The Junior Track Nationals

Posted: March 6, 2014 in Opinion, Racing, Tips & Hints
Tags: , , , ,

Wow!  Some awesome results at the recent Junior Track Nationals.  Thanks heaps to Christian Beitzel for keeping all that weren’t in Sydney abreast of what was going on with his ‘as live’ GoogleDoc results (link below).  Seems strange that there are live results for all four rounds of the NJTS but not for what’s meant to be the pinnacle event on the junior track calendar?

JM17 Flying 200m Record Holder, Ryan Schilt, stalks his prey in an early round of the sprint.  Ryan went on to win Gold.

JM17 Flying 200m Record Holder, Ryan Schilt, stalks his prey in an early round of the sprint. Ryan went on to win Gold.

And mentioning results: no less than five records were broken and one set (from my count) with the Victorian JM17’s breaking two records (Team Pursuit & Team Sprint) and the JW17’s setting one (Team Pursuit – first year with four riders over 3000m), WA’s Tahlay Christie breaking Courtney Field’s Flying 200m record and Kerrie Meares 16-year-old 500m TT record.  Legend has it that Kerrie was sporting discs and full TT bike set-up when she set that record – not sure if this is true or not – but either way some amazing strength and speed shown by Tahlay (she also won Gold in the Keirin and, no disrespect to Mitch Wright at all, but how Tahlay wasn’t Champion-of-Champions is beyond me!?!?).   And all of the top four JM17’s broke the old 500m TT record with Cam Scott coming out on top and being the first under-17 rider to break the magic 33-second barrier (something Anna Meares has only recently been able to do with a 32.836WR in Mexico late last year!).

Part of the all conquering #TeamVic - the JW17 girls set a record for the new format TP (4-girls over 3000m).

Part of the all conquering #TeamVic – the JW17 girls set a record for the new format TP (4-girls over 3000m).

It seems like two-years on the bigger gear especially helped the sprinters and in the team events… but does anyone else think it odd that neither of the Individual Pursuit records have been broken since the change up?  Jackson Law’s record was threatened by Victoria’s James Tickner in qualifying, but he was unable to get any closer than 1.6-seconds to Law’s impressive 2:18.279.  In the JW17, no one was able to come within 5-seconds of Rachael Linke’s 1996 IP record of 2:29.570, again, this record could have been set pre-junior restrictions, not sure about this one?

IMO, stand-out riders across the age-categories were:


  • Apart from the usual suspects who showed themselves in the NJTS, in Georgia Cummings, Sarah Gigante and Alana Field, the revelations were Queensland sprinters Skye Robson (Gold in the Sprint, Silver in the TT) and Courtney Patterson (Bronze in the TT), along with teammate, Alexandria Martin-Wallace (Gold in the Scratch Race).  Also a great result for NT’s Eve Marker (Bronze in the Scratch Race), who left home to live with her aunty in Tassie to be near a velodrome in the lead-up to the championships.


  • There were no real surprises here as all medallists had all shown themselves throughout the NJTS: NSW’s Mitch Wright (4 Golds and a Bronze) and Zac Marshall (3 Medals), the ACT’s Matt Rice (Gold in the TT and fastest qualifier in the Sprint) and Tassie’s Ronin Munro (2 Silvers) where the stand-outs… with promising performances from Victorian duo Nathan Bof and Angus Collins to name just two emerging riders.


  • Some new names came to the fore in this category: Queensland’s Kristina Clonan, SA’s Kate Branson and Tasmania’s Morgan Gillon all walked away with medals and ensured pre-event favourite, Victoria’s Ruby Roseman-Gannon, had a real fight on her hands. Roseman-Gannon did manage Gold in the points race to go with her Gold in the TP and Bronze in the IP.  While I mentioned the incredible sprint performances of Tahlay Christie above, honourable mentions should go to Queensland’s Brook Tucker (3 Silvers) and Victoria’s Brit Jackson (2 Bronze) amongst the fast girls.


  • Cam Scott has been the stand-out rider of his year for the past four-years – and a worthy and humble champion he is.  It was good to see him challenged though, particularly by a well drilled Victorian outfit.  Ryan Schilt, Tom McFarlane and Conor Rowley met him head-on in the sprint events… he still managed to take home Gold in the TT, Points Race and Scratch Race, with Silver in the Sprint and Bronze in the Keirin.  Schilt was impressive, especially his ride to take Gold in the Sprint final and no one could believe Godfrey Slattery was bottom-age, but for me it was Tom McFarlane’s performances in winning Gold in the Keirin and Team Sprint, along with Bronze in the Sprint and 4th in the TT that amounted to the biggest step up.  And he comes from some pretty good stock with his dad, Dave, a past-National RR Champ!

A couple of other conclusions:

  • The Victorian team benefited from a specific training program that, for many of the riders, started back in October last year.  They were fit, ready and well drilled – especially in the team events.  Hilton Clarke Snr and Laurie Norris along with CV can take much of the credit for these results.
  • The new events – the keirin and the points race – were definite winners offering more riders more opportunities to race.  Plus from all reports they were terrific races with only a crash in the JM17 points race causing any lasting damage to athletes.
The keirin, an exhibition event last year, made its debut as a medal event at these Championships.

The keirin, an exhibition event last year, made its debut as a medal event at these Championships.

  • Queensland’s commitment to the NJTS paid big dividends with its strongest performance for a number of years.  CQ subsidise their riders to attend NJTS events.
  • It was NSW’s worst result in years – only saved by standout performances from Scott and Wright.  There was discontent amongst many parents that they just didn’t do enough team training in the lead-up.
  • It was probably WA’s worst result in some time too.  Maybe this was due to Victoria’s dominance or just the cyclical nature of the states share of talent?  Probably a bit of both.
  • A lot of coaches thought the program was tough on the athletes… but most of the riders found it a walk in the part compared to a round of the NJTS!

Keen to hear others thoughts on the event… what was good, what still needs work?

Keep spinning


Chris Beitzel’s results can be found here (including splits for the timed events)

Thanks to Robin Dunk for the photos

  1. John Robson says:

    Cycling Dad, A couple of my thoughts on the recent junior Nats .
    : no meterace?? plain stupid lucky someone gave a damn thanks christian,

    : j u/17w team sprint directly after u/15 w 500 tt, I know of at least 2 sides that fielded u/15’s as start riders for whatever reason ( injuries, stacks, riders to contest IP gold/silver finals) so could have been better scheduled by organizers , to allow for better recovery.(simple as u/17 boys team sprints to run first.
    : Mens kierin heats some had 5 starters some 4 and one 3 due to pull outs or whatever, kinda stupid watching 3 kids cruise around as automatic qualifiers when they could balance it up easily.

    Otherwise a really well run, fiercely contested battle, was a pleasure to watch these talented kids race their hearts out.

  2. Carl Brewer says:

    John, Metarace was used, but metarace is software, Nathan was setting it up and then handing it over to the CNSW guys during the titles. Metarace the software is NOT the same thing as the website. How the results get published is not actually metarace’s thing, it’s how the event organisers choose to implement things.

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