Australian Championship Results – Perisher

The first events of the 2016 Australian Open Championship for cross country skiing took place at Perisher on the weekend of August 6-7. On the women’s side Lilly Boland from Ulladulla claimed her first Open Australian title in the 5km Freestyle, while Kat Paul from Taggerty  added a second Classic Sprint title to her win in 2015. In the men’s Classic Sprint Mark Pollock from Canberra double poled his way to his first national victory, but it was the 10km Freestyle that raised the most eyebrows with 2010 Winter Olympian Ben Sim winning his first Australian Championship since 2011.

Full Results in PDF:

Kat Paul and Mark Pollock dominated the Classic Sprints on Saturday, each winning the 1.2km time trial comfortably and cruising through to the finals. In the women’s A-Final Paul stretched out the field to win ahead of Stella Ajani and Ella Jackson, both from Ivanhoe. In the men’s final 3 of the 4 finalists double poled, with Pollock winning ahead of Phillip Bellingham from Mt Beauty and Markus Wirstad from Norway. On World ranking Bellingham would normally have been the odds-on favourite for these sprints, however the 2014 Winter Olympian is still recovering from a football injury three weeks ago that landed him in hospital.

Half way through the 5km Freestyle only 15 seconds separated the top six skiers, but Lilly Boland finished the strongest to claim victory ahead of Kat Paul and 2014 Winter Olympian Aimee Watson. Fourth place went to former Canadian National Team athlete now Jindabyne resident Brooke Darlington. Missing the podium at the Australian Junior Championships last weekend, Boland now seems to be showing the form that saw her score two top 30 results at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in February.

Ben Sim was the earliest starter of the main race contenders and set the benchmark for the other to follow. Mark Pollock was within 7 seconds half way round the first lap, but on the second lap the battle was reduced to the minor podium places. At the finish Pollock clung onto second just 12 seconds ahead of Nick Montgomery, with Phil Bellingham another 12 seconds back in fourth place. One of only two Australian skiers ever to score World Cup points (see report from November 2009),  Sim stopped racing internationally in 2011 but his win on Sunday was not a complete surprise. The 2010 Winter Olympian has been skiing regularly this winter with his Perisher based job, and cleaned up in the Cooma Clean out the Cobwebs back in July.

Plenty of skiing, racing and social activities continue at Perisher through to next Sunday with NSW XC Week.

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One Response

  1. Does anyone know the course for the upcoming Snowy Mountains Classic? I have never been on the Perisher XC trails before. It would be nice to know where the race starts and what the course looks like.
    Really excited to be in the event this year.
    Thanks, John Darveniza.

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