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Australian Junior Track Championships - NE

Adelaide, 13-16 April 2003

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Day 2 - April 14: 2000m Individual Pursuits

Vain pursuit for championship star

by Kathie Stove

In a day dedicated to the art of individual pursuiting, the Western Australian team - with strong riding and a stroke of luck - made up some ground on the dominant Victorians by taking out two gold medals to Victoria's one, with the fourth being taken by NSW.

WA was assured of the first of its golds when team mates Rebecca MacPherson and Heidi Kirk rode off for the top two placings in the under 15 women's event, with MacPherson taking the honours. It is not unkind to say that the Western Australians were fortunate to have been in this position: Lisa Friend took the bronze with a time 7.6 seconds better than MacPherson's winning time of 2.56.47.

In pursuiting the four winners of the semifinals (round 1 in this case) proceed to the final and ride off for the medals on a time basis, the two fastest for gold and silver and the next two for the bronze. (At this 'youth' level of competition, all individuals pursuits are 2000m in length.)

Lisa Friend was clearly the class pursuiter of the field but in round 1 she misunderstood the position of the Victorian coach to mean that she was up on the times posted in earlier races in the round (hers was the last) when in fact she was down. Believing that she had a place in the gold medal ride-off in the bag, Lisa said she cruised to the finish, posting a time of 2.58.42, almost 10 seconds slower than her bronze medal performance.

I has been a lesson well learnt. "The pursuit is my favourite event," said a clearly disappointed Lisa. "I'll never do that again." And she had the good grace to go straight to the Western Australian girls and congratulate them.

In Lisa's bronze medal ride she caught her WA opponent Emily Wood at 5 laps but continued on in attempt at the Australian record of 2.45.51 held by Michelle Fearne of NSW. She fell short by 3.36 seconds but is clearly the outstanding athlete of the championships so far, having collected a medal of every colour - and she still has the sprint tomorrow.

The under 15 men's final between Victorian Leigh Howard and Western Australian Travis Meyer was a close and thrilling affair with Meyer successful by a mere 0.55 of a second. Howard had dropped off the pace to be about 1.5 seconds behind half way through the race but regained ground with a strong ride in the second half of the race.

The under 17 women's pursuit followed a similar scenario with Amanda Spratt of NSW the winner in a time of 2.46.31, 1.04 seconds ahead of the local favourite, South Australian Bianca Rogers. Rogers rode a faster third 500m after being almost 2 seconds down at the 1000m mark but could not manage to make up any time on her rival in the last quarter.

The evening's finale got off to a shaky start when Jackson-Leigh Rathbone of NSW pulled his foot at the start. The restart was uneventful except for the immediate strong showing by Victorian Gerard Murphy who rode a very consistent 1500m to be 1.51 seconds ahead at that point. His last quarter was by far the slowest of the race and though Rathbone made some ground with a final 500m of about the same calibre as his first three, it was not enough to better his rival. Murphy's winning time of 2.29.68 was run at an average speed of 48.10, outside the under 17 men's Australian record of 2.19.38 held by David Salton. The current record was achieved by rider using aero bars and disc wheels, which are now banned from junior competition.

Results from the under 17 men's scratch race on the previous evening were finally decided with the first across the line, Victorian Mario Giramondo, reinstated after the race jury reviewed the spoken and video evidence. They decided that Giramondo did ride erratically and did not maintain a straight line in the last 200m of the race, but that his actions did not affect the result of the race. He was fined $50 for his error.

The review, however, brought another infraction to light. Original third placegetter, Alex Franzinelli was relegated to last placing for improving his position on the blue line in the sprint and Scott Sunderland moved into third placing.

Day 3 of the competition will be the last that all sections compete in. It starts with 200m time trials for ranking in the sprints which will be completed in the evening session.


JW15 2000m Individual Pursuit
1 Rebecca MacPherson (WA)          2.56.47
2 Heidi Kirk (WA)                  2.59.91
3 Lisa Friend (Vic)                2.48.87
4 Emily Wood (WA)                   caught
5 Samantha Hellyer (Tas)
6 Silvia Potente (NSW)
7 Carrie Price (Tas)
8 Kailee Goodwin (Tas)
JM15 2000m Individual Pursuit
1 Travis Meyer (WA)                2.36.25
2 Leigh Howard (Vic)               2.36.78
3 Luke Gooley (Vic)                2.36.81
4 Dale Scarfe (NT)                 2.40.78
5 Angus Morton (NSW)
6 Glen O’Shea (Vic)
7 Joshua Edwards (Qld)
8 Jack Rhodes (SA)
JW17 2000m Individual Pursuit
1 Amanda Spratt (NSW)              2.46.31
2 Bianca Rogers (SA)               2.47.35
3 Natasha Mapley (Tas)             2.48.11
4 Kristin Gilbert (Qld)            2.52.70
5 Angela Klyne (Qld)
6 Jessica Tanner (Vic)
7 Tess Downing (Vic)
8 Sky-Lee Armstrong (NSW)
JM17 2000m Individual Pursuit
1 Gerard Murphy (Vic)              2.29.68
2 Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (NSW)     2.30.71
3 Mitchell Pearson (NSW)           2.30.78
4 Taigh Banson (Vic)               2.31.43
5 Mark O’Brien (Vic)
6 Darren Shea (NZ)
7 Alex Franzinelli (WA)
8 Mario Giramondo (Vic)
JM17 10km Scratch Race
1 Mario Giramondo (Vic)           14.01.02
2 Tyler Mclachlan (NSW)
3 Scott Sunderland (WA)
4 Benjamin Simonelli (Qld)
5 Gregory Beer (NSW)
6 Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (NSW)
7 Cameron Meyer (WA)
8 Russell Gill (SA)
9 Shaun Morris (Vic)
10 Gerard Murphy (Vic)
11 Will Robinson (Tas)
12 Alex Franzinelli (WA)
Medal Tally
            Gold    Silver  Bronze  Total
VIC         5       6       2       13
WA          3       2       2       7
NSW         1       1       2       4
TAS         1       -       2       3
Qld         1       -       1       2
SA          -        2      1       3