Queensland Championships go digging for gold at Leyburn.

shanej2007 Archive

The 2-day Queensland Championships moved to a new area, the old gold-mining Leyburn Forest some 80 Km SW of Toowoomba.  The forest is undulating spur gully with good cover and only medium visibility.  There are some intricate watercourse features, some scattered small rock and evidence of past gold diggings but the majority of the map offers fast but indistinct country similar to the Maryborough and Bundaberg regions.  Similar to the Maryborough and Bundaberg areas, Leyburn can produce some excellent times but also can create massive loss of time because of the lack of re-location features.

Day 1 was overcast and the forest had softened with the welcome rain during the week before the Champs.  In M/W21 and M/W17 -20 the first day stands alone as the Queensland Middle Distance Championship but is added to Day 2 for the overall Queensland Championship.

M21 covered 5.5 Km with Ian Anderson taking the lead to the first control but he fell back after an error to control 4.  Veteran Mark Nemeth and Dane Cavanagh both ran consistently, minimizing errors for 2nd and 3rd places but Lorenzo Calabro (returning after a long period away) took the lead from control 2 and was never troubled to win in 33 minutes. M17-20 covered the same course and Mat McGuire managed to take the lead from Simon Mee after control 1 and although the gap between the two was never greater than 2 minutes Matt held on for a 25 second win in a very good time of under 40 minutes.

W21, in the absence of Anna Sheldon at WOC, became a race for the future stars of Queensland orienteering. The race came down to a case of minimising risk because all runners suffered from location problems in the early stages of the course. The early lead was taken by Krystal Neumann, then Rachael Effeney, closely followed by Bridget Anderson but by control 4 Ainsley Cavanagh’s consistency had pushed her to the front from where she moved away to her first open win in 35 minutes over the 4.1 Km course.  W17-20 ran 3.5 Km and also suffered with lack of locational features.  Brooke Pye led early but lost the lead to Jessica O’Connell with an error to control 4.  From half way through the course Grace Burrill took over the race to win comfortably in just under 40 minutes.

Day 2 dawned clear and sunny which seems to have been a gift to almost the entire field as results, overall, were better than Day 1.  M21 covered over 11 Km but the race continued in the same pattern as Day1.  Lorenzo Calabro took the lead early in the race and was never headed.  Dane Cavanagh made a grab for 2nd place midway through the race but was unable to sustain the effort leaving the final placings unchanged from Day1, with Lorenzo taking out the race in an excellent 75 minutes. M17-20 was similarly uneventful.  Ben Freese and Gary Flynn exchanged the lead early but steady running from Mat McGuire and Simon Mee took them to the lead with Mat drawing away for his first Queensland Championship, running the 8 Km course in 64 minutes.

W21 ran over a fairly short 7 Km and after a very even 1st control Ainsley Cavanagh took charge of the race to win comfortably by 4 minutes and take out her first Open Championship.  The place-getters on Day2 were Krystal Neumann and Bridget Anderson but over the 2 days these places were reversed. W17-20 seemed to have difficulty with the course with all runners making errors in some parts of the course.  Jessica O’Connell led to control 5 but she was passed by Michelle Cantwell who held on for a good win.  The overall Championship went to Grace Burrill as a result of her excellent win on Day1.

In senior classes stand out performances came from Clive Pope in M70, Jacquie Rand in W55, Gayle Quantock-Simson in W45 and Dave Firman in M55.  M35 saw a great race between Steve Doyle and the eventual winner, Tim McIntye.  In junior classes W16 was a great battle between all four of the Queensland (and Australian) Junior School team with Glennie Nottle eventually holding out Katie Doyle for a good win.  M16 saw a similar battle, and fast running, between Oliver Crosato and Kurt Neumann with Oliver taking out the overall competition.