The 2019 Australian Junior Championships took place at Falls Creek last weekend August 31 – September 1. In the Open Junior Men category Bentley Walker-Broose made a clean sweep, winning both the Classic Sprint and the 7.5km Freestyle. The Open Junior Women races were split with Lily Murnane topping the Sprint podium and Zana Evans winning the 5km Freestyle. Around 80 competitors contested events from U12 to U20 over the two days under just about about perfect weather and racing conditions. The races were organised by the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club on behalf of Ski & Snowboard Australia.
On Saturday the Classic Sprint finals saw a lot of close racing going all the way through to the finish. Bentley Walker-Broose held off Fedele de Campo by less then a second in the Open Junior Men’s final, with John Mordes taking third. In the Open Junior Women’s final Lily Murnane and Leila Pammer made an early break on the fastest qualifier Zana Evans, with Zana fighting back to take silver ahead of Leila who took bronze. In the younger age classes the U16 winners were Heli Laajoki and Jayden Spring, the U14 winners Olivia Schubert and Clancy Merrick Harvey, and the U12 winners Damika Morton and Alberto Allan.
Sunday’s distance races were held in super fast conditions, with Zana Evans winning the Open Junior 5km in just 13 minutes 55.4 seconds, and Bentley Walker-Broose winning the 7.5km in 19 minutes 45.7 seconds. In the U16 classes Rhiannon Castle won the 4km by just 9 seconds ahead of Hannah Gray, while Thomas Ingliss won the 5km less than 4 seconds ahead of both Jayden Spring and Boris Stanish. The U14 2.5km events were won by Sean’hope Craig and Jake Cridland, and the U12 1.5km events by (again) Alberto Allan and Damika Morton.
That’s a wrap for the AUS Championship events of 2019, but not for club racing – on Saturday the Snowy Mountains Nordic Family Cup is on at Perisher, and at Falls there is the last of the Snow Trek & Travel Mini-Series.
7.5km Freestyle Podium – Hugo Hinckfuss, Bentley Walker Broose & Fedele de Campo