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Close tussles in NOL as Matariki draws near
By Malcolm Ingham - Sun 12 Jun 2022 3:37pm

Following 3 days of Queen’s Birthday it is unfortunately apparent that the outcomes of the 21E classes in the National Orienteering League, with 8 out of 13 races to count, are likely to be affected by the clash of the final round at Matariki Weekend with WOC in Denmark. Nevertheless there are some close races in the 20E classes which are likely to go down to the wire.

In M21E Gene Beveridge is the only one with 8 events counting to date and leads by about 150 points from Matt Ogden who currently has only 6 scores counting. With Gene scheduled to be in Denmark over the last round of races, Matt must be favoured should he turn up at Matariki. Third place is presently held by Ronan Lee, some 60 points behind Matt, but although Ronan has at least one relatively low score he could drop, it is unlikely that he can overtake the other two. Tane Cambridge, should he make the journey north, and Jonty Oram are two others who could shake up the minor placings. Top 6 placings are as follows, with the number of counting races in brackets.

1. Gene Beveridge 745.4 (8), 2. Matt Ogden 591.2 (6), 3. Ronan Lee 536.7 (7), 4. Zefa Fa’avae 524.4 (6), 5. Tane Cambridge 523.0 (7), 6. Jonty Oram 515.2 (7).

Imogene Scott, despite heading to WOC and missing Matariki, essentially has W21E sewn up. Imogene, with 8 counting scores, leads Lizzie Ingham by just over 50 points. Although Lizzie had 7 perfect scores from her 7 runs her absence at WOC, like Imogene’s, means she can not improve on her score. Indeed, Kaia Joergensen, currently in 3rd, could sneak into second place with at least one good run in the final round, the same being true for JWOC coach Briana Steven sitting in 4th.

1. Imogene Scott 757.3 (8), 2. Lizzie Ingham 700.0 (7), 3. Kaia Joergensen 618.2 (7), 4. Briana Steven 589.8 (7), 5. Tessa Ramsden 510.1 (7), 6. Amelia Horne 506.5 (6).

Things are a much less clear in the 20E classes. In M20E only 80 points covers the top 3, Zefa Fa’avae, Ryan Moore and Fergus O’Neill, who all have 8 counting scores. Of these three Zefa, with 5 victories will be difficult, if not impossible for the other two to catch once they start discarding their lowest scores. The biggest threat to Zefa, however, may come from Felix Hunt who sits in 4th place, with 4 wins to his name, but only 7 scores to date. The overall result may therefore come down to a head-to-head between Zefa and Felix over the last round.

1. Zefa Fa’avae 789.8 (8), 2. Ryan Moore 744.7 (8), 3. Fergus O’Neill 708.4 (8), 4. Felix Hunt 664.9 (7), 5. Cameron Bonar 614.0 (7). 6. Nathan Borton 609.5 (8).

It is similarly close in W20E where Zara Stewart leads Katherine Babington by less than 10 points. Worryingly for these two, Rachel Baker is only 50-60 points back with only 7 counting scores, and should she turn up at Matariki must surely be the favourite.

1. Zara Stewart 745.3 (8), 2. Katherine Babington 735.6 (8), 3. Rachel Baker 686.2 (7)664.5, 4. Molly McGowan 664.5 (8), 5. Sylvie Frater 616.3 (8), 6. Anya Murray 612.4 (8).

Full points tables can be found at https://www.orienteering.org.nz/national-orienteering-league/

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