The Australian sprint championships were held today in the hallowed grounds of Canberra Grammar School. Although this was the first time an orienteering event was held there, the school has produced many fine orienteers including current Orienteering President, Blair Trewin.
A large contingent of New Zealanders were present and two of their very best in Lizzie Ingham & Tim Robertson took out victory in the elites. Although based in Canberra for the last year, Lizzie, who placed a fine 12th in this year’s WOC sprint, certainly hadn’t been on the grounds of Grammar before. Despite just resuming from an injury induced spell Lizzie navigated superbly to take the win from Rachel Effeney (QLD) and Hanny Allston (TAS). It was pleasing to see Rachel gracing the podium again as she has been unable to race much this year due to work commitments. Hanny is well and truly back on the orienteering scene, after a 4 year hiatus, and is improving with every race.
Tim Robertson is a truly classy sprint competitor, with a bronze medal from the Junior Worlds this year amongst his credits. Thus it was no surprise to see him take the victory today, but it was only a narrow 6 second margin to Matt Crane (ACT), with Simon Uppill (SA) a further 30 seconds back. With fields of 40 in the women’s elite and 49 in the men’s there was definitely plenty of competition.
History was made in the junior elite classes when Western Australian athletes won both. Oscar McNulty (M20) displayed his liking for speed with a 39 second win over Olle Poland (ACT), with Kiwi Nick Smith third. It should be noted that both the senior and junior elites had exactly the same courses, and Oscar’s time would have placed him 4th in the senior race. Oscar’s younger brother Henry also did well in placing 6th. Markéta Novotná (WA) had a narrow 5 second victory over the ever consistent Queenslander Heather Muir, with another Kiwi, Vida Fox in third.
Senior Elites Junior Elites
15.04 Tim Robertson 15.57 Oscar McNulty
15.10 Matt Crane 16.36 Olle Poland
15.45 Simon Uppill 16.51 Nick Smith
15.16 Lizzie Ingham 18.33 Marketa Novotna
16.07 Rachel Effeney 18.38 Heather Muir
16.12 Hanny Allston 18.46 Vida Fox
Video, by Graham Hammond, Find Your Feet
All results available on Eventor.