We have new Australian Orienteering Champions in both the men’s and women’s elite class. For Hanny Allston it was success at the first attempt. The Tasmanian junior is still eligible for the junior world championships next year, but has been performing well at elite level, with a 6th place at the recent world championships in Japan. Allston won comfortably in 69 minutes 14 seconds from another young Tasmanian, Grace Elson (pictured) who also got on the podium for the first time after running 74.10. Defending champion Clare Hawthorne completed the podium after a good 81.09.
The championships were held just outside St Helens with a range of courses for all age groups. The terrain was tough Tasmanian bush with granite outcrops set on hills between marshy hollows with impenetrable thickets, making many of the creeks exceptionally tough going. One encounter with a branch made things difficult for men’s champion Grant Bluett (ACT, pictured) as it tore his map at one of the control points. Luckily, an accurate compass bearing yielded the control flag without the need for detailed reading! Unlike Allston this was success for Bluett at the 19th attempt; despite all the success this leading Australian orienteer has had here and overseas, this was his first Australian Championship. The tough terrain lengthened all the time gaps and Robbie Preston (NSW) was nearly 10 minutes back in second place with 102.38. Consistent performer Eric Morris (NSW) was third in 104.22, just edging out Ben Rattray (SA) by 36 seconds.
In the junior (17-20) Elite races, Dave Meyer (NSW) cemented his lead at the top of the junior National Orienteering League with a solid win in the biggest event. Meyer, 76.41, was nearly four minutes ahead of rivals Chris Naunton (NSW) 80.25, Simon Uppill (SA) 80.26, and Louis Elson (TAS) 80.49. Jasmine Neve (Vic) was also a clear winner of the women’s with 61.57 ahead of Western Australians Kellie Whitfield 68.06 and Sarah Dunnage 72.18.
Long Orienteering Results 2005*
*results no longer available