LEADERS in six divisions, Athletics Bendigo Region will aim to keep the run rolling in Saturday's third round of cross-country action at Langwarrin's Cruden Farm.
After successful hit-outs at Jells Park and St Anne's Winery at Big Hill, the Bendigo Bats are flying high in team and individual categories.
A group of 36 athletes from Bendigo Region had nominated by midday Wednesday to contest races ranging in distances from 5km, 6km, 8km or 12km.
Cruden Farm is on Cranbourne-Frankston Road.
The Bats lead the men's premier ladder on 24 points from Western Athletics, 20; and Box Hill, 18.
Andy Buchanan leads the race for the champion athlete award on 11 points from Box Hill's Andre Waring, nine; and Mentone's Seth O'Donnell, eight.
Bats' team-mates Brady Threlfall and Nathan Stoate are sixth and seventh.
Standings for open country in the champion athlete title are Buchanan, Threlfall and Stoate at one, two and three; and Matt Buckell, sixth; Archie Reid, eighth; and Jamie Cook, ninth.
Bendigo has scored 30 points to lead the division four men's ladder from Ivanhoe, 26; and Glenhuntly, 20.
In division seven men, Bendigo (3) and (4) lead the race on 20 and 17 points.
Outstanding runs have Bendigo in front in women's division four on 34 points from Mornington, 30, and Box Hill, 26.
Alice and Rebecca Wilkinson are third and fourth in the open country champion athlete award race.
The Bats are 5th and 11th in the division five women's race.
Other ladder placings for Bendigo Region are 40-plus men, 1st; 40-plus women, equal 14th; 50-plus men, 4th; 50-plus women, equal 5th; 50-plus women short course, 9th; 60-plus men, equal 14th.
The under-20 women's standings are led by Geelong and Bendigo on 22 and 16 points.
The Bats lead the under-18 boys division, are third in under-18 girls, 13th in under-16 boys, equal 8th under-16 girls, and 8th in under-14 girls.
Stars for Bendigo across the opening two rounds include Tullie Rowe, second in the under-20 women's class; Jayden Padgham, Harrison Boyd and Logan Tickell are first, second and fifth in the under-18 boys championship.
Phoebe Lonsdale is third in under-18 girls; Avery McDermid is eighth in under-16 boys; Genevieve Nihill, seventh in the under-16 girls; and Chelea Tickell holds fourth place in the under-14 girls' class.
Best in masters divisions for the Bats include Stephen Van Rees, 3rd in 40-plus; Nick McDermott, 5th in 45-plus; Andrew Creer, 8th in 50-plus; Anne Buckley, 8th in 50-plus; Mike Bieleny, Rossi Evans and David Heislers, 1st, 4th and 6th in 55-plus.
Debby Kirne is second in the women's 55-plus class, and Trevor Kelly is 6th in 60-plus.
First events on Saturday at Cruden Farm are the under-14 boys' and girls' 5km at noon.
The 6km for under-16 and 18 girls, under-16 boys, and under-20 men starts at 12.30pm.
Racing from 1pm will be 8km for under-18 boys, under-20 women, 50-plus women short course, and 60-plus men short course.
The early starters in the 12km take to the line at 1.20pm and will be followed by the open and masters classes for men and women at 1.50pm.
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