the first time were Tim Creer, Nathan Crowley, Tanner Fear, Billy Meade, Daniel Noden, Mason Woodward and the Big Macs of Thomas McArthur, Nick McDermott and Avery McDermid.
Other placings for Bendigo were third in men's open division four; second in men's open division seven; sixth in men's 50-plus; fifth in under-18 girls; 8th and 12th in under-18 boys; and sixth in under-16 boys.
Round two in XCR '21 will be run on May 22 at Lardner Park.
Other venues in the 10-round series are Myrniong, Cruden Farm, Sandown, Bundoora, Ballarat, Albert Park, Burnley, and The Tan in Melbourne.
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