Orienteers impress at Victorian titles

Bendigo featured prominently in the placings at the Victorian long distance orienteering championships last Sunday. 

The club was represented by a large field of competitors navigating their way through hilly terrain surrounding the old Chewton gold diggings.

There were many stand-out performances, resulting in Bendigo members winning seven of the age classes contested and another eight earning podium finishes.

Several local families had multiple place-getters, none better than the Camerons from Kangaroo Flat.

Dad Andrew took out the men’s 40A class, son Jimmy won the men’s 14A division and eldest boy Louis was second in the men’s 16A.

In the elite men’s 21-and-over division, the Keely brothers finished the 14.6km course within a minute of each other – Bryan in second place and Leon in third.

Maiden Gully youngster Serryn Eenjes won the women’s 10A class for the second year in a row, while her mum Raelee headed the long open B course.

Veteran orienteer John Wilkinson blitzed the field in the men’s 60A section, punching the finish control almost 20 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

Paul Leicester was quickest over 10.3km in the men’s 35A and Jenny Ball also scored an easy victory on the women’s 55-plus A-short course.

Other Bendigo runners in the top three of their section were: Caitlin Steer (2nd, women’s 12A); Peter Galvin (2nd, men’s 70A); Julie Flynn (2nd, women’s 45A); Michael Loughnan (3rd, men’s 14A); and Lachlan Cherry (3rd, men’s 16A).

Many of the orienteers will be back in action this weekend, with a club event scheduled at the Old Gower School ruins near Maldon on Saturday afternoon and the Victorian middle distance championships just outside of Campbelltown on Sunday.

They lead into the national orienteering carnival, which will be held in Canberra at the end of the month.

More than 25 Bendigo club members will travel to the nation’s capital for the nine-day event, which includes the Australian sprint, middle and long distance individual championships and the Australian relay championships.

Louis Cameron, Lachlan Cherry and Leisha Maggs will represent Victoria at the Australian schools carnival, to be held in conjunction with the national titles.

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