Steer, Bourne sweep Australian Championships

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Lanita Steer and Jenny Bourne did the clean sweep of the three Australian Championships races last week. Steer, in W17-20E, was pushed hard in two of the three races, only winning the sprint and middle by narrow margins against Tara Melhuish and Zoe Dowling respectively, whilst Bourne was commanding throughout in W60A, winning all three races by margins of at least three minutes. Jenny Hawkins was the resident champion in all three W70A races, although New Zealand’s Patricia Aspin was ahead of her in the middle and long. (A number of others took three wins in classes where they were the only competitor in at least one event). Only a few others did the forest championships double, with Patrick Miller (M16A), Stephen Craig (M45A) and Mark Nemeth (M50A) the others to take out the long and middle.

In marked contrast to Steer’s effort, the other three elite classes all had three different winners. After Simon Uppill took the M21E sprint honours, the New Zealand duo of Matt Ogden and Nick Hann split the forest events, with Ogden prevailing in the long and Hann in the middle. Uppill was the resident champion in the long, and new Australian citizen Matt Crane in the middle. Jo Allison ran away with the W21E long distance, but was one of several major casualties of the first control in the middle distance, as Bridget Anderson held firm to win her first senior national title. In M17-20E, Patrick Jaffe turned the tables from last year against the New Zealanders in the long, but Tommy Hayes returned the favour in the middle.

The Orienteering Australia Shield was contested at the Long Championships, with New South Wales adding it to a long list of triumphs. They led with 62 points, with the other points being Queensland 46, ACT 43, Victoria 40, Tasmania 32, SA 13, WA 9.

Full results for the carnival are available on Eventor.