JK'24 Day 1 - Sprint Stars Shine

by Steven Scott — 30th March 2024.

Sprinter Sprinter

FVO opened what promises to be a memorable Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering for 2024, as they returned four champions to the winners enclosure on a seven medal day in the Sprint at Loughbrough University.

Alison Cunningham was back on the scene of former glories, the venue where she won her first British title in 2019, and she topped an FVO-heavy W60 class in 14.08. Hazel Dean was 3rd (16.33) just edging Heather Fellbaum (4th, 11 seconds back) and Vicky Thornton (5th in 16.59) out of the medals.

Rachel Kirkland had one of the earliest starts of the day, but set a time of 14.26 in W50 that couldn't be beaten, to regain the crown she gave up last year. Hannah Inman made her JK Sprint debut, and had the most commanding victory of the entire meet, nearly three minutes as she came back in 17.53, ensuring she now has gold JK medals in all three disciplines.

The M18 race was a World Ranking event, and James Hammond had an hour's wait, based on his global ranking from the 2nd last finisher on his course before he could start his campaign, but there were no slip-ups, as he went true in the 6th quickest time on a course shared with the 20s and 21s (16.16) for his 3rd straight JK Sprint title, and more importantly, the Golden Ticket to this summer's JWOC.

Roger Goddard added yet another medal to his already-bulging trophy bag, a silver in M50 (15.47) and his 69th in all competitions since 1999, while Matthew Owen made his JK debut, and was unlucky to be run back into bronze medal position in M12, in 20.21, by the final starter.

Outside the podium placings, there was a host of fine performances. Ben Stansfield (M55) was an agonising 4th, with Eilidh Connor (W14), Rebecca Hammond (W16), Chris Smithard (M21E) and Jason Inman (in Jason's case a championship PB) 5th in their class.

Paul Hammond (M45) and Peter Molloy (M21E) were 6th, as was Esme Finch in W12, and Jamie Connor (Mens Open), Scarlett Kelly (W16) and Natasha Conway (W50) were all 7th. Dominic Edward was 8th in M45 on his debut, while Dawn Goddard took the same place in W55 for a big PB, and Jamie Goddard rounded out the top 10 finishers with 9th place in M20E.

Notwithstanding the large number of first-time participants in the event, there were championship PBs too for Chris Kelly (M45), Kate Kilpatrick (W50), Neil Conway (M55), Ted Finch (M70) and Geoffrey Hensman (M75).

Related posts

Filed under:  Success