BALLARAT’S Declan Dickson has capped off a successful year in the bush, winning three titles at the national mountain bike orienteering championships held in the Australian Capital Territory.
Dickson navigated his way through the renowned Kowen Forest towards gold medals in the eight-kilometre sprint, 15-kilometre middle and 20-kilometre long distance events in the under-16 division.
The 15-year-old had already won middle and long distance titles at the Victorian and Australian championships earlier in the year, but had targeted the nationals because of the chance to claim a short course medal.
“I just wanted to win the sprint category and make it a sweep of all three events, but I was pretty lucky in the end because I only won by 40 seconds,” Dickson said.
“It’s my first year in the under-16 age group, and I was pretty happy with how I performed.”
Dickson, who’s orienteering season is now at an end, is a member of both the Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club and the Eureka Orienteering Club.
He is now eligible to compete in next year’s world orienteering championships, but has decided to forego the qualifying stages in favour of competing in the prestigious Kona Odyssey Mountain Bike Marathon held in the Otway ranges next April.