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Colin Abbott completes sweep at orienteering championships

Whitehorse's Colin Abbott has navigated to a third straight victory at the Yukon Orienteering Championship.

Whitehorse’s Colin Abbott has navigated to a third straight victory at the Yukon Orienteering Championship.

The 26-year-old completed a sweep of the expert division, winning the sprint two weeks ago, the middle-distance last week and now the long-distance on Wednesday in Riverdale.

“I’m still a pretty competitive guy and when I come out to race at anything I try to push myself as far as I can go, so it’s nice to see that pay off,” said Abbott.

“Tonight’s course was great. (Yukon Orienteering Association president) Afan Jones did a great job at setting it up to be challenging in an area with a lot of trails. It was a physically demanding course, there was a lot of climb, there was a lot of high-speed running ... You had to be sharp making decisions quickly while you’re running. That was the main challenge tonight.”

Abbott, who was first overall including females all three weeks, completed the 5.4-kilometre course on the Long Lake Southeast map in 41 minutes and four seconds.

He is the first person to sweep the expert division since Whitehorse’s Forest Pearson pulled it off in 2013.

“The middle last week was probably the one I’ll remember most,” said Abbott. “It was the first run on a new map, which is always exciting. And it was one of the more technical courses I’ve run in Yukon and that made it a real challenge.”

Whitehorse’s Kendra Murray picked up her first Yukon title since last year’s sprint championships. The 23-year-old was the top female expert (fourth overall) on Wednesday with a time of 56:21. She placed second for females in the sprint two weeks ago but missed last week’s middle.

“It was awesome. It was a good course,” said Murray. “Slow and steady was my strategy for this one ... I haven’t been doing a whole lot of orienteering, so being smooth is better than blowing up and getting lost somewhere in the forest.”

Abbott and Murray both represented Canada three times at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC), with Abbott last competing in 2010 and Murray 2013. Having Yukoners on the national junior team is a trend that continues to this day.

The expert course’s second place male, Leif Blake, and second place female, Pia Blake, will both compete for Canada at JWOC in Switzerland this July. They will be joined by Whitehorse’s Caelan McLean, who was absent from Wednesday’s championship.

Though Abbott is the first person to sweep a division in three years at the Yukon championships, it should be noted that last year junior Savannah Cash went undefeated, winning the intermediate course at the sprint and long and the advanced course at the middle-distance championship.

A total of 67 orienteerers took part in Wednesday’s championship.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Top 10 results

Novice (1.3 km)

1st Hillarie Zimmerman/ Max Zimmerman - 24:51

2nd Koh/ McNeil/ Rumscheidt team - 32:12

3rd Stian Langbakk/Brent Langbakk - 41:38

4th Lawrence/ Young team - 45:20

5th Orviss/Fecteau/Privett/Morrison team - 49:33

6th Laia Mimguillon - 53:37

7th Kim Ho/ Loretta Boorse - 54:14

8th Maura Glenn/ Elvira Knaack - 68:54

Intermediate (2.4 km)

1st Curtis Cash - 31:20

2nd Sara Nielsen - 31:28

3rd Georgi Pearson - 32:17

4th Bruce McLean - 34:38

5th Mike Gladish - 44:49

6th Beth Hawkings - 50:17

7th Lara Melnik - 50:41

8th Julianna Scramstad - 52:54

9th Virginia Sarrazin - 57:01

10th Jamie Kenyon/ Annette Willer - 58:46

Advanced (3.7 km)

1st Pippa McNeil - 38:23

2nd Justine Scheck - 41:11

3rd Bob Sagar - 42:06

4th Sabine Schweiger - 50:04

5th Ryan Kelly - 54:22

6th Sarah Murray - 59:51

7th Brabara Scheck - 64:11

8th Violet Van Hess - 71:45

9th Karen McKenna - 74:59

10th Jim Hawkings - 87:22

Expert (5.4 km)

1st Colin Abbott - 41:04

2nd Leif Blake - 44:44

3rd Trevor Bray - 48:32

4th Kendra Murray - 56:21

5th Pia Blake - 60:02

6th Erik Blake - 67:29

7th Darren Holcombe - 70:47

8th Dave Hildes - 80:01