WOC Trials Long Distance Report

Round 12 of the SILVA National Orienteering League was WOC trials long distance race on the Livelys Bog map north of St Helens. It was make or break day for those aspiring to a place on the Aussie team for the upcoming World Championships in France in August. Course setter David Marshall heeded the selector’s requests for a tough final trial with both classes having a mix of arduous long legs punctuated by bursts of short technical legs in their courses. In the often low visibility terrain, in combination with the marshes, it proved a tough day out for quite a few runners after the two races of the previous day.

In such situations, experience often shines through with Vanessa Round (Southern Arrows) and Julian Dent (NSW Stingers) prevailing. In Rounds’ case it was a 2 minute margin ahead of the Victorian Nuggets’ Aislinn Prendergast in her best yet senior result with follow Nuggets Kathryn Ewels and Jasmine Neve dead heating in a tick over 79 minutes for 3rd. Prendergast’s great race will certainly leave some food for thought in the minds of the selection panel in determining the WOC team composition. Dent again showed what a class act he is among the Aussie men with a strong 6 minute margin over fellow Stinger Rob Preston with Simon Uppill (Southern Arrows) rounding out the top three.

Tassie Foresters duo, Oscar Phillips of Launceston and Amy Buckerfield of Hobart, were the winners in the Junior divisions. On another wonderful late autumn Tasmanian day, Phillips just edged out Todd Neve (Victorian Nuggets) by a mere 3 seconds to take out the Junior Men’s division in a physically and technically demanding race. Oliver Poland of the Canberra Cockatoos was 2 minutes adrift to round out the top 3. Team mate Buckerfield was a clear winner ahead of compatriot Emma Campbell with Queensland Cyclone’s Katelyn Effeney a close 3rd