Victoria have won their first Australian Schools Championships since 2004, with New Zealand once again winning the Southern Cross Junior Challenge.
Victoria secured their result with consistent results across the four grades, both in the individual and relay, which ended up giving them a six-point lead over Tasmania. They were led by Lanita and Asha Steer, who won the senior and junior girls’ events respectively, coming in late in the day to overhaul early leaders Alice Tilley (NZ) and Winnie Oakhill (Queensland) respectively.
New Zealand’s Southern Cross Junior Challenge win was also down to consistency. Compared with previous years they were short of superstar performers, but performed well across the age groups and won three of the four relays (only a mispunch prevented a clean sweep). Their one indivdual win was an expected one, JWOC bronze medallist Tim Robertson having nearly five minutes in hand over his team-mate Shamus Morrison in the senior boys.
The closest race of the day was in the junior boys, where Simeon Burrill (Queensland) posted an outstanding time early on, and just held off M16 Australian champion Patrick Jaffe (Victoria) by 13 seconds in a somewhat unexpected result.
Final state placings: Victoria 1st, Tasmania 2nd, Queensland 3rd, ACT 4th, NSW 5th, SA 6th, WA 7th.
Results from the events are available at the carnival website*.
The Australian Schools Honour Team was also named at the presentation on Wednesday night:
Junior boys: Ewan Barnett (ACT), Simeon Burrill (Qld), Riley de Jong (Qld), Patrick Jaffe (Vic)
Junior girls: Zoe Dowling (Tas), Tara Melhuish (ACT), Winnie Oakhill (Qld), Asha Steer (Vic)
Senior boys: Aidan Dawson (NSW), Matt Doyle (Vic), Cameron Duncan (WA), Ashley Nankervis (Tas)
Senior girls: Nicola Blatchford (NSW), Anna Dowling (Tas), Olivia Sprod (SA), Lanita Steer (Vic)
*no longer available