2012 Regional Schools Championships get underway with Riverina Region

Last Updated: Friday, 06 July 2012 15:44

Riverina Regional Schools ChampsForty-two students participated in the Riverina Region Schools Orienteering Championships conducted co-jointly by WaggaRoos, Orienteering NSW and the Department of Education and Training.  Expert coaches were on hand to provide preliminary instruction to participating students. Basic skills in map reading and navigating in the bush were explained by taking students on short map walk. This was followed by individual age-races and a relay.

Commencing from the Music Bowl courses utilised the tracks and bushy areas around the Botanic Gardens. Students had to find various depressions, exercise stations, watercourses and rock-faces. The area near the Music Bowl was sufficiently open to provide spectators with some good vision of participants approaching latter controls.  Given this was the first time most students had attempted orienteering, all did remarkably well.

The Boys and Girls 12-14 year age-group individual races were conducted over 2.5km that led students in a large loop towards Baden Powell Drive and back. The Boys section was hotly contested with just a couple of minutes separating the first five places. Stewart Braden from Wagga High was fastest in 30:45. Lachlan Billett, a primary school student from Uranquinty Public School, upstaged many of his secondary school competitor’s by just holding off William Standley (Wagga High) for second place.

The Girls 12-14 year age-race was considerably more sedate with most enjoying a leisurely stroll rather than racing seriously. Amy Cottee (TRAC) won by a considerable margin with Wagga High School sisters Monique and Jessica Canty filling the minor placings.

The 15+ year age group was contested over 3.0 km that involved 15 controls and included a tough climb to the top of the ridge. The Boys race was again a fiercely contested affair between Derek Boyd (TRAC) and Jonothan Bewick (Wagga High). Derek eventually prevailed by a mere Riverina Schools Regional Champs46 seconds. Sam Dunnett (TRAC) finished third about 5 minutes off the pace.

The Girls 15+ age-race was a trifecta for Wagga High . Bethany Miller finished first, Ellie Heydon, second and Penny MacIntosh a creditable third.

The relay race was conducted by teams of three over 1km legs. A mass start created a flurry of activity and most played follow the leader until one of the group realised the leader was going the wrong way. The Wagga High team of Adam White, Kieran Gregory and Jonothan Bewick sorted themselves out of the melee quickest and won the day. 

Results. Riverina Region Schools orienteering Championships. M12-14. Stewart Braden (Wagga High) 3045; Lachlan Billett (Uranquinty Public) 31:33; William Standley (WH) 31:47. Girls 12-14. Amy Cottee (TRAC) 70:05; Monique Canty (WH) 87:32; Jessica Canty (WH) 88:27. Boys 15+. Derek Boyd (TRAC) 40:23; Jonothan Bewick (WH)41:09; Sam Dunnett (TRAC) 46:21. Girls 15+. Bethany Miller (WH) 87:09; Ellie Heydon (WH) 88:10; Penny MacIntosh (WH) 90:17. Relay. Wagga High (Adam White, Kieran Gregory, Jonothan Bewick).

The next WaggaRoos event will be at Livingstone Forest at 10am on Sunday 20 May.

Thanks to John Oliver for this report and Helen Jessup for the photographs