National Orienteering League
Sprint Sydney Weekend March 7th and 8th
The Queensland Cyclones (Yasi) were successful in the Sprint Relay held at Sydney University. The two favored teams were the Canberra Cockatoos (Gang Gangs) team of Jo Allison, Ian Lawford, Lachlan Dow and Lizzie Ingham and the Cyclone Yasi team of Rachel Effeney, Mark Gregson, Tim Effeney and Anna Sheldon.
Rachel Effeney was the fastest on leg 1 (11:07) to be 1:08 in front of Victorian Nuggets team (Aislinn Prendergast) and Gang Gangs in 3rd 5 seconds further back. Mark Gregson had a very good run on Leg 2 to maintain a strong lead (39 seconds) from Ian Lawford, who moved the Gang Gangs into second place. Unfortunately for the Gang Gangs Lachlan Dow missed three controls and this meant that the Cyclone Yasi team (Tim Effeney) were still in the lead after the 3rd leg by over a minute. The NSW Stingers after a strong 3rd leg from Alex Massey were 2 seconds in front of the Victorian Nuggets. On leg 4 Anna Sheldon ran well enough for Cyclone Yasi team to maintain a comfortable lead. Catherine Murphy ran very strongly on the 4th leg for the NSW Stingers and after a small error from Laurina Neumann before the spectator control was a comfortable second place with the Victorian Nuggets finishing in third place.
The Sprint Qualification was held on a new map next to Botany Bay and featured a small area of sand dunes as well as some open parkland with many man made features. The courses started in the sand dunes so there was a need to slow down and pick up the small details. Each NOL class had two heats with the 5 fastest from each heat qualifying for the A final on Sunday morning.
The M21E heat A was very close with only 24 seconds between 1st and 5th. The winner was Max Neve in 12:40. Other qualifiers were Brodie Nankervis, Bryan Keely, Oscar McNulty and Andrew Barratt. Simon Uppill who would have been a favourite to make the A final missed out on qualifying by 14 seconds. In Heat B Lachlan Dow was the winner in 13:26, other qualifiers were Ian Lawford, Matt Crane, Matt Parton and Mark Gregson.
In W21E the two favorites Rachel Effeney and Lizzie Ingham both missed a control in the sand dunes and so were out of Sundays A final. The winner of Heat A was Krystal Neumann (14:50). Other qualifiers were Heather Muir, Belinda Lawford, Lisa Grant and Tracey Marsh. The winner of Heat B was Jo Allison (14:50). Other qualifiers were Laurina Neumann, Malin Anderson, Aislinn Prendergast and Michele Dawson.
In the M20E class Matt Doyle was a clear winner in Heat A in 13:14. Other qualifiers were Toby Wilson, Stephen Melhuish, Aidan Dawson and Will Kennedy. In Heat B the winner in a much slower time was Ashley Nankervis (15:30) with other qualifiers being Daniel Hill, Jarrah Day, Oliver Mill and Nicholas Collins.
In W20E there were only 8 starters so all runners made the final. The winners of the Heats were Nicola Blatchford and Olivia Sprod.
The NOL Sprint Final was held at the University of New South Wales. A new map which provided the athletes with a very intensive sprint course on the complex campus. A real test of urban sprint orienteering technique. The A finals were held consecutively so all the orienteers who had earlier competed in the NSW Sprint Championships could spectate each of the finals. The first final was the W20E and this resulted in a close victory to Nicola Blatchford (NSW Stinger) from Tara Melhuish 7 seconds back in second place with Alison Burrill in third place.
The M20E was expected to be a win for Matt Doyle but Aidan Dawson set a clear best time of 17:03 and with Matt being the last starter we were expecting a close challenge. However, at the radio control it was clear that Aidan’s time was going to be good enough for him to take the win. Matt was second in 17:49 with Stephen Melhuish in 3rd place. Aidan was the early leader in the race but Will Kennedy had a very fast middle section and was in the led until he lost nearly 2 minutes on control 15. This enabled Aidan to regain the lead and he ran strongly for the rest of the course.
In the W21E A final the interest was not only in who would be the winner but whether anyone in the A final could get close to the time set in the B final by Lizzie Ingham (14:16) and Rachel Effeney (14:20). Krystal Neumann was in the lead for the whole course and was the winner in a time of 15:20, second was Malin Anderson and third was Jo Allison.
The M21E A final was a close race, only one minute separating the top 7 runners. Oscar McNulty started fast and continued with good speed for the whole course to be the leader for all but one control in a time of 15:42. Ian Lawford had a slow start but finished strongly to run a close second- 10 seconds down on Oscar. Matt Crane was third. Simon Uppill who just missed qualifying had the fifth fastest time on the course.
Relay results available*
NOTE: Relay Leg 1 times are out by one minute. One minute needs to be added to all Leg 1 times.
Qualification and Final results: Eventor
Photos courtesy: Tony Hill
*website no longer available