JWOC Relay

The Junior World Orienteering Championships concluded tonight with the Relay on Tultered. The highlight for Australia was a sizzling run by Leon Keely in the mens A team, who brought the team through the first leg in 12th place (9th official place, as only the best team from each nation counts for the results). Keely was only 7 minutes behind the leading team.

The Australian team finished in 34th (23rd official) after Oliver Mitchell battled through the tough Swedish terrain, and Nick Andrewartha held the team’s placing.

Sweden won both relays today in convincing performances on their home terrain. Only Russia could break the Scandanavian monopoly winning a tight race for the silver medal in the mens, while Denmark (2nd in the womens) and Norway (two bronze medals) took home the rest of the silverware.

Australia had  high hopes for their women’s A team after some strong performances in recent days. But Laurina Neumann (1st leg) lost a massive 31 minutes in vague terrain early on in the course, and couldn’t make this back up. In the end the B team was faster, led out by Rachel Effeney to come in 28th place (18th official) on the first leg. Krystal Neumann (2nd leg) and then Belinda Lawford rounded out a consistent set of performances to finish in 27th (18th official team).

The women’s A team made significant ground up in the later legs. Bridget Anderson (2nd leg) started out in 37th, but ran the fastest time of the day for the Aussies to pull them up to 33rd,  while Aislinn Prendergast gained another 3 places — they ultimately finished in 30th.

The mens B team also put out a speedster on the first leg in the form of Oscar Phillips. Oscar ran well early to post a good split at the first radio (even faster than Keely at that point) but lost time later to finish in 38th place. Lachlan Dow (46th) lost a few places on the 2nd leg, while Geoff Stacey made that back up in  a strong last leg to pull the team into 40th.

The relay concludes this years JWOC. The week’s highlights for the  Australian team were Laurina Neumann’s mastery the terrain in yesterday’s long distance to place 25th, and Bridget Anderson’s 28th in the middle distance final. Aislinn Prendergast turned in consistent performances — 48th in the long distance and 14th in the B final of the middle distance. Oliver Mitchell also ran well in the middle distance B final to finish 35th, while Keely’s relay leg today shows his potential for next years JWOC in Italy.

Womens Relay      

1st  Sweden            139:52
2nd Denmark         141:12
3rd Norway            148:20

27th Australia          199:21
1. Rachel Effeney       62:17
2. Krystal Neumann   68:13
3. Belinda Lawford     68:51

30th Australia      212:45
1. Laurina Neumann   82:13
2. Bridget Anderson   60:08
3. Aislinn Prendergast  70:24
Mens Relay

1st  Sweden           148:36
2nd  Russia            153:41
3rd  Norway         153:58

34th Australia      204:29
1. Leon Keely            55:44
2. Oliver Mitchell       75:03
3. Nick Andrewartha  73:42

40th Australia      216:37
1. Oscar Phillips         67:03
2. Lachlan Dow         84:57
3: Geoff Stacey           64:37