JWOC contenders  | Junior athletes to watch at Nationals
By Christo Peters - Mon 25 Mar 2024 9:04pm

We’ll see you out there at Nationals very soon. It will be a big competition with high hopes for the next team heading to the Junior World Orienteering Champs (JWOC) in the Czech Republic at the end of June. The excitement is brewing as young orienteers are up jostling for top JWOC positions. 
Talented orienteers like Zefa Fa’avae, Kaia Jorgensen and Rachel Baker are competing overseas at the JK competition in the UK but we have a big pool of kiwi talent to watch closely. 

Amongst the male sprinters, Nathan Borton will demonstrate if his ice skating training has added to his run speed. Nathan strongly represented NZ last year coming in 18th place in the JWOC sprint, and he will be up against some other strong orienteering talent, as running fast behind are Sam Carryer, Riley Croxford, Jake McLellan and Marcus Brennan –  just to name a few. In the forest, Felix Hunt has a handle on reading tough undergrowth. Felix Hunt won the JWOC Long trial at Hedley Dunes despite losing nearly 4 minutes searching for (and finding) his SportIdent. He finished 5minutes 54 seconds ahead of the rest.

Our young women are very strong with Tide Fa’avae showing fantastic form in winning both the JWOC trials held this year. We’ll be watching closely those with previous JWOC experience such as Zara Stewart, as well as, Anna and Katherine Babington. Not far behind are Phoebe Hunt and Juliet Freeman as  strong competitors rising rapidly, showing there is no lack of talent with our females. 

It’s time to get prepared and re-watch Greg Flynns’s video to gain vegetation insights as Crater Block will be a real challenge.  it  has been mentioned that the open rides on the old map have disappeared, so there will be no help in vague terrain. The undergrowth may well obscure features and contours in places. All runners will need to be on top of the map at all times and not lose contact. We’re looking forward to some challenging terrain and compelling action at this top tier event. 

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