MetrO League 2019 - Club Captain's blog. . .

Venues and Dates

Round Date Venue Organising Club
ML2 26 May Manly Dam (Allambie Heights) Bennelong  
ML3 23 June Nurrangingy Big Foot
ML1 30 June Boronia Park Garingal
ML4 28 July Galston Garingal
ML5 18 August Ropes Crossing (Wianamatta Regional Park NSW Junior Squad
Finals 22 September Mulgoa Western & Hills


Metro League Final - Mulgoa

WHO hosted the Metro League Final at Mulgoa on Sunday 22 September and delivered an event that impressed all comers. Impeccable organization by Maureen saw the event run smoothly with WHO club members pitching in to help make the day a success. Matt’s courses certainly set the standard for future Metro League finals, proving to be quite a challenge for many, on what is one of our great bush maps close to Sydney. The weather was a little warmer than the previous Metro League rounds this season, which when combined with a fair bit of climb on the course resulted in a physically demanding day out. 

It was only our Division 5 team that was in contention for the title this year, so our whole club was cheering them on. Sadly, it was not to be our year with Knox well and truly winning the final round, but it was always going to be a challenge with WHO missing some of its Division 5 stalwarts. Those that represented us did us proud, with Jan Seeho having a particularly good run coming in at 45.48 (6  points, 6thoverall). 

Our other teams were playing for pride rather than title honours, except for our Div 2 team which had a bye (a result of their wooden spoon status).  Our fastest Division 1 runner was Lee Coady with 1.04.07 (9thoverall), while in Division 3 Benny Holmgren impressed coming in 11thoverall with 55.57.  Ted Mulherin was our fastest in a depleted Div 4 team with 1.04.39. 

A big thank you to all of our Metro League competitors this year, and welcome to all of those who tried Metro League for the first time this season. It will be another big Metro League season next year – look forward to seeing you all again then!


Metro League Round 5 - Wianamatta

Round 5 of Metro League was held at Wianamatta Regional Park, very capably organized by the NSW Junior Squad with the course setter being our very own Niamh Cassar. And Niamh didn’t disappoint with some challenging courses on flat but sometimes tricky terrain. Certainly at least one of the control locations proved to be a test for the Club Captain who spent far longer out there looking for it than he should. Great work Niamh! Most of our runners managed to avoid the infamous tiger pear, although Selwyn Sweeney did get the full Wianamatta experience bringing home some samples of the cactus attached to his leg.  This was the penultimate round before the finals, setting up an interesting contest for the final event we will be hosting at Mulgoa. Our Div 1 and Div 2 teams finish Round 5 anchored at the bottom of the table, with the heavily depleted WHO Evers going down to Big Foot 38-14 and the WHO Rays being similarly thrashed 33-22 by UR-CC. Div 3 and Div 5 both got steamrolled by the schoolboys of Knox, with the WHO Doos going down 31-24 and the WHO Hahs having a rare loss 32-20. But our Div 4 team the WHO Rahs did us proud bringing home this round’s only victory, thrashing Garingal 29-7.  However the WHO Hahs’ loss was not enough to stop them from being title contenders in Div 5 where they will be up against Knox again at the final – we’ll all be cheering you on! 

Some performances worth highlighting:

  • In Div 1, James McQuillan picked up 7 points (7thoverall)
  • In DIv 2, Vivien de Remy de Courcelles continued his good form with 8 points (13thoverall)
  • Emmanuelle Convert was our best in Div 3 picking up 8 points (10thoverall)
  • In Div 4, Kathryn Vaughan dominated with 10 points (7thoverall)
  • And in only her second Metro League outing, Sylvie Lamborelle was our top Div 5 runner with 8 points (3rdoverall)

The next event is the final at Mulgoa on September 22 which we will be hosting – so be sure to come along, have a run, and lend a hand. 


Metro League Round 4 - Galston Reserve

A big WHO contingent turned out for Metro League Round 4 at Galston on Sunday, where we were hosted by Garingal. It was great to see some new faces, with Sylvie Lamborelle making her Metro League debut in Div 5, and the return of some familiar faces (welcome back Lee Coady). It turned out to be our most successful round this season, with the WHO Evers (Div 1), the WHO Rahs (Div 4) and the WHO Hahs (Div 5) all picking up wins against hosts Garingal. Div 4 was a nailbiter, with much of the credit for our one point victory going to seasoned campaigner Stephen Holloway who was drafted into Div 4 at the last minute and proved his worth by bringing home the single point needed for victory. Some notable performances include:


  • In Div 1 James McQuillan cruised home with 10 points (5thoverall)
  • In Div 2 Vivien de Remy de Courcelles maintained his consistent form with 7 points (16thoverall)
  • Belinda Kinneally did it again in Div 3 picking up 10 points (5thoverall)
  • In Div 4 Martine Valais was our fastest with 9 points (11thoverall)
  • Maria Stankova had a great run with 10 points in Div 5 (9thoverall) 


Next round is at Wianamatta on August 18 – see you there! 


Metro League Round 1 - Boronia Park, Hunters Hill

The long awaited Round 1 of Metro League at Boronia Park (which confusingly came after Round 3 the previous week) proved to be a great day out under sunny skies. A map familiar to Summer Series runners was adapted to Metro League and full use made of the intricate track network within the park. Slippery surfaces and an unusual map scale added to the challenge. We welcomed back some runners who were making their first Metro League outing for the season (great to see you Vivien and Reinaldo) and two younger WHO members made their Metro League debut in Division 5 (welcome to the team Will and Jacinta). Our teams in the higher divisions struggled to make an impact, with the WHO Evers in Div 1 going down to Big Foot, the WHO Rays not good enough for Bennelong in Div 2, and the WHO Doos also succumbing to Bennelong in Div 3. But it wasn’t all bad news with the WHO Rahs picking up their first win of the season against Bennelong in Div 4, and the WHO Hahs continuing their top form with a win against Garingal in Div 5. 

Some good individual performances worth highlighting:

  • Karl Bicevskis picked up 8 points (9thoverall in Div 1)
  • Vivien de Remy de Courcelles hit the ground running with 9 points (3rdoverall in Div 2)
  • Belinda Kinneally’s top form continues with 10 points (4thoverall in Div 3)
  • The Valais family has immediately made an impression in Div 4 with Aurelie our top performer (9 points, 6thoverall) closely followed by Martine (8 points, 7thoverall) – and when I say close I mean close – there was only three seconds separating them!
  • And I’m excited to report that Will Kay, on debut, was our best performer in Div 5 with 9 points (7thoverall). 

We do it all again on 28thJuly at Galston – lock it in your diaries!


Metro League Round 3 - Nurragingy Reserve

We were expecting wet weather, but instead we had sunny skies greeting us on a cold morning at Nurragingy Reserve at Doonside. This is a flat track, with enough variety of roads, tracks, parkland, bush and wetland to keep it navigationally interesting. WHO was unfortunately depleted in numbers this round, particularly in the higher divisions. Despite this two of our teams brought home a victory – the WHO Doos in Div 3 beat Uringa-Central Coast, and the WHO Hahs in Div 5 toppled both SHOO-IKO and Uringa-Central Coast in a double header. Nice work teams! Not so much luck for our other teams, with the heavily depleted WHO Evers going down to Bennelong in Div 1, the WHO Rays not good enough for SHOO-IKO and Garingal in Div 2, and the WHO Rahs unlucky to get pipped at the post against SHOO-IKO in Div 4. 

Some great individual performances worth mentioning:

  • James McQuillan our best overall in Div 1 coming 4th overall
  • Demonstrating why she has been selected for the NSW Schools Team, Niamh Cassar was our fastest runner in Div 2 coming 8thoverall (congratulations Niamh)
  • Belinda Kinneally returns to Metro League in top form coming 6th overall in Div 3
  • Aurelie Valais makes the most of her promotion to Div 4 as our best performer this round coming 15th overall
  • Karen Langan ran the fastest time of our Div 5 team members coming 6th overall (and welcome to Kathryn Vaughan who, while not part of the Div 5 team, was the fastest WHO member to run the Div 5 course on her Metro League debut) 

Your Club Captain was a little slack (again) and forgot to take any photos to accompany the blog. So a big call out to keen photographers among us – any shots you get of WHO members at Metro League would be welcome!

Looking forward to seeing you all again next round at Boronia Park. 



Metro League Round 2 - Manly Dam

After a delayed start to the Metro League season, it was great to see a sea of blue WHO shirts champing at the bit on Sunday morning at Aquatic Reserve in Frenchs Forest. We were a little down on numbers due to illness and injury, but we were still able to field a full team in each division (with a little help from  Uringa and Garingal...). Most divisions featured a lot of trails, the inevitable boulder controls that feature on this map, a little bush-bashing, and some of the streets of Frenchs Forest to mix it up a little – but there was no avoiding the uphill runs. Dodging mountain bikes was another hazard for the unwary.

Overall Bennelong gave us a great day of orienteering complete with good weather. Unfortunately success was thin on the ground for WHO, with only one division coming out on top in their head-to-head. That was the WHO Evers in Div 1 who upset Garingal with a 29-26 win. It was all downhill from there with the WHO Rays losing out to Big Foot in Div 2 34-20, the WHO Doos succumbing to Garingal in Div 3 35-23, and Big Foot soundly beating both our Div 4 and Div 5 teams (37-18 and 31-22 respectively). But it wasn’t all bad news – there were some great individual performances which are worth highlighting:

Div 1  - Our top scorer was Karl Bicevskis who picked up 9 points (3rd overall)

Div 2 – Niamh Cassar was our best in her Div 2 debut picking up 6 points (18th overall) – great result Niamh!

Div 3 – Jay Seeho is back in form picking up 8 points to be our top Div 3 scorer (15th overall)

Div 4 – Anette Larsson was our top scorer in Div 4 with 8 points (8th overall)

Div 5 – The Valais family made a massive contribution, with Martine Valais our top scorer with 9 points (10th overall), and Aurelie Valais bringing home another 6 points.  

And in a freak coincidence, two of our Div 3 runners – Tim Perry and Dmitry Stukov - finished with exactly the same time of 50.23. This will no doubt set the stage for a fierce rivalry for the rest of the season.

We do it all again in late June with two Metro League rounds in a row – June 23 at Nurrangingy hosted by Big Foot, and June 30 at Boronia Park hosted by Garingal. Make sure these dates are in your diaries.

An update

Hi everyone, 

Many of you will have focused on our big event this weekend, the NSW Championships at Wyangala and Willagalong, but I thought I would drop you a quick line to remind you that a week later the 2019 Metro League season will be kicking off.  

After a bit of a false start with Round 1 of Metro League having been postponed, Bennelong will be hosting us for the first Metro League event of the year on Sunday 26 May at Aquatic Reserve, Allambie Heights.

Entries are open on Eventor. Please ensure you go into Eventor and enter for the event. Although you can select whichever division you think is appropriate when you enter, please keep in mind that the division you actually end up running in may be different depending on numbers etc.

Later in the week, once I know who has entered I will select the teams for each division and email you with details of your division and start time.

Remember, you don’t have to be selected for a team to be able to come along and run in the event. It’s a great atmosphere and all club members are welcome.


[Updated from Josh's email of 16 May]

Season opener message from Josh:

With summer drawing to a close its time gear up for one of the highlights of the winter orienteering calendar - Metro League!

For those who aren’t familiar with Metro League or are new to the club, its a fun way to get a taste of orienteering in the bush without having to venture too far from home. There are five competitive divisions ranging from moderate to hard levels of difficulty. There are also easier courses to enter on the day for younger orienteers or those still building their confidence (and for that matter you can enter-on-the-day on one of the harder courses without needing to be in a team if you want to test it out). In other words, there is something for everyone and it is a great day out in some beautiful areas usually on the outskirts of Sydney. Its also a great way to get to know other club members in a relaxed atmosphere. 

At each event, our team in each division goes head to head with another club’s team in the same division, with all runners contributing to the overall point score. Last year we fielded a team in each of the 5 divisions, with our Division 5 team the WHO Hahs taking out the honours. 

Make sure you mark the Metro League dates in your calendar.

Josh Braidwood