Cranes do the double on first weekend of Australian Championships carnival

Matt and Grace Crane both did the double on the first weekend of the Australian Championships carnival in Tasmania, following up wins in the Australian Middle Distance Championships on Saturday with second victories in the Tasmanian Long Distance Championships on Sunday..

Anna Sheldon, Grace Crane and Tracey Marsh

Anna Sheldon, Grace Crane and Tracey Marsh

Grace was especially dominant in the women’s competition. She celebrated her return to home ground with a massive six-minute margin in the Middle Distance Championships, getting through a technical course without major mistakes on a day when almost everyone else was making plenty, and turning the margin from large to overwhelming on a long leg late in the course. Anna Sheldon had her best result for the year with second, with Tracy Marsh in third. Grace then had an even bigger win the next day, with a 10-minute margin. This time Jasmine Neve was the closest challenger, while Marsh completed a pair of third places.

Matt did not have as much to spare in M21E but still completed a pair of wins. In the Middle Distance he recovered from early time losses, but it took until the long leg late in the course for him to take a decisive advantage over Max Neve. Neve, a first-year senior previously little-sighted this year, had his best result at senior level, and was joined in the places by another first-year senior, Lachlan Dow. On Sunday, Matt opened up a lead early on and held it all the way, although Rob Walter was always in touch and added another good long distance result to his Victorian Championships win the previous weekend. Another experienced long distance specialist, Rob Preston, was third.

Heather Muir and Todd Neve took out the junior titles at the Middle Distance Championships. Oliver Poland, who had been running seniors the previous day, returned to the junior ranks to win on Sunday, whilst Lilian Burrill had a solid win over the longer distance.

The major developments in the Silva National Orienteering League were in the women’s competition. The Victorian Nuggets cut the lead of the Queensland Cyclones from nine points to three, while Grace Crane kept her chances of overhauling Rachel Effeney alive, although she will still need at least a win and a second from the remaining two races.

Competition continues with the Australian Schools Championships tomorrow.

Direct links to results for the Carnival to date are:
Aust Middle Distance Champs results: