Hanny Allston’s sensational 2006 has been further rewarded with a clear lead on top of the women’s elite rankings for the second consecutive year. Fellow Tasmanian, Grace Elson, finished in second place for her highest ever year-end ranking. Elson was just ahead of our most consistant women’s performer of recent years, ACT’s Jo Allison. Queensland’s Anna Sheldon was the big improver of 2006, with great performances at her first WOC and a win at the Australian Long Distance Championships helping her to finish the ranking year in 4th place.
It was a much closer battle at the top of the men’s elite list with ACT pair David Shepherd and Rob Walter finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Although outshone by the women’s team, these two again performed exceptionally well at WOC in Denmark, as they have done for many years now. Rising star, Julian Dent (NSW) won many of the domestic elite races, but injury forced him out of WOC this year and prevented him from reaching any higher than a close third place in the rankings.
There are no prizes for anyone who guessed that Hanny Allston would also top the W20 Elite ranking list. It was a good battle for the minor placings however, with Victoria’s Jasmine Neve just edging out big improver Vanessa Round (SA). Sophie Barker (ACT) and Sarah Dunnage (WA) completed the top 5.
SA’s Simon Uppill was the standout junior in M20 Elite this year. He topped the rankings by a large margin, and was very competitive in several open elite races this year. Chris Naunton (VIC) had a good first half of the year to just outscore Australian Long Distance Champion, Ryan Smyth (TAS), who came storming home in third place.