Sprint Into Spring Race 4 RMIT Bundoora – The Wrap

Mo Men Aston Key Steven O'Connell Brody McCarthy
Mo Women Natasha Key Linnea Karjalainen Helen Walpole
Sally Men Callum White Rodney Phillips Wayne Love
Sally Women Sophie Taverna Amber Louw Sarah Love
Usain Men Dale Taverna Evan Gavens Louis Shepard
Usain Women Frankie Shepard Samantha Love Paula Davey

All the jersey points after week 4

Click here for all the action photos from the race!

Race Wrap

After our mid series break, Sprint Into Spring was back with a vengeance.  We chose a new arena at RMIT Bundoora, allowing us to start in the middle of the campus – which meant course planner Mason was able to throw us straight into the most complex part.  In spite of his youth, Mason is a seasoned sprinter who knows every trick in the book, and he certainly kept everyone guessing today with some really clever legs.

We began with a blind start, picking up our maps after we’d run around two building corners and got ourselves nicely disoriented.  First controls had several route choices, and set the tone.  The sprint leg came early on the Mo and Sally courses, and with a snap “left or right” decision to be made, there wasn’t much time for the green jersey contenders time to get prepped.  There were some mid race running legs on Mo (which came near the end on Sally), before a final burst of short sharp stuff and into the finish.  Looks like the legs from 10-11, and 12-13, caught out a lot of the Mo runners.

Well, what a sensational race by our Mo Men! Just like the Melbourne Cup, a British invader was first past the post, but unlike the Cup, the Aussies grabbed second and third, with Patrick only one second behind Nathan, and Aston less than a minute behind.  Strong performances from Joe and Peter saw them with top-five finishes, all in under 17 minutes.  While Nathan was in third for the first third of the race, then second through the middle, he grabbed the lead at control 14 and never let go from there. At control 8, only 4 seconds separated the top three, but Aston was unable to recover from a small error on the next leg, leaving Nathan and Patrick to duke it out over the closing stages.  Aston took the Sprint leg, while Gary shared second with Scott; Steven’s mispunch means that he and Gary are on equal points in the Green Jersey comp.  Brody scored his third win in the Polkadot Jersey and is looking unbeatable at this stage.

The Mo Womens result was never in doubt, with Tash winning by almost four minutes from Aislinn. Ilka made her first appearance this season for a strong third. Tash dominated all three jersey legs, and is leading all three on points, but as she can only hold Yellow, the Green jersey goes to Linnea, while Helen’s great hillclimb performances see her wearing the Polkadot.

On Sally, Callum returned to the winner’s circle with a sizzling race, only losing his lead momentarily to second placed Gavin. Third placed Tim had a slowish start and a bit of a wobble at no 4, but stayed consistent for the rest of the race (he wasn’t alone there, with leg 3-4 showing up “pink” in Winsplits for almost half the Sally Men). Callum remains unchallenged for the Yellow Jersey.  He shared the fastest time on the sprint leg with Wayne, and now leads the Green Jersey comp on points, but Rod still gets to keep the jersey, with Wayne moving up to within half a point. Eric took out the Hillclimb from young James, but Wayne also gained enough points to give him the Polkadot.

Heather was finally able to repeat her week 1 win on what has become a real battle, on Sally Women. Sophie and Sarah D slugged it out for second and third, and only 27 seconds separated the top three. While Heather had a slow start, Sophie had some bother with leg three – but it really was neck and neck between the top three right throughout.  Sophie still has the Yellow Jersey but it will be really close when Heather drops her lowest score. Amber followed up her two shared firsts on the sprint leg with an outright win, and now has a handy lead in the Green Jersey comp, while Sarah L consolidated her Polkadot Jersey position with another win on the hillclimb.

Great to see a big turnout on our Usain course, with not a single DNF amongst all our newcomers – well done! It’s amazing to see what our younger competitors are capable of managing, and each season unearths some future stars (Jim, we are not talking about you!)  Dale claimed his second consecutive win, but Louis has improved each week, and this week took second. Matthew completed his first race for the series, and was a strong third.  The sprint leg (13-14) proved trickiest – but then a lot of us on Sally and Mo got this wrong too.  Evan won the leg, and looks good to add a Green Jersey to last year’s Polkadot.  Louis has been excelling on the hillclimb, and was second this week to claim the Jersey.

It was a close race amongst the Usain Women, with less than two minutes separating our top three of Maya, Frankie and Issy. Sammy and Hannah also ran very strongly for fourth and fifth. Issy, Sammy and Hannah shared the early lead, but an error by Issy on the tricky leg 5 was costly, while Frankie took a while to get into the course, but was very consistent over the second half.  These girls are doing brilliantly; most of them are very new to orienteering, but learning fast!  Frankie retains her Yellow Jersey.  Mia won the sprint leg, but it wasn’t enough to take the Green Jersey away from Sammy.  Issy won the hillclimb, but the Polkadot goes to Paula, as points leaders Frankie and Sammy already hold the other jerseys.

Hold onto your hats for next week!  It’s a brand new map of Penola College in Broadmeadows, drawn by Geoff Adams, with courses planned by Green Jersey specialist Claire.  It’s sure to be memorable.  And don’t forget to book your accommodation and get your entry in for the Ballarat Sprint Weekend, a feast of orienteering on November 24 and 25.  Saturday features the final two Sprint Into Spring races at Federation Uni Mt Helen, while Sunday is the Vic Champs at the mind-boggling School of Mines.  Click here for all the info you need!


Results, Splits, Maps and Photos

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