Ingham completes a clean sweep as Easter winds up

Lizzie Ingham completed her dominance of the Easter event in Bendigo by making it four wins out of four, all by substantial margins. She entered the day ten minutes clear of the field and could have been forgiven for taking it easy, but she went right on with it, extending her lead by a further four minutes. It was closer behind her; Hanny Allston was second on the day, but was unable to make up the necessary time to overtake Grace Crane overall.

Grace Crane, Lizzie Ingham and Hanny Allston at the presentation.

Grace Crane, Lizzie Ingham and Hanny Allston at the presentation.

The men’s race was a much closer affair. Matt Crane was only a few seconds ahead of Simon Uppill going into the final day. The fast, open terrain of Crusoe was never likely to be the place for the title to be decided by knockout. Instead, on a day when the top five were covered by just over a minute, Crane edged away from Uppill over the course; only five seconds here and ten seconds there, but enough to give him the result that he needed. Lachlan Dow had a solid run to take third place, while Bryan Keely, out of overall contention after errors yesterday, ensured that both Bendigo bush races were won by Bendigo locals.

One of the closest finishes of the weekend was in W17-20E. Jacqui Doyle and Heather Muir had been dicing for three days. Doyle led by two minutes going into the final day, but Muir gradually chipped away at that margin and finally took the lead in the last kilometre of the course. Her final margin was eight seconds. The junior men were not as close overall, Oliver Poland’s performance yesterday giving him a decisive edge, but today gave us a very close race between Poland and Cockatoos teammate Ian Lawford, led by Lawford most of the way until an error at the third-last control.

There was also strong competition across a range of other age classes. Two of the best races were in W16 and W45. In W16, Hannah Goddard came from fifth after two days to edge out Asha Steer by eight seconds, while in W45, less than four minutes separated the top five going into the final day before Nicola Dalheim pulled clear.

The Champion Club trophy was won comprehensively by Melbourne Forest Racers. The Australian University Championships were won by the University of Melbourne (the individual titles were taken by Jacqui Doyle and Lachlan Dow, both from ANU), and the SA-Victoria Challenge was won by Victoria, 14-6.

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