How good are our Lady Hunters?
First they do the historic back to back clean sweeps in the XCR season then back it up with a Div 1 track and field season premiership. In breaking the 52 year drought since our last Women’s Div 1 premiership (1959/60) they were sensational but in the same season to have won all divisions of the XCR is something no other men’s or women’s club has ever done, or maybe ever will I venture to say. This was a superb team effort. We had stars who could have made a big difference to the team but were unavailable due to the crazy season structure, they were up against teams who had Olympians and Commonwealth Games athletes, and yet they did it. Over the season many people have contributed to the ladies making the final but in the end it came down to a hardy bunch who pitched in to cover every event as best they could. In the end it was a convincing 89 point win. Although the pressure was taken off when Sophie Lichoudaris (27.62m) and Brigitta Nemaric (27.42m) came 1st and 2nd in the javelin they went into the final event, the relay, being able to DQ and still win the final. But they were not going to finish with hands in the air and threw everything at the relay with the famous Sherena Mulgrave finishing dip grabbing 3rd spot ahead of arch rivals Box Hill. While the wait seemed forever it was great to see so many Hunters wait around to celebrate the women’s win, but also to recognise the effort of our Men’s Div 1 team who were worthy competitors all day finishing a solid 3rd behind St. Kevins (1003), Essendon (929.5) and Glenhuntly (885.5). While the Men were disappointed not to be able to do back to back premierships I must say it is a long time since we have seen a Glenhuntly team dominate the sprints as they did on Saturday. Despite still rehabbing from a hamstring injury Aidan Debernardi ran a PB 10.84 followed in by Dylan Calleja with 10.99 with a legal tail wind. The only two athletes to go under 11 secs and then later joined by Leigh Phelan and Braydn Tatham to win the final event the 4 x 100m relay to close a very good day for the Hunters.
But the senior athletes were not the only representatives in the Association Final with our under 18 women’s team and under 16 men’s team giving a good account of themselves finishing 6th and 5th respectively. They both had some hard working athletes who put in some very good performances but were not helped by the unavailability of a few of their team members from across the season who helped them to get to the premiership. With a full team both would have given the premiership a real shake. All Managers will provide more detailed reports from the day or you can go to the Athletics Victoria website and have a look at the full individual results for the day.
This report would not be complete without thanking the Team Managers who have not only kept you informed throughout the season but chased up incorrect results and team scores, made sure we had relay teams when needed, and made sure we had as many as possible qualified for finals. So well done to the Team Managers and team captains who have developed this great team spirit in the Club over the last few years. The women who deserve mention include Josie O’Sullivan, Juliet Austin, Anna Ross, Helen Rainey (and all those other women who helped on Saturday and during the season when Josie was not available) and ably assisted by our Junior women’s Manager Donna Brammer who usually does a full morning session at Little As before fronting up to our competition in the afternoon. Her partner, looking after all the junior boys, is Louise McLean who together with Donna adds an extraordinary level of enthusiasm to the Club during the summer. Louise told me on Saturday she just loves this Club competition…I know she was referring specifically to us being together as a Club at the finals but I am sure she feels that way about the Club competition generally. It shows. Andrew Weerasekera has done a great job over quite a few seasons with the senior men’s teams with great support from Tyse Axford, Will Little (an inspiring Team Captain) and Justin Cohen. You should all be proud of the performances of all the Hunters Teams throughout the year. Well done all.
The thank yous would not be complete without a special mention of our regular AV officials who represent our Club and ensure the competition can go on week in and week out and whom we frequently don’t recognise as Glenhuntly people. These include Maureen Austin, Marg Dunbar, Pam Noden, Craig Spencer, Perry Cohen, Gudrun and Stephen Weisz. Thank you to all of you and I hope I haven’t missed anyone. To this group I must add all the people who have contributed by being Club Helpers throughout the season, your assistance has ensured we get all the points our athletes earn without penalty and so can experience the fun of finals competition. Thank you for your support.
And finally to underline the Club Team spirit there were a few athletes and parents, whose teams didn’t make the finals yet they came to spend a long day giving support to our competing teams. A great effort from all Hunters.
To all those athletes who will go on and compete in state and national championships, Masters Championships and the Stawell Gift events, good luck and see you all on Presentation Night 10th May.