Who will run WOC for Australia in 2008?

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Jo Allison in action at St Helens

Jo Allison in action at St Helens

The Tasmanian round of the SILVA National Orienteering League concluded with the long distance WOC trial yesterday. A map with no shortage of contours — Mt Pearson — 13.7km for the men and 8.9km for the women and two tough races on Saturday had many elites talking down their chances about the daunting task ahead of them. While most came back exhausted, just as many were pleased with what was the perfect balance of tough but fair racing.

Rob Walter continued his hot streak, completing his hat-trick for the weekend when he edged out Rob Preston for the second Rob quinella of the weekend. William Hawkins, who had journeyed all the way from New York to compete in the trials had his best run of the weekend taking 3rd ahead of NSW Stinger Matt Parton. Reuben Smith was next, and Blair Trewin seemed to shrug off his jetlag by rounding out the top six.

Jo Allison made it a Canberra Cockatoos double with a return to the top. Kathryn Ewels, along with Jo, must be looking towards to August and the Czech Republic with another solid display and took second. Anna Sheldon was seen powering up the hills on the course and finished in third, her best result of the weekend. Shannon Jones was 4th while Laurinna Neumann, a JWOC team member preparing for Sweden in July had an impressive run edging out Vanessa Round for fifth.

The selectors were seen in deep discussions over the weekend and there was a buzz around the field about the possible make up of the team. Simon Uppill, Dave Shepherd, Julian Dent and Grace Elson were all absent from the trials as they are currently in Europe. Although they didn’t run the trials they could be considered near certainties, barring any injury. Keep your internet browser on the OA webpage so you don’t miss impending selection announcements!

Results from the weekend can be found on the Orienteering Tasmania website.

Men’s map and GPS routes (download)