|ML1||23 April||Mitchell Park||Garingal|
|ML2||28 May||Jordan Springs||WHO|
|ML3||25 June||Yerambah Lagoon||IKO|
|ML4||23 July||Frenchs Forest||Bennelong|
|ML6||17 September||St Ives Showground||Big Foot|
September 17 was the final Metro League round for 2023, and the heat was certainly on, in a very literal sense. Temperatures north of 30 degrees not normally experienced at Metro League certainly tested the endurance of many runners. However the area around St Ives Showground always brings with it a variety of challenges and enough variations in terrain to keep things interesting. While WHO wasn’t in contention for any silverware, we certainly had a good turnout and put in plenty of great performances.
WHO was off to a great start with a win against Bennelong-SHOO-IKO in Div 1, beating them 28-24. Seth Sweeney in particular had a standout performance, picking up the 10 points for a time of 40.54.
We were down on numbers in Div 2, going down 21-28 to Garingal. Savanna Sweeney was our fastest Div 2 runner this round picking up 9 points for a time of 42.07, just pipping Div 2 veteran Lee Coady who had a time of 42.34 - very close!
No success in Div 3 either, where we were defeated 36-16 by Big Foot. Like Div 2, we were down on numbers, but at least the Club Captain finally made a reasonable contribution picking up 7 points for a time of 59.54, with Jay Seeho close behind on 63.20.
Much better news in Div 4 where WHO easily overcame a decimated Uringa-Central Coast team (only 1 runner!) 37-8. Emmanuelle Convert continued her excellent run of form picking up the 10 points with a time of 40.00. A mention for Matilda Saunders as well who picked up 9 points for a time of 48.26.
We also tasted victory in Div 5 where we beat SHOO-IKO 36-19. Shay Sweeney continued his great run of form with 10 points for a super fast time of 25.15. Anthony Saunders also had a great time of 33.37 for 9 points.
Div 6 completed winning streak in what would be our most successful round of the season beating SHOO-IKO 29-25. Justine de Remy de Courcelles was our fastest clearing the course in an amazing time of 17.14 for 9 points.
So how did we finish up the year? Here’s our final rankings across each division:
Div 1 - 3rd place (out of 4) with 2 wins
DIv 2 - 5th place (out of 6) with 1 win and 1 draw
Div 3 - 6th place (out of 6) with no wins
DIv 4 - 5th place (out of 6) with 2 wins
Div 5 - 3rd place (out of 6) with 3 wins
Div 6 - 3rd place (out of 4) with 2 wins
On the positive side, there are a number of people who put in consistently good performances and are likely to be candidates for promotion next season - which should hopefully go some way to notching up a few more team wins! We’ll see.
But, leaving the best to last, while we may not have picked up any team wins this season, WHO featured more prominently than any other club among the individual medal winners. Congratulations to:
Seth Sweeney - Div 1 - 49 points - incredible consistency paid off in the toughest field of all
Lee Coady - Div 2 - 52 points - our Div 2 stalwart who kept us alive in a division where the numbers were against us
Shay Sweeney - Div 5 - 55 points - great to see Shay’s meteoric rise in such a short space of time.
Well done to Seth, Lee, and Shay for bringing glory to WHO with such outstanding performances, and to all of our other Metro League runners for making it another great season. A special thank you and welcome to all those who gave Metro League a go for the first time this year - Blake Spencer, Micaela Ashton, Tiffany Palmer, Charlotte Palmer and Tim Porritt - we would love to welcome you back next season.
Round 5 - Lansdowne
We were hosted by Uringa for Round 5 of Metro League at Lansdowne on August 6, an important round which sorts out which teams will be battling it out for honours in the final. Lansdowne always provides a variety of challenges, with the vegetation a little thicker and grass a little longer in some parts than the last time we visited this area. So how did WHO fare?
In Div 1 we were up against Big Foot's Div 1 Team which was always going to be an uphill battle. Even so, we produced some good results, with Seth Sweeney again coming in with our fastest time of 35.51 for 8 points (pipping brother Selwyn by 4 minutes). Our total of 21 points wasn’t enough to get us there against Big Foot’s total of 33.
An interesting outcome in Div 2, where we drew against our opponent Garingal 27-27. A pretty rare outcome in Metro League, but we had the fastest runner in the division with Lee Coady picking up the 10 points with a time of 34.27. And considering we fielded a team of 4 against Garingal’s 5 it was a pretty good result.
No signs of success in Div 3 where we went down 16-38 against SHOO-IKO. Jay Seeho was our fastest with a time of 41.25 for 7 points with the rest of the team clustered pretty close behind.
Things got a little brighter in Div 4 where we beat SHOO-IKO 32-20. Emmanuelle Convert had an outstanding run with a time of 33.57 for 10 points, the fastest time for the entire division.
Victory continued into Div 5, where we pipped SHOO-IKO 29-26 in a close match up. A super fast Shay Sweeney made the difference picking up 10 points for a time of 26.36, again the fastest time in the division.
The luck ran out in Div 6, where we were short on numbers, going down 17-35 to Bennelong. Justine de Remy de Courcelles continued her winning ways however, picking up 9 points for a time of 27.26.
So where does this leave us as we face the final round on September 17 in St Ives?
Well in Div 1 we will be playing for pride, given that we are coming fourth in the division.
In Div 2 we are 5th out of the 6th teams with just one win and one draw for the season.
In Div 3 we look to have a firm grip on the wooden spoon with no wins so far this season.
In Div 4 we have 2 wins for the season but in a crowded field this still leaves us 5th out of 6 teams.
Div 5 was our best chance, and despite 3 wins for the season, we were unfortunately pipped by Bennelong on the for and against, leaving us just out of contention in the final - so close!
Div 6 we have only one win for the season so sadly sit at fourth. So while there won’t be any finals glory for WHO this season, we have had some outstanding performances including a number of runners knocking loudly on the door for a promotion which bodes well for the future.
Let’s get a big turnout on Sep 17 and go out of the season with a bang!
Round 4 - Frenchs Forest
Long term Metro Leaguers will be quite familiar with the bush around Aquatic Reserve that was home to Round 4 on Sunday, hosted by Bennelong. Courses predominantly stuck to tracks, with some areas of bare rock and a few physically demanding elevation changes thrown in to add to the challenge. Although we were a little down on numbers, we still put in some competitive performances.
In Division 1, we were up against a strong Garingal team, yet still managed to come within 3 points of pulling off an upset. Going down 26-29, our result was quite impressive when you consider we were fielding one less runner than Garingal - what could have been! In a remarkable coincidence James McQuillan and Seth Sweeney both came home with an identical time of 37.10 for 9 points each - given they started well apart it was all above board. But what a great time.
In Div 2 we faced off against Bennelong, but again having one less runner we couldn’t quite get there, going down 22-32. Lee Coady was our fastest picking up 7 points for a time of 44.12, with Savanna Sweeney and Lachlan Coady not far behind.
Div 3 was also up against Bennelong in what turned out to be a fairly lopsided match up, with Bennelong winning 38-16. Saffron Sweeney maintained the honour for WHO picking up 7 points with a time of 42.57.
Our Div 4 team was never really in the hunt, only fielding three runners against a fully stacked Bennelong side, who won 40-16. Ouch. Thanks to Matilda Saunders who nonetheless put in a great time of 46.06 earning 5 points.
Things start to look better once we move to Div 5, with WHO beating Bennelong 29-25 on their home turf. Special mention to Shay Sweeney who put in a remarkable time of 29.04 for 10 points, and the fastest time across the division as a whole. Wow - he just keeps getting better.
The good news continued into Div 6 where we finally picked up a victory, beating Garingal 28-24. Justine de Remy de Courcelles again led the way whizzing around the course in an astonishing 17.49 for 10 points.
So now that we are getting towards the pointy end of the season, where does that leave us? Div 1 is sitting at the bottom of the table on 2 points, equal with Bennelong-SHOO-IKO. Our Div 2 team is also hoping for a late turnaround with only 2 points at the bottom of the table (equal with Garingal Frill Necks). Div 3 is anchored at the bottom with no wins at all for the season - oh dear. Our Div 4 team is at least only 2nd last with 2 points equal with Garingal and ahead of Uringa-Central Coast. Things look a little better in Div 5 where we are technically in third place but in reality we are equal second on 4 points with Bennelong and SHOO-IKO - so we are still in with a chance to make the final here. Our Div 6 team remains in last place but at least now we have 2 points to our name which puts us equal with Garingal. Let’s turn it around in Round 5 at Lansdowne on 6 August - get your entries in now!
Round 3 - Yeramba Lagoon
We returned to Yeramba Lagoon for Round 3 hosted by SHOO-IKO. A map with plenty of variety provided a suitable challenge - a maze of tracks, some reasonable climb, an ample supply of boulders, with some relatively flat and open sections suitable for picking up a bit of speed. So how did WHO fare?
Well our Div 1 team picking up a win is a pretty good start. Andy Hill visiting town was a good omen, and so it proved with Andy picking picking up the 10 points with a time of 56.55. The Sweeneys brought out the rivalry again with Selwyn (60:10) just nosing ahead of brother Seth (60:58) - can’t wait to see who comes out on top at the end of the season. WHO well and truly dominated the match up against Bennelong-SHOO-IKO winning 31-23. Great work from the whole team.
The success continued into Div 2, with Lee Coady scoring the 10 points for his time of 44.03. Lachlan and Savanna are nipping at his heels though also putting in some great times. Some good results all round saw us trounce Garingal 30-24.
Div 3 was a bit more of a tale of woe, and fielding only 3 runners we were unlikely to be in contention. However a call out to an in-form Jay Seeho who picked up 9 points for a time of 59.32. Not quite enough to overcome Garingal who beat us 34-18.
Our Div 4 team couldn’t quite get there against Garingal either, going down 24-31. A fantastic run from Matilda Saunders though who picked up 9 points for a time of 53.30.
Division 5 was pretty close, but Garingal just edged us out 28-26. A no-longer-injured Anthony Saunders led the way with 10 points for a time of 52.33.
And finally Div 6 didn’t quite get over the line against SHOO-IKO who beat us 35-20. Justine de Remy de Courcelles continues here excellent run of form with a time of 39.33 for 7 points.
Thanks to all who came along and enjoyed a great day out orienteering in Sydney’s south and to hosts SHOO-IKO for putting on a great event. Next Metro League will be at Forestville on July 23 hosted by Bennelong. Mark it in your diaries and see you there.
5 June 2023
Round 2 - Wianamatta West
We had perfect weather for WHO’s Metro League event on the new map of Wianamatta West. There was some fast running in open Cumberland Plain forest, but with plenty of traps for the complacent thanks to some great course setting by our own Martin Mansfield. WHO was well represented across most divisions, and we had a little more success this round compared to Round 1. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue!
Despite some great performances, we came up short in Div 1 against the star-studded Big Foot team, going down 38-17. Seth Sweeney was our fastest this round, earning 7 points for clocking in at a fast 44.55 (with brother Selwyn only minutes behind).
We didn’t quite have a full team for Div 2, which was a contributing factor to our 23-31 result against Uringa/Central Coast. Lee Coady is hitting his straps, picking up 9 points for a time of 40.36.
We were even more underweight in Div 3, with only 3 runners, so it was always going to be a struggle against Knox who beat us 34-18 (probably helped by some excellent coaching from our own Seth Sweeney). Lachlan Coady was easily our best picking up 9 points for a time of 37.44.
Things look a lot better once we get to Div 4 who blitzed our Uringa/Central Coast opposition 32-13 (ok so they were a little down on numbers which helped as well). Emmanuelle Convert had an excellent run picking up 10 points for a time of 37.32, with a special mention to Rachel Merton who picked up 9 points for a time of 44.25. Great to see you back at Metro League Rachel!
Our Div 5 team was also in the winners circle, beating Uringa/Central Coast 31-21. Shay Sweeney continues his great run of form picking up 9 points for a time of 32.41, with Anthony Saunders not far behind with a time of 34.09.
Finally, our Div 6 team couldn’t quite get there against Bennelong, going down 24-30, however it is worth highlighting what great results we had from a team that consisted entirely of juniors. Great to see Thomas Spencer back at Metro League, picking up our fastest time of 28.08 for 8 points - super fast. Welcome too to brother Blake, and great to see Aiden McQuillan giving Div 6 a go and picking up 4 points! Great work from everyone on the team.
So now we have Round 3 to look forward to on June 25 at Yerambah Lagoon, hosted by Illwarra-Kareelah Orienteers. Let’s get a big WHO contingent to head south for what should be another great event! See you then.
24 March 2023
Metro League 2023 kicked off with a bang at Mitchell Park on Sunday. Runners were put through their paces from the starting beep, with some of the toughest courses we have seen at Metro League for a while. Any times under an hour were outstanding on one of the best orienteering maps in the Sydney region. Navigational skills were put to the test, so don’t feel bad if you found this round difficult - it was definitely on the harder side and will put you in good stead for the remaining rounds. We had a great turnout from WHO, which hopefully we can repeat in future rounds.
So how did we fare? Despite some great performances, we unfortunately didn’t pick up any wins this round, although we were up against some tough opposition. But consider this a warm up. Most importantly, its great to see some of our juniors moving up the ranks which bodes well for the future.
Our Div 1 team went down 25-29 to Garingal, which was still a pretty respectable result given that we had one less runner than our opposition. Seth Sweeney was the standout, picking up 9 points for a time of 58.53. And a big welcome to our Div 1 newcomer Tim Porritt - hope to see you at future Metro Leagues!
We had a full Div 2 team which picked up 24 points in total, a great result but not quite enough to pip our Big Foot opposition who picked up 30 points. Good to see Lee Coady back in form coming back from injury last year, picking up 8 points for a time of 61.31. The family dynasty dominated with Lachlan Coady hot on his heels with a time of 66.07 in his Div 2 debut. The question is, when will the baton be passed on from father to son?
Another fairly close round for our Div 3 team which picked up 25 points, not enough to get over the line against Big Foot’s 29. Matt Hackett was our fastest with a time of 67.36 picking up 9 points - great to see you back at Metro League Matt.
Our Div 4 tea couldn’t quite get there against Garingal, going down 23-29. Emmanuelle Convert picked up the 10 points for the round with her super fast time of 53.32.
Div 5 was a pretty close contest against arch rivals Knox, going down 25-27. Shay Sweeney, in his Div 5 debut, picked up the 10 points with a fast time of 62.50 - outstanding result on a tough course Shay!
Our Div 6 team couldn’t quite match it against Garingal, going down 21-34. But a big shout out to Justine de Remy de Courcelles who picked up the 10 points for the round with an incredible time of 35.49! Aiden McQuillan made his Div 6 debut picking up a handy 3 points.
Next round is hosted by WHO on May 28 at West Wianamatta - a new map! Mark that in your calendar - see you next round.
Another exciting season of Metro League will soon be upon us!
For those of you not familiar with Metro League, it is a series of orienteering events across the winter months where the Sydney-based clubs compete with each other on a team basis. All events are in close proximity to Sydney and its a great way to get a taste for bush orienteering without venturing too far from home. Even better, its one of the best ways to meet your fellow club members.
There are six divisions to cater for all levels of ability, from absolute beginners through to elite orienteers. So even if you are just curious but not sure what it is all about, we can find something suitable for you. If you have only run in Summer Series and are curious about bush orienteering, Metro League is perfect for you.
Last year our club had a team in all 6 divisions, and we hope to do so again this year.
Scheduled Metro League Events for 2023 are as follows:
Round 1: April 23 - Mitchell Park
Round 2: May 28 - West Wianamatta (hosted by WHO!)
Round 3: June 25 - Yerambah Lagoon
Round 4: July 23 - venue TBC
Round 5: August 6 - Lansdowne
Final Round: September 17 - St Ives
Mark those dates in your calendar.
Please contact your Club Captain, Josh Braidwood to let him know if you are interested in taking part in Metro League, or if you have any questions about Metro League.
Looking forward to another great season!