Weekly Wrap February 13th 2024

Take a seat, this is a long one…

Blue skies & a stiff breeze greeted the 400 starters at Milers No. 4 conducted at our home track last week.  Incorporating the Victorian Mile Championship & the fourth running of the John Higham 800m, there was plenty of cash up for grabs!

Heartfelt thanks to Janine & the Higham family for donating $500 to the winner of the Women’s 800 A Race, taken out by Queensland’s Leah Simpson in 2:05.63.  The Men’s A Race was sponsored by Athletics Essendon & another interstate runner took out the $500 prize money, with Alex Hanigan from Tasmania, winning in a time of 1:49.78.

The Men’s Mile Championship was taken out by Luke Burrows from WA in a slick 4:07 but the title can only be awarded to a Victorian & went to Old Xaverians, Riley Bryce in 4:08. The crowded podium of five medal recipients was awarded their silverware by our very own international superstar, Linden Hall, who balanced on her tippy toes to hang the medals around their necks!

The Women’s Mile Championship was dominated by Box Hill’s Melissa Duncan, who won comfortably in 4:43.4.  AE’s Anna Kasapis, a two-time champion, was competitive in the race & recorded our Club’s best female time of 5:10.82.

Some of the many highlights of the night included Sam Duncan (3 sec PB – Mark Carey) & Isaac Faure battling it out all the way to the line in the L race, to take out first & second respectively.  Christian Knox literally gave it everything in the K race to be rewarded with second place.  Rosa Barbanti (Gregor Gojrzewski) finished strongly for a credible third in the I race, & achieving a season’s best time of 2:32.94.  Aly Rogers and Jen Mendes racing neck & neck in the very entertaining C Mile to finish second & third.

AE race winners:  Sam Meehan (J 800), Darcy Parker (I 800 – 2.01.12, 4 sec PB & NQ), Jesse Lumby (F 800) & Charlotte Jackson (Mark Carey) winning the D race in a smart 2:20.94 (2 sec PB) with a handy $100 in the bank to boot (Dash for Cash race) & Fin Symons winning the D Mile in 4:22.95 & a sneaky PB.

Gregor and Mark’s squads also submitted some other amazing results -:

800’s- Audrey Savage 2:24.45 PB, Jayme-Lee Cobain 2:27.86 SB, Saana Jayasinghe 2:26.26 PB, Harriet Gray 2:38.23 PB, Elijah Marshall 2:11.94 PB & NQ, Sebastian Moore 2:11.87 PB & NQ, Alexander Carroll 2:23.43 PB, Chase Jardine 2:19 5 sec PB, Sarah Fitzpatrick 2:23 1 sec PB, 12 yo Xavier Walsh 2:14 1 sec PB

Mile- Emily Mifsud 5:16.23 PB, Isabell Kays 5.25.99 PB, Ellie Kays 5:40.71 PB, Archer Bramble 4:41.06 PB, Charlie Morton 5:11.75 PB, Miles Thompson 5:11.75 PB.

It’s not always all about the results of the night though as there are people who generously give their time to make these events possible & without them, our sport fizzles out, so we would like to acknowledge the following for their invaluable time & assistance – the ever-professional, Tim Crosbie who was on the mic, calling every race with enthusiasm & unwavering knowledge. Race starter, Brendan Ferrari, who without, the night would not get off the startline, literally! Appreciation goes out to all the other AV & VMC helpers, along with Duncan Knox & Bec Perilli on the clock, Steve Murphy & Danny Hawksworth working the 800 cross over, and Joel Cuzzi & Steve Gaffney cooking up a storm on the BBQ.  Extra special thanks to John Cooper for co-ordinating & literally setting up everything, along with his crew of Brian Anderson, Dave Jones, Dom Condello & Marlon Cummings.  Without all these people helping out, these events simply just wouldn’t go ahead so please help, no matter how small or for how long, when the call goes out.

A big report for a big event & congratulations to all AE athletes on their fantastic performances & to their coaches & teams of parents, friends & supporters who contribute to these great race results.

With so many summer comps, it can be hard to keep up! We had the below fantastic results from the High Velocity & Rare Air Meet held at Doncaster back on Thursday, 1 February 2024.

Males – 100m – Luca Sebastiano, H1 4th, 10.94 (-1.4)
Yung Ho Michael Chau, H3 7th, 11.47 (2.3)
Owen Veltman, H6 2nd, 12.12 (0.5)
200 – Luca Sebastiano, H1 3rd, 21.70 (0.2)
Owen Veltman, H5 3rd, 25.67 (-0.9)
Discus – Macca Leith, 3rd, 46.38m
Javelin – Macca Leith, 6th, 42.77m
Long Jump – Bean Oztorun, 2nd, 7.05m (0.8)

Females – 100m – Amanda Wrout, H2 1st, 12.47 (1.0)
200m – Nina Lawson, H1 4th, 25.80 (0.0)
Long Jump B – Amanda Wrout 5.18m for the win (0.0)
Zara Keca 5.01m 2nd (0.0)
Ebony Mangion 4.53m 4th (0.0)
Long Jump A – Rachel Alexander 3.71m 4th (1.3)
Natalie Williams 3.32m 5th (1.4)

Great results everyone & a few more of these specialist meets taking place in March as a lead-in to Nationals so good luck everyone in the weeks ahead.

We played our PowerPlay last weekend & finished in 3rd place on the Premier Division ladder. A total f 64 athletes competed across the various venues with 17 State Age Group winners so congratulations to them.  

Thanks to all of you for giving your best & those who went outside their comfort zone to participate in events they don’t usually do in order to bump up our points total.

500+ individual event points –

  • Maria Strong F40, Shot Put, 6.71m, 580
  • Kevin Healy M20, Hammer, 62.99m, 540
  • Molly Bremner F14, 2k Steeple, 7:34.22, 537
  • Jesse Lumby M16, 800m, 1:58.24 529 (gigantic PB by 6 seconds!)
  • Melissa Foster F40, Triple Jump, 11.69m, 510
  • Jonty Neethling M16, 800m, 2:00.95, 509 (massive PB of 5 seconds!)
  • Mark Harper M40, 200m, 23.83, 508
  • Maddox Wilson M18, High Jump, 1.88m, 506
  • Kim Walsh F50, Shot Put, 10.37m, 504 
  • Angus Wood MOP, Triple Jump, 14.90m, 500
  • Lara Sacaner F18, 800m, 2:15.69, 499 (special mention 😉 )

1000+ overall total points –

  • Jamison Towers F16, 1331
  • Marlon Cummings M45, 1248
  • Kim Walsh F50, 1240
  • Kristian Lakusa M50, 1224
  • Jonty Neethling M16, 1072
  • Kevin Healy M20, 1036
  • Linda Caligiuri F60, 1032
  • Maria Strong, F50, 1020

A couple of honourable mentions:  Jayme-Lee Cobain F16 ran a nice PB in the 200m with 27.46, Sarah Fitzpatrick F16 who is eclipsing her maiden Aths season specialising in middle distance events & already qualifying for Nationals, ran her first ever 200m for a 30.18 & Sam Duncan M18 shaved an incredible 13 seconds off his 3k Steeple PB to finish in 10:35.  

We love celebrating all these milestones & achievements so please keep them coming!

Sole Motive Sunset Series, Race One on Wednesday Feb 7, 2024 at the Royal Melbourne Zoo:

Our very own Bianca Puglisi, proudly coached by AE Coach, Frances Lipscombe was the WINNER of the Women’s 8k event!  Second place getter in the same race was a gigantic 57 seconds behind her & only TEN males were ahead of Bianca, placing her ELEVENTH overall!  

We wish Bianca a safe trip over to Muscat, Oman to represent Australia in the World Uni Games Cross Country in the 10k race on 18 Feb 2024 & congratulate her, Frances & her team on her first international race & National representation!

Bianca Puglisi

Female Masters Kim Walsh 50-54 & Linda Caligiuri 60-64 burnt up the track at Lakeside on Sunday 11 Feb, no doubt feeling the searing heat as they took out silver & gold in their respective age groups!  

What a stellar effort to excel in both track & field events & maintain a mental fortitude to finish on the podium. Big congrats from your team mates at AE & fellow Combined Eventers!  You can view their results on AV’s Results Hub.

Metro athletes compete alongside regional athletes & are awarded invitational medals. Essendon had 42 athletes competing over the Australia Day weekend.

Essendon coach, Mark Carey travelled to Llanberris Reserve in Ballarat with his squad & they recorded the following sensational results –

  • Noah Tarallo (M16) 2000m Steeple – 6:52.81 – Gold
  • Charlotte Jackson (F20) 3000m Steeple – 12:20.30 – Gold
  • Maggie Armstrong (F60) 800m – 3:24.68 – Gold1500m – 7:17.39 – Gold200m – 36.65 – Silver400m – 83.79 – Silver
  • Sarah Fitzpatrick (F18) 2000m Steeple – 7:34.21- Silver
  • Samual Duncan (M20) 3000m Steeple – 10:46.94 – Silver (23 sec PB too!)
  • Lachie Steward (M20) 400 Hurdles – 66.31 – Bronze
  • Chase Jardine (M16) 2000m Steeple – 8:01.05 – 12 sec PB!

Congratulations Mark & squad – a dedicated bunch of athletes who deserve every success 🙂

FOP – Montana Djatschenko – Long Jump – 5.72m – Silver

– Zara Keca – Triple Jump – 11.82m – Bronze

F20 – Amanda Wrout – 100m – 12.37 – Gold

– 200m – 26.07 – Silver
– Long Jump – 5.49m – Silver
– Sukhnoor Rangi – Pole Vault – 3.60m – Gold
– Khushnoor Rangi – Pole Vault – 3.60m – Silver
– Tessia Haggai – Triple Jump – 11.42m – Silver
– Ella Birk – Triple Jump – 10.87 – Bronze

F16 – Ella Leith – Javelin – 35.88m – Gold

– 90 Hurdles – 14.40 – Silver
– High Jump – 1.50m – Silver
– Long Jump – 4.95m – Bronze

MOP – Benan Oztorun – Long Jump – 7.19m – Gold

– Angus Wood – Triple Jump – 14.94 – Gold

M20 – Macca Leith – Discus – 47.85m – Silver

– Shot Put – 12.43m – Silver
– Sebastian Weickhardt – Triple Jump – 13.07 – Bronze

M18 – Maddox Wilson – High Jump – 1.90m – Silver

– 100m – 11.73 – Bronze
– Jonty Neethling – 2000m Steeple – 6:10.68 – Gold

M14 – Mackinlee Carroll – 3000m – 10:13.60 – Gold

– Tate Jardine – 1500 Walk – 10:01.87 – Bronze

M40 – Sukhjivan Singh – Long Jump – 5.04m – Silver

– 100m – 12.99 – Bronze
– Marlon Cummings – 200m – 24.47 – Gold

M50 – Kristian Lakusa – 100m – 12.77 – Gold

I hope I haven’t left anyone out and apologies if I have, but let’s celebrate these very strong results across all age groups & bring on AV States (entries are now open & close Feb 15)

SAVE THE DATE – Presentation Day

A REMINDER that our annual Presentation afternoon is on Sunday, 5 May at Buckley Park Bowls Club.  Further details & tickets available soon.  

MEMBER SURVEY – click here to complete our Club survey to assist in the development & betterment of our Club.

ASVL ROUND 12 – last one for the 23/24 AVSL season – entries close tomorrow, Wed Feb 14 at midday.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we missed, by sending our secretary Rebecca an email at