Overnight rain and a cool westerly breeze made for perfect trail racing conditions at Oak Valley Wine Estate, the final race venue in the 2022 Trail Series® Super League.
First out of the stable were the 22km XL competitors…
Katjiri, Cronje & van den Heever give no quarter
The pace was electric from the get go, with Charl Cronje putting the foot down early in a last ditch attempt to unseat Wano Katjiri. Christian van den Heever made up the leading trio that smashed through the 4km mark in just 16 minutes.
The relentless pace continued to the 12km mark, but by this stage Katjiri had stretched a 2 minute lead on Cronje, with van den Heever close on his heels.
By the 16km mark, van den Heever had leapfrogged Cronje and so began his unrelenting chase of the race leader, who was at this stage still holding onto a 2 minute lead.
By the finish however, van den Heever had reeled Katjiri in to within striking distance, but Katjiri was not going to let this one get away and held on to take the win by a mere 6 seconds. The winning time 1:36:38
With five wins out of the six races, Wano Katjiri secured himself the 2022 Super League Senior Men’s XL title by 8 points, with Charl Cronje 2nd and Kyle Maij 3rd respectively.
Mohr-Holland leads the charge, van Sittert takes the League
Erika Mohr-Holland, Daniel Feldmann and Cornel Stander all finished within the top 20 overall, which gives you some idea of the battle that raged in the ladies race!
The trio went through the 4km mark within shouting distance of the overall race leaders. But in the end, Mohr-Holland proved to be relentless, and slowly but surely extended her lead to just over a minute at the line over Feldmann, finishing in 1:54:15.
Kathyn van Sittert had an unassailable lead over Candyce Hall going into the final race for the Super League Senior title, and so it was no surprise that her fifth place at Oak Valley was all she needed to secure her the 2022 Super League Senior Ladies XL title.
Moosbrugger owns the XL scoreboard
Special mention needs to be made of the three highest points scorers in the XL Super League. Over all six races, Michael Moosbrugger averaged 13th overall, with his worst position 17th and his best a 10th. This consistency ranked him number one overall in the XL Super League with 2,322 points. The only other two breaking into the 2,000+ scoreline was Kathyn van Sittert and Wano Katjiri respectively. Moosbruggers' consistency won him his first Super League XL Veteran Category title.
Records tumble in the 13.5km
Just under six minutes was slashed off the course record set by Lambert Brink in 2021. Michael Ellis tore around the course in 54:16, putting over a minute and half on 2nd place James Montgomery at the line.
Caitlin Snethlage followed suit in the ladies race, slashing over a minute and half off the previous course record set by Mila Geldenhys in 2021. Snethlage finished in 1:01:42, and with a comfortable five minute lead on second place Rozelle Meier.
Master runner shines overall
Master runner Trevor Jacobs needs special mention in the Super League Long Course. Jacobs never finished outside of the top 10 overall in any of the six races in the TSSL - in fact his worst was 8th! That consistent performance places Jacobs as the top scorer in the Long course Super League with 2,369 points. Gregg Torr placed second overall and Caro Jordaan 3rd. Each of these top three overall won their respective Super League Category titles.
Minimee dominates the 5km
Youngster and ‘Minimee’ competitor (age 11-14 yrs) CG Volschenk smashed the 5km out of the park, finishing in just 21:14 - 29 seconds ahead of second placed senior runner Derick Minnie.
Birgit van Niekerk also showed a clear pair of heels in the ladies race, not only finishing 6th overall but just shy of 5 minutes ahead of second place Emily Gray. Birgit van Niekerk won her Super League Veteran Ladies title by over 1,000 points.
Peewee runner (age 6-10yrs) Evelyn Anne Knot had three solid performances to secure her a 12 point victory over Salma Fataar in the Super League Peewee category.
Reece Finegan had five strong results out of the six TSSL races, winning him the Minimee (age 11-14 yrs) Super League title and also placing him sixth overall.
Special mention needs to be made of Ashraf Moosa who scored the highest points in any of the Super League distances with a total score of 2,382. Whilst Moosa never won a race his worst overall result in a race was 5th! Moosa won his Senior Mens category in the short course Super League by over 800 points.
Below is a list of the Trail Series Super League category title holders for 2022:
Wano Katjiri (Senior Men)
Kathryn van Sittert (Senior Ladies)
Michael Moosbrugger (Veteran Men)
Lisa Pennell (Veteran Ladies)
Deemter Avenant (Master Men)
Letitia Smith (Master Ladies)
Michael Kwaadsteniet (Senior Men)
Caro Jordaan (Senior Ladies)
Greg Torr (Veteran Men)
Sebnem ER (Veteran Ladies)
Trevor Jacobs (Master Men)
Charlotte Schreve (Master Ladies)
Evelyn Ann Knott (Peewee 6-10 yrs)
Reece Finegan (Minimee 11-14 yrs)
Daniel Mark van Reenen (Junior 15-17yrs)
Ashraf Moosa (Senior Men)
Karen Battiston (Senior Ladies)
Steve Finegan (Veteran Men)
Birgit van Niekerk (Veteran Ladies)
Richard Rossiter (Master Men)
Roldah Orrie (Master Ladies)