A promising start to 2022 with the successful not-Oceania Championships (reported below) has, perhaps predictably, descended into uncertainty with the outbreak of the omicron variant of Covid leading to cancellation of both the Super City Sprints and the Northern Champs. However, there are some positive signs both in terms of planning ahead – notably a rearrangement of the National Sprint League – and in performances by individual orienteers in a variety of spheres. We also need to look ahead to where and what we may be doing on the international scene later in the year.
Notwithstanding the absence of the Australians and a late change to the sprint venue, the not-Oceania Champs proved a roaring success. After two warm-up events in Christchurch the field assembled on a warm Monday evening in Rangiora for the sprint around Rangiora High School. With the 2022 sprint-WOC in prospect, the 21 and 20 elite fields were combined for this WRE. In the men’s race once again Joseph Lynch demonstrated his current domestic superiority in this format with victory in 12:57. Making a welcome return to top level competition Gene Beveridge took second place 45 seconds behind Joseph, with Matt Ogden a further 20 seconds back in 3rd. Three of the next four places were filled by juniors Ryan Moore, Felix Hunt and Fergus O’Neill. The juniors wer also prominent in W21/20E where, although Lizzie Ingham continued her dominance, Penelope Salmon, Zara Stewart and Kaia Joergensen all finished in the top six. Penelope was 34 seconds behind Lizzie’s time of 13:47, 14 seconds ahead of Imogene Scott.
M21/20E: 1. Joseph Lynch (PP) 12;18, 2. Gene Beveridge (NW) 13:42, 3. Matt Ogden (NL) 14:02, 4. Ryan Moore (PP)14:30, 5. Felix Hunt (PP) 15:34, 6=. Daniel Monckton (NW) 15:47, 6=. Fergus O’Neill (PP) 15:47.
W21/20E: 1. Lizzie Ingham (TK) 13:47, 2. Penelope Salmon (AK) 14:21, 3. Imogene Scott (AK) 14:35, 4=. Amber Riddle (DN) 15:26, 4=. Zara Stewart (AK) 15:26, 6. Kaia Joergensen (PP) 15:35.
or Tuesday’s long distance at Mount Ellen in North Canterbury the ONZ logo of “Find your adventure” was never more appropriate – and that was just the walk to the start! The courses proved to be a torrid affair in steep, close forest in temperatures of around 30 degrees, culminating a tough uphill climb to the farmland finish. In M21E Matt literally ran away from the field to win by nearly 15 minutes from a bloodied Joseph. Chris Forne took 3rd with these 3 and Gene the only ones under 2 hours. With Imogene dropping 6 minutes in the first two controls, Lizzie led from start to finish and had a final winning margin of 6:42 in W21E. In the small field Briana Steven ran a solid race for 3rd. Again, these 3 were the only ones under 2 hours. In comparison, M20E proved to be a relatively tight competition with the first three from the 2021 ONZ Champs long distance – Zefa Fa’avae, Ryan and Fergus – again finishing in that order. With several pulling out in the hot conditions there was then a big gap back to the remainder of the field. Penelope and Zara took first and second in W20E with 3rd place going to an excellent run by Katherine Babington.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden 1:40:59, 2. Joseph Lynch 1:54:55, 3. Chris Forne (PP) 1:57:55, 4. Gene Beveridge 1:58:40, 5. Matt Scott (PP) 2:09:14, 6. Greig Hamilton (PP) 2:16:05.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham 1:40:01, 2. Imogene Scott 1:46:43, 3. Briana Steven (PP) 1:52:28, 4. Sara Prince (PP) 2:06:36, 5. Amber Riddle 2:14:00, 6. Tessa Ramsden (RK) 2:27:02.
M20E: 1. Zefa Fa’avae (NL) 1:39:49, 2. Ryan Moore 1:44:43, 3. Fergus O’Neill 1:50:17, 4. Ollie Bixley (DN) 2:26:54, 5. Oliver Edwards (HV) 2:40:18, 6. Callum Wishart (AK) 2:58:16.
W20E: 1. Penelope Salmon 1:43:22, 2. Zara Stewart 1:51:23, 3. Katherine Babington (PP) 1:53:48, 4. Emily Hayes (AK) 2:10:10, 5. Molly McGowan (AK) 2:13:46, 6. Anya Murray (NL) 2:15:49.
Zara came closed (by 37 seconds), while Molly McGowan had her best placing yet at this level, pipping Penelope for 2nd by 3 seconds.
M21E: 1. Joseph Lynch 38:50, 2. Matt Ogden 39:16, 3. Gene Beveridge 41:50, 4. Cameron de L’isle (NW) 43:17, 5. Chris Forne 43:48, 6. Ronan Lee (HB) 45:57.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham 46:20, 2. Kaia Joergensen 54:11, 3. Imogene Scott 58:22, 4. Briana Steven 58:27, 5. Lara Scott (PP) 1:05:32, 6. Heide Stolberger (NW) 1:10:56.
M20E: 1. Felix Hunt 47:20, 2. Zefa Za’avae 51:06, 3. Nathan Borton (AK) 55:43, 4. Ryan Moore 58:01, 5. Riley Croxford (NL) 59:04, 6. Ollie Bixley 1:03:52.
W20E: 1. Zara Stewart 1:00:37, 2. Molly Mcgowan 1:04:43, 3. Penelope Salmon 1:04:46, 4. Anya Murray 1:07:40, 5. Katherine Babington 1:08:39, 6. Juliet Frater (AK) 1:12:49.
The final individual race of not-Oceania was the middle distance on a re-map of the limestone terrain at Flock Hill. The complexity of the rock caused immense problems for many and winning times were generally longer than the recommended 35 minutes. Nevertheless, in the 21E classes Joseph, Matt, Gene, Lizzie and Imogene again all figured in the top 3, with Kaia Joergensen taking 2nd in W21E. In M20E Feliz got one over Zefa with a win by nearly 3 and a half minutes, Nathan Borton getting ahead of Ryan for 3rd. The junior women seemed to have the most trouble with no-one getting under the hour.
Following the three individual races the carnival moved on to an informal two-person relay, followed by two follow-up events put on by Dunedin OC.
National O League
The three races described above formed the first 3 in the 2022 National O League (as distinct from the National Sprint League – about which more below). With 100 points awarded to the winner of each race and others getting points proportional to this by time, the early leaders in M21E, W21E, M20E and W20E respectively are matt, Lizzie, Zefa and Penelope.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden 291.2, 2. Joseph Lynch 287.9, 3. Gene Beveridge 272.5, 4. Simon Jager 221.5, 5. Greig Hamilton 219.1, 6. Will Tidswell 217.9.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham 300.0, 2. Imogene Scott 267.6, 3. Amber Riddle 220.7, 4. Tessa Ramsden 209.8, 5. Heidi Stolberger 204.5, 6. Kaia Joergensen 174.0.
M20E: 1. Zefa Fa’avae 287.9, 2. Ryan Moore 272.5, 3. Fergus O’Neill 251.9, 4. Ollie Bixley 225.5, 5. Oliver Edwards 210.8, 6. Callum Wishart 190.2.
W20E: 1. Penelope Salmon 293.6, 2. Zara Stewart 285.8, 3. Katherine Babington 267.6, 4. Molly McGowan 254.0, 5. Anya Murray 249.2, 6. Anna Cory-Wright 220.5.
With the cancellation of the Northern Champs the next round of the NOL is planned to be in association with the JWOC Trials at the end of March.
Omicron: planning ahead – NSL and JWOC Trials
With omicron now in the community the shift to red level has meant the 100-person restriction on events has come in. Planning for the National Sprint League and JWOC trials has therefore had to be revisited. At the time of writing, the future of the ONZ Champs at Easter is uncertain, however the round of the NSL on 5/6 March and the JWOC trials on 26/27 March are still planned to go ahead, albeit with changes and subject to permissions being obtained. Although originally planned to include courses for other than the elites/triallists, these events will now be restricted to M/W20E and M/W21E.
Firstly, with the cancellation of Round 1 of the NSL at Super City Sprints/Northern Champs the March round of the NSL in Palmerston North will be expanded. There will now be an individual sprint in Palmerston North on the evening of Friday 4 March. The planned KO sprint will go ahead on Saturday 5 March, and on Sunday 6 March there will be two further individual sprints, probably in Levin. Full information will be given out very shortly with entries planned to open in mid-February. NSL team managers will be compiling teams shortly, and hopefully arranging group travel/accommodation. Those interested (I would hope, all M/W18s and above) might like to contact the relevant person in their region (Northern – Kieran Woods/Tommy Hayes; Central – Gene Beveridge/Imogene Scott; Southern – Jenni Adams/Carsten Joergensen).
Similarly, the JWOC trials/NOL round in the Wairarapa will be restricted to the elite classes with a middle distance on Saturday 26 March and a long distance on Sunday 27 March. Entry details for this will be announced in early March.
Selection notice – Oceania Elite Sprint Championships
As previously announced, if there are no travel restrictions between New Zealand and Australia, IOF have agreed that the Orienteering Australia sprint weekend on the Gold Coast on 23/24 April will constitute the Oceania Sprint Championships for the elite classes. Winners of the individual sprint on 23 April and the KO sprint on 24 April will gain personal places at WOC2022 in Denmark. Note that the winner of each gets a personal place in BOTH the WOC sprint and KO sprint.
These events are open to all. However, ONZ will select an official team of up to 4 men and 4 women. Some funding to assist with the cost of travel may be available.
Anyone wishing to be considered for selection for this team should notify the convenor of selectors, Alistair Cory-Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 28 February. No specific selection criteria have been set but the following are likely to be taken into consideration: current known sprint form, likelihood of gaining a personal place at WOC, opportunity to give juniors exposure to international events.
Selection notice – World Cup Round 1
The first round of the 2022 IOF World Cup will be held in Boras, Sweden from 26-29 May 2022, and will consist of an individual sprint, a knock-out sprint and a sprint relay. New Zealand is entitled to enter up to 4 men and 4 women.
Selection will be based on known sprint form including the March 4/5/6 round of the National Sprint League.
All athletes interested in selection for Round 1 of the IOF World Cup should notify their interest, year of birth, and cell phone number to the Convenor of Selectors Al Cory-Wright (email@example.com) by 28 February 2022.
Selection notice – World University Championships 2022
The World University Orienteering Championships 2022 are scheduled to be held in Switzerland from 15-22 August 2022, and will consist of individual sprint, middle and long distance races, a sprint relay and a forest relay.
Competitors must satisfy the following conditions:
• Athletes must be at least 18 and less than 25 years of age on January 1st in the year of the event;
• Athletes must be (1) students who are currently officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute whose status is recognised by the appropriate national academic authority of their country; or (2) former students of the institutions mentioned above, who have obtained their academic degree or diploma in the year preceding the event.
All athletes interested in selection for the 2022 WUOC team shall notify their interest, year of birth, and cell phone number to the Convenor of Selectors Al Cory-Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 28 February 2022.
As per the Orienteering NZ G1 Selection Policy the 2022 WUOC team will be selected on the basis of the following trials
- sprint distance, middle distance and long distance – 15-17 April, Nelson (ONZ Champs)
Athletes will be expected to demonstrate the technical ability and level of fitness required to finish in at least the top 75% of the field in at least one of the individual races.
(Note: in the event of the 2022 ONZ Champs not going ahead at Easter, these criteria may be subject to change.)
Around the races
January has been exceptionally busy with various races taking place on the track and in the mountains. There have been exceptional performances by orienteers in many of these spheres.
Pride of place has to go to Penelope Salmon who took 2nd place in the New Zealand Senior 3000m Championships in Hawkes Bay. Penelope’s time of 9:30, some 7-8 seconds faster than her previous personal best! Following his close pursuit of Joseph Lynch in the time trail at the Under 23 Camp, Ronan Lee has also run an 8:39 time for the 3000.
In the mountains there have been several notable results. Gene Beveridge and Imogene Scott were first man and first woman in the 2022 Holdsworth-Jumbo Race in the Tararuas. Gene’s time was 2:31:36, while Imogene took 3:10:23. For good measure Lizzie Ingham was 3rd woman in 3:13:12. In the 25 years or so since its inception Holdsworth-Jumbo has been a happy hunting ground for orienteers. Indeed, the course record of 2:20:46 is still held by a certain Carsten Joergensen, dating back to 1996. Gillian Ingham also still holds the veteran women’s record of 3:10:43 she set in 1999. The previous weekend saw the delayed 2021 version of The Goat between Whakapapa and Turoa in Tongariro National Park. Top place here went to Tommy Hayes, 2nd open man in 2:12:33, with brother Jimmy 3rd under 23 man in 2:45:22. Kayla Fairbairn was 5th open woman in 3:07:05. A week earlier than that it was the turn of the Kepler Challenge in Te Anau. Greta Knarston starred here, coming in 5th woman in 5:40:22. Among the men, Hamish Laing was 14 man in 5:05:46 and Devon Beckman 31st in 5:34:38.
One of the major requirements of being High Performance Leader is the need to keep track of how athletes are in fact performing. In the original inception of the High Performance Plan a squad system was set up with various criteria for admission to the Senior or Junior (Under 23) Squads. These were based both on performances at the major international events, domestic performances in the ONZ Championships (and Oceania Championships), and on selection for JWOC or WOC. For the years that the squad system existed a record was kept of the results of each athlete in the squads. Now that we are moving away from this system to one in which there are no formal squads but athletes are designated as being Senior HP, Junior HP or Development HP, that tracking has been expanded and now covers, at the time of writing, some 56 individual athletes. These range from some who have been at the top of the sport for nearly 10 years to up and coming juniors who have only made their first appearances at M/W20E level in the last year or so.
Of course, most of the 56 athletes currently tracked do not have international experience in the last 3 years, hence the inclusion now of domestic results, again since 2019. For Lizzie the list appears as shown on the right. Sprint and forest events are included together and instead of a base time the winners time is shown. Top 5 placings are shaded.
Although there is currently no formal use made of these records, I see it as a useful resource for my role as High Performance Leader. So, when you see, as above, that selection for such and such a team will be partly based on past and/or known form, it is worth remembering that results are recorded and that decisions are not made “ad-hoc”.
The form of these records was explained to those at the recent Under 23 Camp and is explained below, using, with her permission, the record for Lizzie Ingham. For each athlete there are three lists – one for international sprint races, one for international forest races, and one for domestic events. The international events include only high level races such as JWOC, WOC, World Cup, World Games, O-Ringen etc. The domestic events now considered are restricted at present to the ONZ Champs and Queen’s Birthday – the two events which draw the strongest domestic fields – since 2019. So, for example, Lizzie’s forest record looks as shown on the left. “Base” is the average time of the top 3 finishers, “Time” is Lizzie’s time, and “% behind” is just that – the percentage of the base time she was behind. The original squad criteria included a percentage (different for sprints and forest races) which was regarded as the criteria for that race to count towards squad membership. Where that criterion was met is shown by the shading (green for post-2019), orange for pre-2019 (i.e. regarded as long enough ago to no longer count).