Simon Uppill and Kathryn Ewels took out the open titles in the Australian Middle Distance Championships, run yesterday in wet conditions in the complex goldmining terrain of Chewton Diggings.
For Uppill it was a second successive national middle distance title. He was pressed harder this year than last year; while he led for most of the race, Danish visitor Rune Olsen finished fast and closed the margin to just 11 seconds. In a slightly unexpected result, Bruce Arthur completed the placings, posting a good time early and seeing it withstand almost all challenges.
Ewels went in as clear favourite in the absence of Hanny Allston always looked like winning. She was close to a minute up by halfway and held that margin through to the end of the race. On a day as un-Darwin as they come, NT-based Susanne Casanova achieved a career-best result, recovering from a slowish start to come through to second with an excellent second half, while Mace Neve just held off Vanessa Round for third.
There was a victory for New Zealand in the junior women’s when Angela Simpson scored by 39 seconds in a fluctuating race where the top four all had chances. Belinda Lawford took the resident title ahead of Bridget Anderson. In the junior men’s, Max Neve started very well and overcame some wobbles in the middle to finish 54 seconds ahead. Josh Blatchford, who has been sidelined with injury for several weeks, made a successful return to finish second, just ahead of fellow JWOC team member Oscar Phillips.