All of Canberra Cockatoos four teams have excellent prospects of winning their four National League races in Tasmania over the Easter weekend. Similar to the Tour de France, the National Orienteering League team results are based on the fastest three competitors in each division. With injuries and disqualifications always a possibility during a race, teams need at least four good runners to ensure they are competitive, and for the first time in many years the Cockatoos have four strong teams.
The first race will be a Sprint Distance race at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Hobart on Friday and the next three races will be bush events around 60 kms north and east of Hobart. The lead runners in each team will be Matt Crane (senior men), Patrick Miller (junior men), Tara Melhuish (junior women) and Charlotte Watson (senior women) who will be returning to Britain after being a lead runner for the Cockatoos for over 18 months. All four races will also be selection trials for the World Championships and World Junior Championships.
The Australian team for the World Junior Championships will be named soon after Easter and the seven Cockatoos (Patrick Miller, Tristan Miller, Noah Poland, Ella Cuthbert, Tara Melhuish, Zoe Melhuish, and Caitlin Young) who nominated will be anxiously awaiting the announcement. Belinda Lawford, Matt Crane, Matt Doyle and Martin Dent are the four seniors seeking selection for the Australian Boomerangs team to contest the World Champs in Latvia in August.
The full teams in each division are (personal photos are on Facebook):
- Senior men: Andrew Barnett, Matthew Crane, Martin Dent, Matt Doyle, Tomas Krajca, Ian Lawford, Stephen Melhuish, Hamish Prosser.
- Senior women: Marina Iskhakova, Belinda Lawford, Tamsin Moran, Charlotte Watson.
- Junior men: Robin Mennet, Patrick Miller, Tristan Miller, Noah Poland.
- Junior women: Ella Cuthbert, Tara Melhuish, Zoe Melhuish, Caitlin Young.