Nationals co-hosts fight for relay title

Monday 13 April 2009, 8:44PM
By Auckland Orienteering Club

THE two Auckland clubs that hosted this weekend’s New Zealand Orienteering Championships – Northwest and Auckland – ended up fighting out today’s club relay contest that wrapped up the nationals.

Northwest, with junior star Thomas Reynolds teaming up with former NZ reps Marquita Gelderman and Mark Lawson, took the win….

But only after a long battle with Auckland – with the Christchurch-based Peninsula & Plains club and Auckland’s Counties Manukau also in contention early on.

Lawson, who has anchored Northwest to three relay titles, was still chasing Auckland late in the race, until an error by his rival.

The Aucklanders, Imogene Scott and junior world championship reps Simon Jager and Toby Scott, ended up almost 10 minutes slower than Northwest’s 1h23m30s winning time.

The Peninsula & Plains team, comprising new long-distance champion Carsten Joergensen, Georgia Whitla and Alistair Cory-Wright, were third, in 1h34m59s.

The NZ Orienteering Federation selectors have chosen Tania Robinson (Auckland) – a double title-winner in these championships – and Wellington rising star Lizzie Ingham as its women reps at the World Games 2009.

Robinson, at 36 making a remarkable comeback from an injury-enforced retirement, notched up two national titles over the three-day nationals, while 20-year-old Ingham won Good Friday’s sprint championship.

Joining them in the team to the July Games in Chinese Taipei are Europe-based Kiwi Ross Morrison and Darren Ashmore, who returned to top form with victory in the middle-distance race and second place in yesterday’s long-distance race.

Morrison, rated one of NZ’s top two, along with Chris Forne (also currently based in Europe), raced in the prestigious JK 2009 event in the UK over the weekend – winning the sprint race. He backed up with a seventh and 18th on the next two days of the contest.

Results: NZ Orienteering Championships, club relays – Woodhill Forest. Northwest (Mark Lawson, Thomas Reynolds, Marquita Gelderman) 1h23m30s, 1; Auckland (Simon Jager, Toby Scott, Imogene Scott) 1h33m17s, 2; Peninsula & Plains (Carsten Joergensen, Alistair Cory-Wright, Georgia Whitla) 1h34m59s, 3.

For more information on the NZ Orienteering Championships, call…

NZ Orienteering Federation marketing & promotions officer – Mick Finn Ph 021 1868 933
Auckland Orienteering Club publicist Wayne Munro – Ph 021 955 099