Tasmania are the narrow leaders after the first day of the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships, the inaugural Schools sprint run at Federation University in Ballarat. They lead by one point from the ACT, with six of the seven states within six points of each other after a well-contested first day.
The most convincing win of the day came from Aston Key in the junior boys. He has been in imposing form in the forest, with a top-ten placing at the Swedish 5-Days and a third in M20 in the ultra-long in August among his highlights, and he showed today that he is as far ahead of the field in the sprint. The rest of the field was more than a minute back, with Dante Afnan (SA) edging out Duncan Currie (NSW) for second by a single second.
Jo-Anna Maynard was almost as impressive in the senior girls, giving the largest WA team in memory plenty to cheer about. Up against a strong field including three with JWOC experience, she made a very fast start and caught Winnie Oakhill by mid-course, sweeping to victory by nearly half a minute. Danielle Goodall was second, with Oakhill finishing off well enough to complete the placings.
New Zealand swept the board in the junior girls, with last starter Jenna Tidswell leading a quadrella which also included Carolyne Nel, Marisol Hunter and Briana Steven. Meredith Norman was the best of the Australians on a good day for South Australia. New Zealand also took out the senior boys in the closest result of the day, with Patrick Jaffe falling just short of edging out Tommy Hayes. Ed Cory-Wright, after an uncertain start, recovered to third place.
Provisional points after day 1:
State: Tasmania 20, ACT 19, Queensland 17, SA 16, Victoria 15, NSW 14, WA 11.
Southern Cross Junior Challenge: NZ 31, Tasmania 20, ACT 20, Queensland 17, SA 16, Victoria 15, NSW 14, WA 11.
Results from the event are available.