THE talent pool of the Bendigo Bats squad was on show in Saturday's running of Ekiden Relays in the fourth round of Athletics Victoria's cross-country series.
Teams of six, five, four or three athletes ran varying distances in the relay legs at St Anne's Winery in Myrniong.
Despite being without number one runner Andy Buchanan and young gun Archie Reid, Bendigo Bats still finished more than 90 seconds clear of Glenhuntly to win men's premier division.
Brady Threlfall ran the 8.8km leg in 28.06; Nathan Stoate clocked 25.06 for the 8km, and Matt Buckell completed the 7km distance in 22.32.
Also in action in the top division for Bendigo were Bryan Keely, 20.32 for 6.1km; Jayden Padgham, 15.28 for 4.7km; and Harrison Boyd, 12.09 for 3.6km.
The Bats were top team in premier division in rounds raced at Jells Park, St Anne's Winery in Big Hill, and Cruden Farm.
Bendigo Region also won men's division four at Myrniong.
Brian McGinley ran 8.8km in 30.00; Stephen van Rees completed 8km in 28.12; and Glenn McMillan ran 7km in 24.42.
The divison four line-up included Matt Heislers, 22.01 for 6.1km; and Rory Flanagan, 18.11 for 4.7km.
Bendigo's dominance in women's division four rolled on as Alice Wilkinson, Abi Hyndman and Juliet Heahleah joined forces to finish almost four minutes ahead of the second-placed Mornington.
The Bats were runner-up to Sandringham in men's division seven.
Jake Delaney, 34.21 for 8.8km; Darren Hartland, 8km in 31.59; Aaron Norton, 31.19 for 6.1km; and Chris Timewell, 4.7km in 21.55; ran strongly for the Bats.
The under-20 women's event was won by Geelong from Bendigo's team of Tullie Rowe, 29.22 for 7km; Phoebe Lonsdale, 25.40 for 6.1km; and Tully Lang, 22.36 for 4.7km.
Bats' team-mates Angus Macafee, 25.36 for 7km; Logan Tickell, 20.26 for 6.1km; and Avery McDermid, 13.33 for 3.6km; beat the hour mark as they clocked 59.35 to win the under-18 event from Ballarat.
The other Bendigo team of Max Rowe, Mason Woodward and Tanner Fear clocked 1:04.22 to be fourth.
Bendigo was fourth in under-16 girls through the efforts of Genevive Nihill, 26.37 for 6.1km; Ebony Woodward, 24.02 for 4.7km; and Chelsea Tickell, 16.27 for 3.6km.
The 50-plus line-up of Rossi Evans, 32.54 for 8.8km; Jim Russell, 36.32 for 7km; and Antony Langdon, 23.53 for 4.7km, was sixth.
The XCR action moves to Sandown on July 9 when road relays will be run.
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