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2009 Australian Senior Track Championships - CN
Super-Drome, Adelaide, Australia, February 3-8, 2009
Day 3 - February 5: Men: U19 Sprint, U19 Team pursuit, Open Team pursuit, U19 Scratch race; Women: Sprint final; Para: Pursuit
Meares reclaims the sprint mantle
Queensland's Anna Meares has reclaimed the mantle of Australian sprint champion in a straight heats victory over defending champion, Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch, at the 2009 Australian Track Cycling Championships at Adelaide's Super-drome.
Meares, who claimed bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games and silver last year in Beijing, won the title three years in a row between 2004 and 2006 but surrendered it to her sister Kerrie in 2007 and was unable to contest the last Championships after she sustained a broken vertabrae in her neck in a racing accident in Los Angeles in January 2008.
Her fightback from the injury to claim the sprint silver medal in Beijing inspired the nation and after the Games she opted for a well earned break and has only been back in training for four weeks. But her return to competition has so far yielded a silver medal (team sprint) and tonight a gold medal.
"To come away with the gold medal it is very special because I didn't put a lot of expectation or pressure on myself but there is always a bit of expectation with an Olympic medallist in an event," said Anna, who was also surprised with the news she had been named South Australian Sports Star of the Year at a gala ceremony she missed because she was busy winning the gold medal. "There is something about a big competition that makes me lift and I really, really, really wanted this win tonight.
"I worked so hard for it and I know how much Kaarle wanted it as well," said Anna. "One thing I said before both the semi final and final was "this is going to hurt and I needed to be prepared for that."
McCulloch had posted the fastest qualifying time with a ride of 11.456sec for the flying 200m with Kerrie Meares second fastest and Anna only three thousandths of a second slower, in 11.529sec, to be the third seed.
However when it came to the match sprinting Anna got the better of her sister in the semi-finals winning the first and third races in the best of three contest. The 25-year-old then lined up against McCulloch and proved too experienced for her 20-year-old rival claiming the win in two straight heats.
"I had a very tough semi final against Kerrie as I know that when we meet in a sprint match that everything has to be put out on the track there if you want to come out on top between us," said Anna. "I nearly went for a bucket [suffering nausea] after a few rounds there.
"Kaarle raced really well tonight and she is a very dedicated and committed rider and she works really hard and she will be one to watch out for over the next four years for sure," she said. "It is always difficult riding against up and coming riders as they are always looking for ways to improve and get better, but it makes for harder competition and that's good."
"I did everything right tonight, Anna just had the better legs," said McCulloch. "But I can't complain too much, I mean she is the Olympic silver medallist, but I think I made a great step mentally today."
In the battle for bronze Kerrie defeated former Olympic speed skater and Queensland teammate, Emily Rosemond, also in straight heats.
Fierce battle in team pursuit
The battle for supremacy was fierce in the open 4km team pursuit competition for the Southcott Cup. Victoria's Leight Howard, Glenn O'Shea, James Lanedyk and Kyle Marwood set the fastest qualifying time of 4:10.142 ahead of West Australia's Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer, Michael Freiberg and junior World Champion Luke Durbridge who clocked 4:10.371 to set up a much anticipated final ride for the gold.
Victoria swapped out Marwood for seasoned campaigner Sean Finning for the final while West Australia stayed with the same lineup for what turned into a see-sawing duel. After one kilometre Victoria was up by seven tenths of a second but WA narrowed that margin to 0.170sec by the half-way mark. The last half of the race saw the lead change hands several times before WA cracked the Victorians with a surge of speed to stop the clock at 4:04.809 with Victoria coming home in 4:07.317 for the silver medal.
"It's a bit of déjà vu of under nineteens in 2006, when WA beat Victoria and we set the U19 Championships record," said Cameron Meyer who last year made his Olympic debut and finished fourth in the points race. "We knew we had it in us although Victoria had three very strong guys so we switched our order around and we knew that if we were up on them at the three kilometre mark that we would come home stronger than them and it all went to plan.
"It is just unbelievable," said Meyer. "This win means so much for us and so much for WA as it's the first win for us in the (open) men's team pursuit."
"We thought if we could go the 4:08, 4:07, we would be happy, but we were on a really fast time and just went with it and kept it up," said Travis Meyer. "It is just amazing."
Both Cameron, 20, and his 19-year-old brother Travis recently raced in the Tour Down Under, Cameron in his debut with UCI ProTour team, Garmin-Slipstream, and Travis in the UniSA - Australian team. Earlier in January both had scored medals on the road in the Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat with Cameron placing second, only six seconds behind three time World Champion, Michael Rogers, for the silver medal in the elite men's time trial (once he signed a ProTour contract he was ineligible to ride in U23 competition) and Travis silver in the U23 road time trial.
"We are the same team that won last year, but we gave it our all and did a good time, a little disappointed, but 4:07 for a state team is not bad," said O'Shea, who next week heads to Copenhagen with Team Toshiba for the final round of the 2008-09 UCI Track World Cup Series. "To come up against them [WA] is a bit hard, I mean they have multiple junior world champions, Australian representatives and an Olympian.
The West Australian time lopped an impressive four seconds off the Australian Championship record of 4:08.823 set on the same track by Tasmania in 2006.
The bronze medal was won by South Australia's Jack Bobridge, Sean Boyle, Rohan Dennis and junior rider Dale Parker who caught their NSW opponents (Luke Davison, Benjamin Harvey, Richard Lang and Dale Scarfe) with two laps remaining.
"I knew I was going to do a bit more than some of the others just to keep the tempo up and keep it nice and even, but it's a team event and you need everyone to ride well and everyone did," said Bobridge who was named Junior South Australian Sports Star of the Year tonight. "When we got NSW in sight, it gave us a massive boost and everyone did a great job to bring it home."
Queensland in U19 team pursuit
In the men's U19 4km team pursuit, Queensland's Michael Hepburn, Jordan Kerby, Mitchell Mulhern and Thomas Richards combined to claim the Bill Young trophy.
Silver medallists New South Wales (Jack Bennett, Alex Carver, Aaron Donnelly and Samuel Spokes) was hampered by a clash of wheels with one kilometre to go that brought down Donnelly but Queensland had been more than two seconds up on them at the halfway mark so the crash was unlikely to have altered the outcome.
However Queensland was forced to ride the remainder of the race with only three cyclists and Queensland increased their lead on every lap, catching their rivals inside the last 500m.
"The first one was special but today I get to share this with three of my really good mates, so it is even more special," said Hepburn who earlier in the week claimed the U19 individual pursuit title after setting a World Record in qualifying.
Victoria's team of Patrick Drapac, Oliver Le Grice, Brent Nelson and Gavin Sittampalam (4:26.397) defeated South Australia (4:29.554) for the bronze medal.
Hammon convincing in U19 sprint
In the men's U19 sprint, Victoria's Maddison Hammond was convincing in his defeat of the fastest qualifier, South Australia's James Glasspool.
"I came into this with no expectations as a first year, but I have come so far, it's just an unbelievable feeling," said Hammond, who won two gold medals at last month's Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
South Australia's Matthew Glaetzer defeated Victoria's Aaron Box in the bronze medal ride off, also in straight heats.
Fast scratch race won by Carver
The U19 men's 10km scratch race was race at lightning pace with a flurry of fast and furious attacks but all were chased down and in the end it was a bunch sprint for the line and Alex Carver (New South Wales) won the day crossing the line in 11:56s to win gold ahead of Tasmania's Luke Ockerby and Jordan Van Der Togt of West Australia.
South Australia's Annette Edmondson thrilled the home crowd to win gold in the women's U19 sprint defeating Victoria's Naomi Pinto in the final. Seventeen year old Edmondson created history last month when she became the first cyclist to win four gold medals at an Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
"I can never tell how I am going to go against the competition until the day and I always take each race like it's my top event, so I went hard in the first race," said Edmondson, who was named the Champion of Champions at last year's Australian Track Championships.
"But in the second [heat] I had to ride from second wheel and almost gave her too much room, but I just managed to get it there in the end, so I am very happy."
Pinto, 17, was ecstatic after taking her first Australian Track Championships medal.
"It is so good, so exciting, I didn't expect to be that competitive so it is just great. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain against 'Netti' (Edmondson)," she said.
Tasmania's Sarah Cure defeated West Australia's Holly Williams to take bronze.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Veage
Men U19 sprint Semifinals Heat 1 1 James Glasspool (SA) 0.11.545 0.11.443 2 Aaron Box (VIC) Heat 2 1 Maddison Hammond (VIC) 0.11.695 0.11.160 2 Matthew Glaetzer (SA) For gold 1 Maddison Hammond (VIC) 0.11.403 0.11.399 2 James Glasspool (SA) For bronze 3 Matthew Glaetzer (SA) 0.11.336 0.11.453 4 Aaron Box (VIC) Women sprint Quarterfinals 1 Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) 0.12.319 2 Apryl Eppinger (PHI) 1 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 0.12.551 2 Jessica Laws (VIC) 1 Anna Meares (QLD) 0.13.309 2 Stephanie Morton (SA) 1 Emily Rosemond (QLD) 0.12.430 2 Cassandra Kell (NSW) Place 5-8 1 Cassandra Kell (NSW) 2 Jessica Laws (VIC) 3 Stephanie Morton (SA) 4 Apryl Eppinger (PHI) Semifinals 1 Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) 0.12.541 0.12.538 2 Emily Rosemond (QLD) 1 Anna Meares (QLD) 0.12.007 0.12.454 2 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 0.11.699 Women sprint final For gold 1 Anna Meares (QLD) 0.12.058 0.12.345 2 Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) For bronze 3 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 0.12.482 0.12.514 4 Emily Rosemond (QLD) Women U19 Quarterfinal 1 Annette Edmondson (SA) 0.12.822 2 Samantha Wood (WA) 1 Holly Williams (WA) 0.12.724 2 Teegan Morton (WA) 1 Naomi Pinto (VIC) 0.12.383 2 Rebecca Stevenson (QLD) 1 Sarah Cure (TAS) 0.12.715 2 Sinead Cosgrove (NSW) Place 5-8 1 Rebecca Stevenson (QLD) 2 Teegan Morton (WA) 3 Sinead Cosgrove (NSW) 4 Samantha Wood (WA) Semifinals 1 Annette Edmondson (SA) 0.12.854 13.649 2 Sarah Cure (TAS) 1 Naomi Pinto (VIC) 0.12.865 12.813 2 Holly Williams (WA) Women U19 sprint final For gold 1 Annette Edmondson (SA) 0.12.835 0.12.698 2 Naomi Pinto (VIC) For bronze 3 Sarah Cure (TAS) 0.13.634 0.13.312 4 Holly Williams (WA) Men team pursuit qualifying 1 Victoria 1 4.10.142 Leigh Howard James Langedyk Kyle Marwood Glenn O'Shea 2 West Australia 4.10.371 Luke Durbridge Michael Freiberg Cameron Meyer Travis Meyer 3 South Australia 1 4.11.294 Dale Parker Jack Bobridge Sean Boyle Rohan Dennis 4 New South Wales 1 4.18.623 Luke Davison Benjamin Harvey Richard Lang Dale Scarfe 5 Queensland 4.19.894 Michael Hepburn Jordan Kerby Mitchell Mulhern Thomas Richards 6 Tasmania 4.20.206 Samuel Brett Peter Loft Luke Ockerby Ben Grenda 7 New South Wales 2 4.24.229 Jack Bennett Alex Carver Aaron Donnelly Samuel Spokes 8 Victoria 2 4.26.737 Patrick Drapac Oliver Le Grice Brent Nelson Gavin Sittampalam 9 South Australia 2 4.32.570 Matthew Benson Rhyse Carpenter Damien Howson Scott McPhee Open Men 4000m team pursuit final For gold 1 West Australia 4.04.800 Luke Durbridge Michael Freiberg Cameron Meyer Travis Meyer 2 Victoria 4.07.300 Leigh Howard James Langedyk Sean Finning Glenn O'Shea Bronze Medal 1 South Australia Dale Parker Jack Bobridge Sean Boyle Rohan Dennis 2 New Soputh Wales lapped Luke Davison Benjamin Harvey Richard Lang Dale Scarfe Men U19 4000m team pursuit final For gold 1 Queensland Michael Hepburn Jordan Kerby Mitchell Mulhern Thomas Richards 2 New South Wales lapped Jack Bennett Alex Carver Aaron Donnelly Samuel Spokes For bronze 1 Victoria 4.26.400 Patrick Drapac Oliver Le Grice Brent Nelson Gavin Sittampalam 2 South Australia 4.29.600 Matthew Benson Rhyse Carpenter Damien Howson Scott McPhee Men U19 10km scratch race final 1 Alex Carver (NSW) 2 Luke Ockerby (TAS) 3 Jordan Van Der Togt (WA) 4 Peter Loft (TAS) 5 Patrick Drapac (VIC) 6 Jordan Kerby (QLD) 7 Aaron Donnelly (NSW) 8 Samuel Brett (TAS) 9 Jack Bennett (NSW) 10 Dale Parker (SA) 11 Edward Bissaker (ACT) 12 Michael Hepburn (QLD) 13 Luke Durbridge (WA) 14 Mitchell Mulhern (QLD) 15 Jonathan Dunlop (WA) 16 Oliver Le Grice (VIC) DNF Damien Howson (SA) DNF Scott Mcphee (SA) DNF Gavin Sittampalam (VIC) VI M19 3000m Tandem Pursuit Final 1 Samuel Harding (WA) 3.30.1 2 Jonathan Dunlop (WA) VI Men 3000m Tandem Pursuit Final 1 Steven Kemp (SA) 3.44.9 2 Michael Hoile (SA)