Whitehorse Daily Star

Orienteerers take the trails after Yukon Championships

A total of 85 competitors came out on a warm, albeit smoky evening to take part in the first regular B-Meet after the Yukon Championship series held in June.

By Photo Submitted on July 10, 2019

A total of 85 competitors came out on a warm, albeit smoky evening to take part in the first regular B-Meet after the Yukon Championship series held in June.

Five different courses had competitors explore the trail network and forest features north and east of the Schwatka Lake boat launch off the Chadburn Lake road.

The Novice course in part followed trails along the shore of the lake and then through the open forest and finally along a high ridge with views surrounding mountains.

Newcomers Bella and Amanda Mouchet topped the results in first and second respectively with the duo of Carl Turcotte and Rima Khouri coming in third.

A total of 27 individuals or groups took on the Intermediate course. A mix of flat terrain and a few hills combined with a couple of controls on the edge of a complex area made for a challenging course.

Jeremy Johnson, 26 minutes, 42 seconds, had a great run coming in ahead of second place, youth competitor, Anneke Aasman, whose time was 34 minutes, 10 seconds, by more than seven minutes.

Glenda Koh 36 minutes, 12 seconds took third just ahead of Bella Mouchet, 37 minutes, 50 seconds, running her second course of the night.

The Advanced course took runners into the complex terrain that the intermediate course just touched upon. A relatively long leg led into 4 controls which were close together and required sharp changes in direction.

Topping the 17 entries in this course, veteran orienteer Afan Jones, 34 minutes, 28 seconds had the fastest run, clearly recovered from a recent cold.

Another veteran, Pippa McNeil 44 minutes, 52 seconds, came in second just a handful of seconds ahead of Martin Slama who had a time of 45 minutes, 07 seconds.

Special mention to Nesta Leduc 119 minutes, 30 seconds, who completed this course just under the time cut. Leduc is a regular participant in the F80+ category at national and international orienteering events.

Competition was fierce in the Expert course. Nine runners took part with Forest Pearson, 61 minutes, 44 seconds, taking top honours ahead of visiting mapper David Bakker, 61:57, and Colin Abbott 62:26.

Pearson’s expertise showed on the first leg taking a sizable lead right away. He held this advantage up to control 6 when Leif Blake, 67:44 took the lead for the next 3 controls.

A small mistake by Blake at control 10 ceded the lead over to Abbott for the next two controls with Pearson and Bakker trailing at this point by less than a minute. Going into the home stretch and the longest leg of the course, 1.6 kilometres Pearson chose the fastest route, 11:44, and took back the lead from Abbott, 12:42, and stayed ahead of a surging Bakker, 11:51. The final margin of victory was only 13 seconds.

One individual and one group completed the Runner’s course. New in 2019, this course combines an Intermediate-type orienteering challenge with a long trail run.

The designated 6.2 kilometres is the straight-line distance between checkpoints with the likely best route along trails being significantly longer. Jane Hollenberg, 67:54, posted the fastest time even after competing in Sunday’s Reckless Raven 80 kilometre run where she won the female team category. Alex Milburn and Brittany Potvin, 114:07, did well on their first attempt at this type of course to take second.

The next Yukon Orienteering Association B-Meet will be held on July 17 at kilometre 2 of Long Lake Road.

Submitted by
Darren Holcombe

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