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Road nationals wrap up

Posted on January 13, 2014 by

The Cycling Australian Road National Championships wrapped up in Victoria over the weekend, with Caleb Ewan the standout performer from the NSWIS contingent. Ewan won two national titles during the championships, triumphing in the men’s under-23 criterium and men’s under-23 road race to stake his claim as one of the rising stars in world cycling. Both of Ewan’s wins came after sprints to the line. In the criterium the 19 year old narrowly avoided a crash before powering home to win, while in the road race Ewan was able to push past the pain of the 132km race to claim his second gold of the championships. Ewan’s fellow NSWIS athletes Jack Beckinsale, Sam Spokes, Jack McCulloch and Nathan Bradshaw finished seventh, ninth, 11th and 21st, respectively in the criterium, with Spokes and Beckinsale also finishing fifth and ninth, respectively in the men’s under-23 time trial. There was added success for NSWIS athlete Lauren Kitchen, who finished second in the women’s road race and third in the women’s criterium, as well as finishing ninth in the women’s time trial. Amanda Spratt finished fifth in the women’s road race and seventh in the women’s time trial. Other results included Aaron Donnelly finishing 12th in the elite men’s time trial.

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Winter sport athletes march on

Posted on January 13, 2014 by

A number of NSWIS winter sport athletes have continued their march to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, with a series of strong results across the globe. Britteny Cox highlighted the results following a moguls world cup double header in Deer Valley, USA, where she placed 11th in the first event, and sixth in the second event. Cox jumped from 12th in the world rankings following the first event to fifth overall after her strong showing in the second event. Several more NSWIS athletes competed in Deer Valley, including Taylah-Paige O’Neill (28th and 19th), Nicole Parks (34th and 11th), Matt Graham (20th and eighth), Brodie Summers (49th and 47th), James Matheson (61st and 38th), and Sam Hall (27th). Elsewhere, NSWIS snowboard cross athletes Jarryd Hughes and Torah Bright were two of four NSWIS athletes in action at the world cup event in Andorra. Hughes posted an 11th place finish in the men’s event, with fellow NSWIS athlete Cam Bolton in 18th and Daniel Morrissy in 40th, while Torah Bright finished 13th in the women’s event. Belle Brockhoff qualified for the final but did not start, finishing 24th overall. The skeleton and bobsleigh world cup continued in St Moritz, Switzerland, with John Farrow finishing 22nd in the men’s skeleton, and Jana Pittman taking 12th in the women’s bobsleight, just 1.07 seconds behind the eventual winners.

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Ewan takes the title

Posted on January 10, 2014 by

NSWIS cyclist Caleb Ewan has added the Australian under-23 criterium title to his resume after an outstanding performance at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships. Competing for the NSWIS, Ewan timed his run perfectly to take victory in a sprint finish, narrowly avoiding a crash on the final turn before outlasting Robert McCarthy from South Australia and Queensland’s Alex Wohler. There was also success for NSWIS athlete Lauren Kitchen, who finished third in the women’s criterium event. Ewan’s next event at the championships is the men’s under-23 road race.

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From the sand to Sochi

Posted on January 8, 2014 by

Most people think of the NSW Central Coast as a perfect summer holiday destination, with its warm weather and beach culture dominating the local community. However, at an early age, local resident Matthew Graham swapped the sun and sand for the snow, and now 16 years later he is reaping the rewards with a shot at Olympic selection looming on the horizon. “We started off going to the snow when I was three years old; that’s when I first skied at Perisher,” Graham explained of his beginnings on the slopes. “It started off as family holidays and we did that for a week each year. When I was seven years old we joined the Perisher Winter Sports Club Program, which was a weekend program.” Every Friday during July, August and September the Graham family would drive to Perisher so the kids could learn to ski, before driving back on Sunday afternoon before school on Monday. Graham began by learning all he could about skiing, before deciding that competing in moguls was the path he wanted to take. “We’d do alpine racing, the terrain park, free ride skiing, and ski cross, but I was best at moguls,” he said. “It seemed like it had a bit of everything; speed, acrobatics and the technical skiing which is what intrigued me. I like the fast pace.” It wasn’t until a few years later, while watching the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, that Graham decided he wanted to take the next step in his sporting career and aim for the Olympics. It’s no surprise that Dale Begg-Smith’s gold in the men’s moguls was the catalyst for Graham to want more. “(Begg-Smith’s gold) inspired me to get a bit more serious, to realise my potential and find out where I could go in the sport.” Seven years later, Graham is on the cusp of realising his Olympic dream, helped by a career best season in 2012/13, where he posted two top-10 finishes during the annual world cup series, and a fourth place finish at the world championships. “Last season was a breakthrough year for me. I didn’t start off too well and wasn’t getting the results I wanted to and knew I was capable of, so me and my coaches changed a few things and started focusing on putting down the runs I know I’m capable of, and executing my jumps and turns to the best of my ability,” Graham stated. “We changed that approach to competition and it really impacted the results.”

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