EAGLEHAWK faces a huge challenge as it chases a hat-trick of Margaret Saunders Cup victories for the number one team at this weekend’s Athletics Victoria country championships.

Three days of track and field action at Geelong’s Landy Field starts on Saturday and ends on Monday. For the past five years it’s been clubs from the Flack Advisory Bendigo Region which have reigned supreme on the Australia Day holiday weekend.

Eaglehawk was number one in 2019 and ’18; South Bendigo in ’17; and Bendigo Harriers in ’16 and ’15. Major challengers to the Hawks and Bloods this weekend are likely to be Geelong Guild, Athletics Chilwell and Wendouree.

A year ago, Eaglehawk went on a Cup-winning spree at the country titles run at the Latrobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Flora Hill. The famous Two Blues captured the Margaret Saunders Cup, number one team; Ex-Athletes Cup, women’s team; and David Kitt Memorial trophy, men’s team. Placings for the women’s and men’s teams race were Eaglehawk, Bendigo Harriers, and South Bendigo. Eaglehawk has had 46 athletes nominate to compete this weekend. Some will show their versatility in a lot of events and others may specialise in one or two. Athletes to watch in the famous Two Blues colours include David Chisholm, Terry Hicks, Denise Snyder, Kye Mason, Angus McKindlay, Jorja Peace, Jorja Morrison, James Bentley, Lachlan Start, Leah Langtree, Trevor Kelly, Antony Langdon and Kenan Seebah. The Hawks also have Tim Sullivan, one of the most decorated Paralympians in the world. Strong family links are on show as husband and wife Peter Savage and Wendy Ennor compete, along with members from the Heagney, Kadri, Fullerton, Graham, Marsh and Roberts families.

A squad of 38 from South Bendigo includes reigning national open shot put champion Emma Berg and Australian All Schools under-18 pole vault titleholder James Woods. Both will play key roles for the red and white. A lot of South Bendigo’s points are likely to be accrued in the 40-plus, 50-plus and 60-plus classes. Joan Self earned the Athletics Chilwell female veterans award at last year’s country titles and will again be a force to be reckoned with in the 60-plus 100m, discus, javelin and triple jump. South also has Carol Coad, Kellie Doering, Debby Kirne, Leigh Browell, Jennifer Payne, Trudy Haines, Chris Timewell capable of wins and placings in various events for the veterans. An athlete who has contested many country championships is Keely Trew. Family links in the club’s line-up for this weekend are Annette and Peter Curtis; Allie, Belle and Jackie Guillou; Abbey and Logan Hroemnko; Greg and Jake Hilson; Jen and Thomas McArthur; Bernard and Genevieve Nihill; Aaron, Jayne and Jemma Norton; Mackenzie and Scarlett Southern; Logan and Zackery Tickell.

The Bendigo Harriers put in a great effort to be runner-up for the teams award in 2019. This time the Harriers will field a squad of 24 at Geelong. In-form athletes for the jade and gold include Logan Sandland, Anne Buckley, Gretel Holmes, James Miller, Geoff Shaw, Abbey Conquer and Jamie Cook. A huge program for Juliet Heah includes being on the list for nine events. The Harriers will also look for strong performances from the likes of Bailey and Mackenzie Cooper, Yvette Palmer, Geoff Jordan, Peter Cowell, Hunter Gill, Alex and Xavier Pitt.

Bendigo University put in a superb effort to be eighth at last year’s championships. A squad of eight to represent Uni Pride this time includes distance runners Matt Buckell, Craig Green, David and Phoebe Lonsdale, Tullie Rowe and Andrea Smith. University will also have Jorja Van den Berg in the sprints, and Montanna Maud in the 100m and discus. The Shepparton squad bound for Geelong includes Glenn McMillan, 1500m and 5000m; sprint ace Antonio Vaitohi, and the talented Aden Schreck in discus, javelin and shot put. Holder of the Bendigo Centre record for open and junior high jump from his time with Bendigo Harriers, Joseph Baldwin will compete at the country titles for Melbourne University on invitational basis. Baldwin cleared the 2.18 metre mark at Flora Hill on February 16, 2017. A leap of 2.22m at Sydney’s Homebush Bay in March, 2017 put Baldwin on top of the residential records list at open and junior level.

Entries from Flack Advisory Bendigo Region clubs for the 2020 Victoria Country athletics championships on January 25 to 27 at Landy Field, Geelong:

Bendigo Harriers:
Eric Baker, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 3000m steeplechase, shot put, long jump.
Nyah Brits, under-18: 100m, 200m, long jump.
Anne Buckley, 50-plus: 800m, 1500m, 3000m.
Tiffany Bussem-Jorgensen, under-20: 3000m.
Abbey Conquer, under-18: 100m, 200m, long jump.
Jamie Cook, open: 5000m, 10,000m.
Bailey Cooper, open: discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Mackenzie Cooper, open: discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Peter Cowell, 50-plus 3000m.
Caitlin Evans, under-16: 100m, 200m, 400m, 90m hurdles, 200m hurdles. Harriet Gall, under-16: 200m hurdles, 2000m steeplechase, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
Hunter Gill, 60-plus: 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 10,000m, hammer.
Juliet Heah, open: 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase.
Gretel Holmes, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Geoff Jordan, 40-plus: 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, hammer, shot put, high jump, pole vault.
James Miller, under-20: 100m, high jump.
Matilda Moore: open 5000m, under-20 1500m.
Yvette Palmer, open: 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 3000m steeplechase.
Alex Pitt, under-18: 400m, javelin.
Xavier Pitt, under-16: 800m, discus, javelin.
Amanda Robinson, 40-plus: discus, shot put.
Tiahna Robinson, under-18: discus, javelin, shot put.
Logan Sandland, under-16: discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Geoff Shaw, 60-plus: discus, javelin, high jump, long jump, pole vault.

Bendigo University:
Matt Buckell, under-20: 5000m.
Craig Green, 50-plus: 1500m, 3000m, 10,000m.
David Lonsdale, 50-plus: 3000m.
Phoebe Lonsdale, under-16: 1500m, 2000m steeplechase.
Montanna Maud, under-18: 100m, discus.
Tullie Rowe, under-18: 1500m, 2000m steeplechase.
Andrea Smith, 40-plus: 400m, 2000m steeplechase.
Jorja Van den Berg, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m.

Eaglehawk:
Andrea Archibald, under-16: 100m, 200m, long jump, shot put.
James Bentley, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m, javelin, shot put.
David Chisholm: 40-plus triple jump, pole vault, 50-plus 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, javelin, long jump.
Alec Colturi, under-18: 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump.
Wendy Ennor, 60-plus: 100m, 1500m walk, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Martin Fryer, 60-plus: discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Keely Fullerton, under-16: 800m, 1500m, shot put, long jump, triple jump.
Mason Fullerton, under-14: 100m, discus, shot put, long jump.
Natasha Fullerton, 40-plus: discus, shot put, long jump, triple jump. Craig Graham: open and 50-plus hammer, 50-plus discus, shot put. Olivia Graham, open: discus, hammer, shot put.
Jamie Harrison, open: 400m, 800m.
Corey Heagney, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m, 2000m steeplechase, long jump, triple jump.
Kathryn Heagney, 60-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 2000m steeplechase, long jump.
Terry Hicks, 60-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump. Jasmin Hurst, open: 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, long jump.
Chris Kadri, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, javelin, shot put, long jump.
Laura Kadri, under-20: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Maya Kadri, under-18: 400m hurdles, javelin, long jump, triple jump. Sandra Kadri, 40-plus: 400m, 2000m steeplechase, javelin, long jump. Trevor Kelly, 60-plus: 1500m, 3000m, 10,000m.
Antony Langdon, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, hammer, long jump, triple jump.
Leah Langtree, 40-plus: 100m, 800m, 80m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 2000m steeplechase, discus.
Georgia Lee, under-18: discus, javelin.
Annette Major, 50-plus: 3000m walk, discus, javelin, shot put.
Lily Marsh, under-16: 400m, 90m hurdles, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
Rosy Marsh, under-16: 200m, 400m, discus, long jump, triple jump.
Kye Mason, under-20: 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump.
Angus McKindlay, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, javelin, long jump, triple jump.
Jorja Morrison, under-16: 100m, 200m, 200m hurdles, discus, shot put, long jump, triple jump.
Claire Noonan, under-18: 3000m walk, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Mitchell O’Neill, under-20: 800m, 5000m, 3000m steeplechase.
Jorja Peace, under-18: 100m, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, triple jump.
Harry Roberts, undr-16: 100m, 200m, 400m, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
Shavaun Roberts, 40-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, javelin.
Gabrielle Rusbridge, open: 400m, 800m.
Stephen Ryan, 60-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put, long jump.
Peter Savage, 60-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m walk, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put, long jump.
Kenan Seebah, under-18: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Kevin Shanahan, 60-plus: 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 2000m steeplechase, javelin.
Denise Snyder, open: 100m, 100m hurdles, discus, javelin, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
Lachlan Start, open: 200m, discus, javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump. Sam Storer, open: 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump.
Tim Sullivan: open 100m para, open 400m para, 40-plus 200m.
Siobhan Thompson, open: discus, javelin, shot put.
Kieren Tuohey, open: 100m, 200m, 400m.

South Bendigo:
Emma Berg: open discus, javelin, shot put, under-20 discus, javelin, shot put.
Sara Berg, under-18: 800m, 2000m steeplechase, discus, javelin, shot put.
Leigh Browell, 40-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m walk, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put, triple jump.
Caitlin Campbell, under-18: 1500m.
Carol Coad, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, discus, javelin, long jump, triple jump. Annette Curtis, 60-plus: 400m, 800m, 1500m walk, discus, javelin, shot put.
Peter Curtis, open: 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase. Kellie Doering, 40-plus: discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Liam Gay, under-18: 400m, 800m.
Allie Guillou, under-16: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Belle Guillou, under-16: 200m, 400m, long jump.
Jackie Guillou, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Trudy Haines, 40-plus: high jump, pole vault.
Greg Hilson, 50-plus: 200m, 400m, 800m, 400m hurdles, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault.
Jake Hilson, open: 200m, 400m, 800m.
Abbey Hromenko, under-20: 100m hurdles, high jump, triple jump. Logan Hromenko, under-16: pole vault.
Debby Kirne, 50-plus: 400m, 800m, 1500m.
Jen McArthur, 50-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Thomas McArthur, under-16: 800m, 1500m, 3000m.
Oliver Muggleton, under-20: 100m, 200m, 400m.
Bernard Nihill, under-16: 800m, 1500m.
Genevieve Nihill, under-14: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m.
Aaron Norton, 40-plus: 100m, 400m, 800m, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
Jayne Norton: open discus, 40-plus discus, javelin, shot put.
Jemma Norton, under-16: discus, hammer.
Emma Orme, under-14: 100m, 400m, discus, high jump, triple jump. Jennifer Payne, 60-plus: 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 1500m walk. Stephanie Pompei, open: 400m, 800m. Joan Self, 60-plus: 100m, discus, javelin, triple jump.
Mackenzie Southern, under-16: 100m, 200m, 200m hurdles.
Scarlett Southern, under-14: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, high jump.
Logan Tickell, under-16: 1500m, 3000m.
Zackery Tickell, under-16: 400m, 800m, 200m hurdles.
Chris Timewell, 40-plus: 100m, 200m, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer, javelin, shot put.
Keely Trew, open: javelin, long jump, triple jump.
Megan Wilson, under-16: 800m, 1500m.
James Woods: open high jump, pole vault, under-18 high jump, pole vault.

Shepparton:
Harley Cobbledick, open: javelin, long jump, triple jump.
Glenn McMillan, open: 1500m, 5000m.
Aden Schreck, under-14: discus, javelin, shot put.
Jessica Tymensen, under-18: triple jump.
Antonio Vaitohi, under-18: 100m.
Moala Chistian Vaitohi, under-16: 200m, long jump.

Written by Nathan Dole

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