Yukon Orienteering Championships underway

The first of three Yukon Orienteering Championships kicked off on Wednesday evening in Riverdale.

2The sprint distance championships brought out 56 athletes, who competed across four courses ranging in difficulty from novice to expert.

The courses were mapped by Ross Burnett, a highly decorated member of the Canadian Orienteering Federation and an inductee in the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame.

The shortest of the three championships, the sprint courses were staged in the Riverdale area stretching out over school grounds, residential areas and nearby forest. The shortest distance was 1.7 kilometres while the expert course was 3.1 km.

In the expert course less than 30 seconds separated champion Forest Pearson and second-place finisher Lee Hawkins.

Pearson completed the course in 15:45. Trevor Bray finished third with a time of 16:22.

Local orienteers are used to seeing Pearson at the top of the field. In last year’s championships he came first in all three events: the sprint, middle, and long distance championships.

Pearson, who has competed at two junior worlds in the past, was able to hold off Hawkins, who has also competed at the junior worlds for Team Canada three times.

In the women’s division, Kendra Murray took first in 17:24, with Katherine Sheepway close behind in 17:55. Jennifer MacKeigan was third in 22:53.

Murray represented Canada at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic last summer, where she was the top Canadian in two events.

On the advanced course, which saw 13 competitors racing across 2.5 km, Jeremy Johnson led the field with a time of 18:43.

In second was Barbara Scheck, former president of Yukon Orienteering Association, with a time of 20:15.

The largest field of the night competed in the intermediate distance of 2.1 km. Judith van Gulick led the field of 18 with a time of 20:37, with Jennifer Line and Darcy Olesen placing second and third.

Nicholas and Victoria Spicer topped the novice field in 25:23, just 11 seconds ahead of Maura Glenn.

The middle distance championships will be held next Wednesday in the Lewes Lake area, followed by the long distance championships on June 18 in the Magnusson ski trails area.

Contact Sam Riches at



Novice course (1.7 km)

Nicholas and Victoria Spicer 5:23

Maura Glenn 25:34

Pearson group (5) 30:00

Stian Langbakk and Pippa McNeil 51:52

Intermediate course (2.1 km)

Judith van Gulick 20:37

Jennifer Line 21:04

Darcy Olesen 21:09

Sofia and Leyla Bond 22:06

Micah Hildes 22:09

Neil Mikkelsen and Cooper Fraser 22:13

Sidney Maddison 24:34

Ev Pasichnyk 27:29

Linda MacKeigan 28:00

Deb Kiemele 28:48

Nesta Leduc 29:16

Mikayla and Rob Kelly 32:09

Aven and Darryl Sheepway 40:21

Charlene Desjarlais DNF

Advanced course (2.5 km)

Jeremy Johnson 18:43

Barbara Scheck 20:15

Nate Wood 20:41

Sabine Schweiger 22:10

Georgi Pearson 22:24

Sarah Murray 22:51

Bryn Knight 22:55

Juliana Scramstad 23:19

Bruce McLean 24:46

Sam Fleming 28:04

Lara Melnik 31:10

Gjermund Roesholt 31:42

Michelle Clusiau 38:21

Expert course (3.1 km)

Forest Pearson 15:45

Lee Hawkings 16:11

Trevor Bray 16:22

Brent Langbakk 16:34

Kendra Murray 17:24

Caelan McLean 17:49

Katherine Sheepway 17:55

Adam Scheck 18:45

Darren Holcombe 20:07

Jennifer MacKeigan 22:53

Ryan Kelly 23:54

Gerry Willomitzer 24:03

Bob Sagar 28:09

Genevieve Chabot and

David Borgeson 48:26