SSW – Vikings Light on Quantity, High on Quality

While the Victorian Vikings may have been light on Quantity at the Sydney Sprint weekend, they made up for it by showing what Qualities are in the squad.

The 1st Race was at the University of Sydney, and with Aston Key not being available for this round of NOL events, all eyes were on who would fill the top spot in M21E. That went to Pat Jaffe, with a close 8 sec victory over Alastair George, with Brodie Nankervis in 3rd place. Bruce and Mason Arthur in 12th and 16th made up the rest of the Vikings team. In W21E, Tara Melhuish had a 1 sec win over Caitlyn Young, with Natasha Key being the 1st Viking in 5th place.

But some of the runs of the day were going to come from our Junior Vikings. Callum White has showed us over the years that he has the ability, and he proved that to us by having his 1st NOL victory with a comfortable 23 sec win over Sam Woolford, with Cooper Horley in 3rd. Not to be outdone, team mate Milla Key also showed us her class, with an easy 2nd place behind the very fast Nea Shingler, whose team mate Eszter Kocsik took 3rd place

The next race of the day was the Sprint Relay at University of NSW. There were only 4 Junior Vikings available, and the selectors decided to keep them as a team, even though 2 of them were good enough to make the Senior Team. Milla Key got the team of to a good start with 5th, Callum White went through a few teams to bring the Vikings into 2nd place after 2 legs, then Lucas Kent, having his 1st race for the Vikings, ran a good steady race to hand over to Sophie Taverna in 6th place, before Sophie cleaned up a couple of teams, and bought the Vikings home for the 3rd spot on the Podium.

In the Senior Relay, the team was Natasha Key, Mason Arthur, Pat Jaffe and Melanie Kent. With a couple of new members in the team, the Vikings weren’t looking to be in the top few places, but just wanted good clean runs from all concerned, which did happen. Our thanks go out to Mason and Melanie for stepping up, because without them, we have no team.

The Knock Out Sprint started Sunday morning at St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown, with the qualifying race.  All the Vikings that we expected to get through to the round of 36 made it without any surprises. Bruce Arthur, with Melanie and Lucas Kent, were eliminated in the next round, and didn’t go through to the last 18.

We now shifted to Western Sydney University, Campbelltown for the Semi Final and Final. With all the Women Vikings drawn in the same Heat, there was always going to be one missing out. With Milla Key out kicking her mum, Natasha for the win, this left Sophie Taverna in 4th place and out of the KO Sprint for this year. In a very tight race in the men’s Semi, Cooper Horley put an end to Callum White’s ambition, relegating him back to 3rd place, only 1 sec behind, but out of the competition. Mason was also eliminated in the Semi’s with a gallant 5th place.

Now onto the Final. This was Milla Key’s race. After sitting comfortably in the pack of 6, she grabbed the chance to go to the lead with a couple of controls to go, and held on for a very well deserved 1st place. Her mum, try as she could, couldn’t run her down, and had to settle for 3rd place behind Tara Melhuish.

In the Mens Field, Pat Jaffe had been winning everything he ran in this weekend, but there was 1 race to go, and some of the best Orienteers to contend with. As the race went through the Spectator Point, all of the 6 remained together. But a hesitation by Pat in the later part, dropped him back a bit, and he couldn’t make up the lost places, leaving Euan Shingler to take top spot, with Angus Haines in 2nd and Pat back in 3rd, only 6 secs behind, but ruing the one that got away.

Some great photos can be found HERE on Facebook.

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