Orange takes charge following Cowra blitz

ORANGE has taken the lead in the Central West Inter-Club Triathlon Series after Sunday's event in Cowra.

The second round of the series attracted more than 80 competitors from across the region and Orange's numbers allowed them to edge ahead in overall points.

Mudgee was leading by 66 points after hosting the first event.

After Cowra's round, Orange sits on top of the overall ladder with 460 points, Mudgee is second on 406 followed by Cowra (96), Dubbo (79) and Bathurst (64).

Bathurst triathlete Nick North celebrated back-to-back wins in Cowra.

North finished the six leg event (2km run, 200m swim, 9km cycle, 200m swim, 9km cycle, 2km run) in 51 minutes and 57 seconds to add to his win in Mudgee.

Cowra's Luke Chalker, who attends Kinross Wolaroi School, was second in 52:18.

Chalker, who made his professional debut in last week's Elite Energy Triathlon Series at Wagga, was happy with his result at home.

"It was a bit better than I'd thought," Chalker said.

"When I heard that Nick North was racing, I thought it was going to be a flogging, so it wasn't too bad. 

"I knew he was a strong rider and swimmer so I had to try and establish a lead after the first run. I got maybe 200m on him - it wasn't enough, but I'm happy with the time."

Mudgee's Neil Bungate was third in 54:17.

Dubbo's Jane Fardell was the first woman home in 55:10 with Orange's Melissa Ashton-Gerard (58:14) the second best female.

Orange had strong results in the age categories with Laura Auberson (under 20s), Matt Dean (30-39), Janet Martin (40-49), Steve Martin (40-49) and Judy Tarleton (60 and over) winning their divisions.

The Orange club had a clean sweep in the women's 40-49 years division with Janet Martin, Estelle Dean and Danielle Syme filling the top three spots.

Orange took 261 points from the Cowra event while Mudgee claimed 141, Cowra 79, Dubbo 36 and Bathurst 22.

The next Inter-Club event will be in Dubbo on January 27.

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