Queensland have taken a clear lead after the first day of the Australian Schools Championships. On home ground, they went close to sweeping the team results in the four classes, only dropping a point to the ACT in the junior boys. They lead by 8 points over the ACT in the state competition. Their only real opposition came from New Zealand, who are two points ahead of them in the Southern Cross Junior Challenge.
New Zealand took three of the four individual races. Scott McDonald led the way by winning the senior boys’ division, just over a minute ahead of the two leading Australians, Josh Blatchford (NSW) and Lachlan Dow (ACT), who were separated by a single second. Kate Morrison took the senior girls’ class by a minute from Krystal Neumann (Qld); pre-race favourite Belinda Lawford (ACT) was only 21 seconds behind at the spectator control, but lost seven minutes at 11 and had to settle for fifth. Rachel Goodwin (NZ) completed the placings.
The third win for the Kiwis came in the junior girls’. Selena Metherell opened up a big lead halfway through the course, and while she surrendered some of it on the final loop, she still had 46 seconds in hand over her nearest rival, Mary Fleming (Vic). Fleming’s results continued her good form from the weekend, as did the third place of Morgan McIntyre (Qld). Kurt Neumann, who went into the junior boys’ race as a red-hot favourite, was the only local winner. His nearest rival, 59 seconds behind, was not Ian Lawford (ACT) or Todd Neve (Vic) as expected, but Lawford’s ACT team-mate Oliver Poland. Lawford completed the placings, with the first control proving crucial.
Schools points: Qld 27, ACT 19, NSW 18, Tas 17, Vic 15, WA 7, SA 6.
Southern Cross Junior Challenge: NZ 30, Qld 28, ACT 20, NSW 18, Tas 17, Vic 15, WA 7, SA 6.