Dent, Elson take out national sprint titles

blair2006 Archive

w21sprintpodium

L-R Anna Quayle, Grace Elson, Alison Jones

Julian Dent and Grace Elson took out the open titles at the Australian Sprint Championships in York today.

For Dent, it was his third successive National League win. He set the time to beat early in the Red Start Group, and none of his opponents were able to come close to him. Dave Shepherd came closest, with Grant Bluett in third place.

It was the first race of the week for Grace Elson. She went into the race as one of the two clear favourites along with Anna Quayle, and it was those two who fought it out, almost a minute clear of the rest of the field. Elson prevailed by five seconds, and Allison Jones narrowly beat sister Shannon for third.

The junior titles were won by Ryan Smyth and Vanessa Round, with New Zealanders filling the minor placings in both events — Thomas Reynolds and Simon Jager for the boys, Kate Rea and Emma Watson for the girls.

The win by Elson, along with Jo Allison’s fifth, assured Elson of the National League individual title with one round to go. The Canberra Cockatoos are now also mathematically certain to win the title they have had a firm grip on for some rounds now. The junior women have also been decided; none of the top four added to their score today, leaving Kellie Whitfield with an unbeatable lead.

The two men’s competitions are still alive. Julian Dent can still tie with current leader Dave Shepherd if he wins on Saturday and Shepherd is third or worse, and Ryan Smyth can overhaul Simon Uppill if he wins and Uppill is fourth or worse.

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L-R Dave Shepherd, Julian Dent, Grant Bluett