Orienteering NSW provided three outstanding events over the “Coalfield’s Classic” weekend at Newcastle that were appreciated by elite and age groupers alike. Initially there was a sprint in the complex Newcastle university campus, then a middle distance event with numerous short legs on the re-mapped Pelaw Main area, and finally the long at Astley’sTower.
Best NOL performer was Canberra Cockatoo Matt Crane who took out the trifecta in elite men. SA’s Simon Uppill took out second places in both the sprint and middle, while Bendigo’s Bryan Keely impressed with a strong 3rd in the 18 kilometre long behind Crane and NZ’er James Bradshaw.
Cockatoo Ollie Poland won both the sprint and middle but Tassie’s Brodie Nankervis defeated Ollie narrowly in the 14km junior elite long course. NSW’s Alex Massey took third in the sprint while Oscar McNulty (WA) was very consistent in the bush events with 2nd in the middle and 3rd in the long. Ashley Nankervis won a close battle for third in the middle.
Vanessa Round (SA) had a dominant run in winning the 11.6km women’s long in her last Australian race for the forseeable future, as she leaves to live in Switzerland next week. Her 87 minute run was seven minutes better than 2nd place Aislinn Prendergast but then Lizzie Ingham, Grace Crane, Rachel Effeney and Jasmine Neve were all grouped together within ninety seconds. Rachel Effeney (Qld) again emerged as the sprint champ with Grace Crane over a minute in arrears. New Zealander Lizzie Ingham, had a narrow win over Vanessa Round in the middle.
Lillian Burrill won a close sprint by three seconds from fellow Queenslander Heather Muir in the junior women. However Heather Muir and NSW’s Michele Dawson were one-two in both the middle and long with Lillian third in those.
Overall there were many excellent runs and pleasing depth in the open elite fields, while the juniors generally had exciting competitions and handled the ultra long courses really well.
Maps and courses are available on Route Gadjet at the NSWOA site.
Selectors will determine the World Championship team, which will compete in Switzerland in July, over the coming week. They also will finalise the events to be run by the World University team.
Meanwhile Julian Dent and Ian Lawford are competing in the European Championshipsduring the next week. In the middle qualifying Julian was 24th (out of 42) with his time of 28.20 compared to the winner’s 25.22 being a minute short of qualifying for the final. JWOC team member Ian Lawford, running “up” in the elites was 35th in his heat in a time of 31.33.