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2023 XCR 1: Jells Park Relays

Glenhuntly Athletic Club – Latest News

#1 Open Men and #1 Open Women Premier teams.

Hunters crowned XC Relay champions

After much anticipation the cross country season kicked off in great conditions and the Glenhuntly team turned up ready to compete. And what a great job we did. The highlight of the day was our Open Men and Open Women Premier Division teams both finishing #1 and claiming the Cross Country Relay crowns. Our club has performed very well in relay events in recent times and the Jells Park relays were no exception. We fielded 23 teams with 79 competitors from Under 16 through to Masters 60+. Weather was great, camaraderie was great and we kicked off the season with great results. 15 teams had top 5 finishes, 10 teams medalled and three teams won their respective races including both the Open Women and Open Men in the Premier Division.

Welcome to newcomers

Before looking further at the great results, we extend a very big welcome to the following runners who had their first XC runs with Glenhuntly Athletic Club:

  • Nic Chambers U20, Harry Peng U18, Michael Monaghan U16, Justin Portelli 50+, Patricia Menendez 40+, Maudie Skyring (Open), Madeleine Gwynne (Open), Olivia Weston (Open), Lilly Ellis (Open), Dianah Matekali (Open), Phoebe Moloney (Open), Kate Smyth-Collins (Open), Amy Tims (Open), Jessica Ogden (Open), Mallory Ledger (Open), Bailey Murzecki-Hince (Open), Jorge Acosta Montes (Open)

It was also great to see the following team members returning after injury or an extended break:

  • Sam Lindsay U20, Fraser Thompson 40+, Julian Kuppler 40+, Ciara Losty (Open), Ryan Losty (Open), Evette Cordy W45 (returning to XCR after a 30-year hiatus!) and Muriel Cummins W40.

Club helpers

Each club must supply a minimum number of club helpers at each round of XCR. Glenhuntly XCR relies on parents, partners, friends and our competing athletes to fill the Club Helper roster each round.Our XCR competitions couldn’t happen without the fabulous efforts of our club helpers. A big thank you to the following people who were our club helpers at Jells Park: Rob Jamieson, Tony Doran, and John Daniel.

Hunters' Logan Janetzki in the lead pack at the start of the XC relay. Photo by Steve Alder-Goad (ADG Images).


Fastest athletes on the day

Athletics Victoria's Results Hub has a new feature that lets you look up best individual splits to see which athletes were fastest on the day. We had a number of athletes rank in the top 10 fastest athletes of their respective divisions.

Congratulations to Ed Marks who ran the fastest 6 km time (17:25) of all athletes on the Jells Park course. Ben Kelly also made it into the top 10 fastest Male Open athletes with the 8th fastest split (18:14). Of our Female Open athletes, Maudie Skyring clocked the 5th fastest time (20:52) and Erika Florez the 9th fastest time (21:39).

Of our Junior athletes, the following athletes made the top 10 cut in their respective age categories:

  • Female U14: Georgie Lindsay was the 4th fastest (11:49) athlete Female U16: both Molly Phillips (7th, 11:52) and Eloise Glendinning (9th, 11:58) finished in the top 10

  • Female U18: Tanasha Santosh clocked the 6th fastest time (11:27)

  • Male U16: Kane Hijlkema was 2nd fastest (9:54) athlete

The following Masters athletes made the top 10 in their respective age categories:

  • W45: Katie Seibold clocked the 6th fastest (26:47) time

  • W50: Evette Cordy was the 2nd fastest (25:11) athlete

  • W55: Kim Nanscawen came in equal 9th fastest (28:16)

  • W60: Joelle Jones was the first Glenhuntly athlete in (36:44), finishing 6th of the total 11 athletes

  • M45: Fraser Thompson clocked equal 4th fastest time (20:54)

  • M50: Andrew McEvoy 2nd (21:25), Rob O'Donnell 3rd (21:31), Kevin Mannix 8th (22:31), and Justin Portelli 10th (23:01) all made the top 10 (a pretty impressive achievement for our 50+ blokes)

  • M65: Joseph Campisi clocked the 4th fastest time (29:17)

  • M70: Chris Wardlaw was the second fastest (30:06) athlete

Open Women

What a day for the Open Women! We had so many runners donning the baby blue for their first time, which was really exciting to see. In total we had nearly 5 teams competing and the fantastic results by all highlighted the strength of our women’s teams at the Club.

Our Premier team took out the win with Maudie Skyring, Maddie Gwynne and Olivia Weston posting impressive times in their debut for Glenhuntly in XC. Erika Florez and Emilie Guy completed this team, bringing their usual top quality to the field and sped their way through the course. Special congratulations to Maudie and Erika for being in the top 10 fastest times for the day!

Our winning Women's Open Premier team with Trevor Vincent

Our Division 2 team placed an impressive 2nd place. Newcomer Lilly Ellis got the team off to a great start in her first race for the baby blue. Sarah Howe and Sharon Firisua followed up with strong runs, including Dana Dekkers on the anchor leg, showing that all their hard work in training is paying off and they are in great shape!

Some of our Open women at Jells Park

Our Division 3 team placed 4th! Bec Kirkham led the team out with a superb run, posting a PB for the course! Dianah Matekali, Isabelle Crothers and Phoebe Lonsdale all ran Jells Park Relays for the first time and showed what great additions they are to the Hunters team with fantastic runs by all!

We welcomed 3 Run Monash members to the Division 5 team. Amy Tims, Jessica Ogden, and Mallory Ledger all stepped up to give cross country with Glenhuntly a try – and in doing so, they grabbed 3rd place! We welcomed Ciara Losty back to cross country for the first time in years with a fantastic run - hopefully this is the start of many more XC appearances! Special congratulations to Kate Smyth-Collins who agreed that very morning (while 70km into a 90km bike ride) to join us for 2 laps around Jells Park!

Open Men

Despite colder temperatures creeping into the weekday mornings, we were met with a warm and humid weather for the first round of XCR at Jells Park. Whilst several regular Hunters were unavailable, the Open Men were still able to field three exceptionally strong teams across Divisions 1, 2 & 4, with the undulating hills, hairpin turns and thick lush grass of the 3km loop promising fast and frantic racing.

Australian U20 XC representative Logan Janetzki, put the Hunters Div 1 team in the mix from the start. Finishing just 30s behind Tokyo Olympian Ben Buckingham of St Stephens Harriers, and within striking distance of XCR powerhouse Western Athletics, Logan (18m 21s) tagged 2nd runner Ben Kelly in an excellent position to set up the next phase of the race.

Storming through the field, Ben (18m 14s) took the lead up the penultimate hill, demonstrating his strength and grit over the uneven terrain. A late fightback up the final straight from Victorian Mile and 1500m champion Hussey from Western Athletics saw the baby blue changeover in equal first position at the end of leg 2. The next 3 legs (Sam Toll [18m 31s], Bailey Murzecki-Hince [18m 26s] and Rhydian Cowley [18m 40s]) saw a stalemate between the two clubs, as the rest of the field were left minutes behind.

Trevor Vincent with our winning Men's Open Premier team

At the final changeover, a small break of 6 seconds separated us from poll position. Ed Marks shot from the line, quickly closing the deficit before breezing past Cody Shanahan early in the first lap. Despite a continuous grind up and down the hills, the rubber band between the two runners never snapped. Sinking deeper and deeper into the second lap, Shanahan’s long striding surges began to close in. Supporters from both clubs sprinted across the course bringing with them a wave a noise that urged their mates towards the finish line. However, it was to be Ed in the baby-blue uniform who gritted his teeth the hardest as he turned the final corner. Ed flew up the straight on a rush of adrenaline to hold off the Western Athletics anchor, winning the Victorian Cross Country Relays for the Hunters for the first time in 13 years. Ed’s time of 17m 25s was the fastest leg of the day and demonstrated his ability to go head-to-head with the best athletes in Victoria.

Our depth was on display too with our Division 2 team. Representatives Denyan Claxton (19m 16s) and Jordan Cowley (19m 19s) both ran times that would have seen them finish well within the top 6 of any club outside of Glenhuntly and Western Athletics on the day. Great to see strong runs by our XCR stalwarts, Jack Highnam, Taylor Kearney, Chris Winter and Ryan Losty.

Our Division 4 team finished a very respectable 4th - a super effort! It was terrific to have Solomon Island athlete Rosefelo (Rossi) Siosi back running with us after a 7-year hiatus. A big thanks to Master 50+ athlete, Mickael Soussan, who stepped up to Open Division and ran the anchor leg for the team. Well done to Jorge Montes (from Run Monash) on his debut XC run as a fully fledged Hunters athlete. It was also great to have our XC stalwarts Brad Wynne and Simon Bowly in the mix. Full results below.

Junior Girls

It was wonderful to have some junior teams this year with 2 teams - Under 18 team and under 16 team.

The Under 18 team ran brilliantly with Tanasha Santosh running the 1st leg and gaining the 4th fastest time for 3km in the U18s with Molly Phillips and Jacinta Crowley running well to secure 3rd position.

The Under 16 team 1st runner Eloise Glendenning who has recently joined Glenhuntly ran well but had to dash off after the race with Georgie Lindsay who stepped up to be in the U16 team and would’ve had the 2nd fastest time if she ran in the U14 team and thanks to Tricia Santosh who was the 3rd runner and gained 4th position by 3 seconds. The team didn’t expect a podium finish but the 2nd team was an invite team so surprisingly we were called up for the presentation.

Well done to our junior athletes!!

Our junior girls (minus Eloise who had to dash off after the race!)

Under Age Men

We kicked off the season with four Under Age Men teams competing - 1 x U20, 2 x U18 and 1 x U16. All team members ran well with top 10 finishes posted by all teams. Some impressive running by the U20 team of Nic Chambers, Sam Lindsay and Kevin Zhou, resulted in a third place finish and the bronze medal.

With illness and injury causing some late changes to team composition thanks to Kane Hijlkema who stepped up from U16 to the U18 level to cover an absence and then posted the fastest leg of the day for all of our U18 runners. There were a few team members competing for the first time at XC and several stepping up to a higher age group and all performed very well. We can expect many PB improvements from the whole XC team over the season.

Some of our Under Age Men at Jells Park

With a number of regular runners not available due to school holidays and the National Championships we can look forward to more team members in teams at the Sandown relays in early July.

Masters Women

The highlight of the day for the Masters women was the podium results of our W40 team of Kim Nanscawen, Evette Cordy and Katie Seibold. In a very competitive field, these women dug deep to bring home the bronze medal. Great work by Kim who moved over from W50 to compete with the young guns. Super to see both Evette and Kate running in fine form so soon after their recent demanding world indoor championship efforts in Poland. It was fabulous to see Katie Seibold bring home a medal in her first run with the Hunters.

W40 bronze medallists – Katie Seibold, Evette Cordy and Kim Nanscawen

Evette Cordy clocked the 2nd fastest time for W50 (albeit, given that age on April 30th is used to calculate Winter XCR age cut-offs and age on 31st December is used to calculate Summer AVSL cut-offs, Evette will remain in the W45 category for winter before moving up to W50 for summer). This equates to 4th fastest of all the W45 athletes.

Nat Esparon showed she is in super form by delivering a 3-minute PB for her 6 km leg in the second W40 team. She was accompanied by Muriel Cummins and Patricia Menendez. It's terrific to have Muriel back running with the Hunters after an absence of more than a decade. Kudos to Patricia who put in a terrific debut XC run wearing the Hunters colours in her very first AV competition.

Robyn Fletcher clocked the fastest time (32:27) in the W50 teams, placing 6th with Kara Gilbert and Svitlana Korchova, while our other W50 team - composed of our 'Wonder Women' W60 athletes, Michele Forbes, Victoria Haritos and Joelle Jones - put in solid performances. We were the only club with 2 teams in the W50 category.

Masters Women athletes at jells Park

Masters Men

A big congratulations to all the Masters Men who competed. Especially those who stepped up and ran outside of their normal age group. They were: Kevin Mannix (ran 40+), Peter Rushen (ran 50+) and Mickael Soussan (ran Open Div 4). There were great individual performances and podium finishes for our 50+ (gold medal) and 60+ teams (bronze medal). A very successful day overall.

Kevin Mannix looking very relaxed on the XC course

This was the first time since 2021 that we were able to field a 40+ relay team. Thanks again to Kev Mannix for making that possible. The team came up against very tough competition and finished a close 4th. Welcome back to Fraser Thompson who returns to the Club after a successful running career with Oxford University Athletic Club. Fraser posted a blistering time and set the team up for a great finish. Welcome back also to Jules Kuppler who missed most of last season and is returning from injury. Can’t wait to see what you guys can do as the season progresses.

We entered 2 teams in 50+ this year. Thanks to Lyndon Loader, Pete Rushen (stepping up from 60+) and Richie Maguire-White for a solid effort in the invite team. They finished 14th overall. We also welcomed Justin Portelli who made his debut for Glenhuntly in the 50+(1) team. Justin, Robbie O’Donnell and Andrew McEvoy combined to secure a solid victory. Fortunately, Robbie finished on the right side of the finish chute this year. Unfortunately, the 50+(1) team missed the medal presentation while cheering on Ed Marks to victory in the Open Men.

We also entered 2 teams in 60+. Kev Esmore and John Zeleznikow made up our invite team. Unfortunately, Kev retired hurt but John was able to continue on and complete the 6km circuit. Well done boys and thanks for your continued support of the Club. The combination of Chris (Rab) Wardlaw, Mick Ryan (President) and a fast-finishing Joe Campisi took out the bronze medal in our 60+(1) team. A fantastic performance and definitely more podiums finishes for our 60+ teams to come.

M60 bronze medallists – Joe Campisi, Mick Ryan and Chris Wardlaw

TV's Birthday

Given the coincidence in timing, it has become somewhat of a Hunters' XCR tradition to celebrate Trevor Vincent's birthday at the opener of the XCR season. We try to surprise TV but I guess he's cottoned on by now .... what better way for us to help TV celebrate his birthday this year than with the double victory by our Premier Men's and Women's teams. Happy Birthday, TV!

Next round

XCR Round 2 will be the first of our individual XCR races and will be held on Sunday 7th May at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park.


Everyone who intends to run must enter themselves before Wednesday 3rd of May! This is regardless of whether or not you have purchased a package (those with a XCR package just don't have to pay when they enter).

Visit the Event page via the link below for more information, including distances and start times, and to enter (click on "Enter Now" then just follow the prompts):

- Photo Gallery 2023 XCR 1 Jells Park -

Photos from Facebook by Jazz Deol (Furious Quads), Steve Alder-Goad (ADG Images), Inside Athletics and Glenhuntly AC members