VCCL Back To Business

Alex Bacalja, handicap winner of the Jell Park Relay
Alex Bacalja, handicap winner of the Jell Park Relay

After an enforced COVID layoff, the Victorian Cross Country League is back racing again with a combination of club events, parkruns as well as the Athletics Victoria competition. After the change of venue for the first club event a small field gathered at Jells Park to race over 5km and the winner was the inform David Page. David, finishing the VAL season with two wins at Ringwood and Stawell, cruised around Jells to win by thirty three seconds from Fraser Murray and Julian Harris. David also registered the fastest time of 18:45.

Race two was the first event of the AV calendar, also at Jells Park, where the VCCL entered six teams in the tough 6km relays. Our division two team, current reigning division 3 premiers, recorded a sterling performance to finish fourth behind the powerful Bendigo team. Michael Marantelli was the fastest of our runners with a time of 18:39 from Alex Bacalja (20:16) and Dan Lawlor (20:25). The VCCL welcomes our new division two competitors Francis Dowdle and Mitch Waring. The division five team, also current reigning premiers from division six, finished third behind Mentone with David Spence the fastest with a time of 22:41. The women, racing in division four and with new members Elisha Ezard and Ingrid Woodward, were great performers finishing third to Box Hill. Ingrid was our fastest competitor with a time of 24:41. The over 50’s men team finished ninth but were unfortunately hit with a hamstring injury to Phil Noden. David Page, in great form, recorded our fastest time of 23:33. The Over 60’s recorded our first win of the season with Tony Moran (23:09), Mark Hipworth (23:51) and Leon Brooks (25:25) collecting the gold medal defeating Nunawading by over seven minutes. The division seven team with only two runners were unable to field a team but Irene James (33:13) and Gary Blake (30:02) ran the course showing true team spirit. With relay teams depending on specific numbers attending special thanks to Irene and “Blakey”. Runners competing in the AV competition please join the Facebook VCCL 2021 group for AV and relay information.

The club sealed handicap for the Jells Park relaywas won by Alex Bacalja (20:17) by ten seconds from Craig Harris and Mark Hipworth. Saturday’s win was the second win with the club for Alex, previously winning the Ekiden relay sealed handicap in 2019.

The next two weekends we are conducting a sealed handicap via the parkrun series. Remember runners, any venue but nominate VCCL as your club. Remember to bring your parkrun barcode for these events.

The AV competition next competes at Lardner Park, Warragul on May 22nd over 8km. Those that haven’t collected their AV packs, please see Brian Marantelli at Warragul.

Please note that the Eikden relay will be held this season at St Anne’s Winery, Myrniong on Saturday June 5th, not Sunday June 6th as previously advised.

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