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Bridget Mullany (Illawarra Academy) and Danielle McKinnirey (Sturt Holdfast Marion) went head to head for two days at the National Junior Track Series (NJTS) to finish the third round tied on seventy-six points in the junior women under-17 (JW17) category. After a count back on the two riders highest placing’s for the round, McKinnirey now holds the number one ranking. In the spirit of the event, both women were honoured for their persistent tussles, each being handed a Leader's Series Jersey at the completion of racing on Saturday evening.
Their battle was just one of the many highlights at the Launceston leg of the NJTS, with one hundred and twenty-one under-15 and under-17 juniors making the journey from the mainland to Tasmania. Rounding out the JW17 category just three points behind is Courtney Field (Carnegie Caulfield CC).
Matthew Jackson (HCS Perth) extended his lead in the junior men under-17 (JM17) category with several solid wins, but Cameron Scott (Illawarra Academy) lifted the bar yet again to put plenty of pressure on Jackson. Local rider James Robinson (Launceston City CC) sits in third position on the rankings behind Jackson and Scott.
Jessica Saunders (Northern Inland) rode her heart out to again dominate her field of riders in the junior women under-15 category (JW15). Saunders holds a twenty-eight point lead over her nearest opponent, Natasha Mullany (Illawarra Academy) who has a clear lead over third ranked JW15 rider, Charlotte Thompson (Regional Victoria).
Riley Hart (Brunswick Orange) didn't have it all his own way in the junior men under-15 (JM15) category, with Isacc Buckell (Regional Victoria) and Mitchell Wright (Illawarra Academy) pushing him hard for every win. Despite the pressure, Hart rose to the occasion to hold a firm lead in his category ahead of Buckell and Wright.
In the teams’ category, Illawarra Academy continues to lead the rankings ahead of Brunswick Orange, Northern Inland and Carnegie Caulfield CC.
A highlight of round three was the participation of five riders from the Northern Territory (NT Combine) who made the trip to Launceston. This is the first time a NT team has contested the NJTS and their participation provided a massive learning experience for the young team from the top end, further underpinning the philosophy behind the NJTS. The NJTS caters for all levels of junior track riders and gives the team’s vast experience in travelling, education and being part of a team environment through club representation and quality racing.
Round four of the NJTS will be held at the Adelaide Super-Drome on Wednesday 22 January.