The Yukon Orienteering Association continued its Yukon Championships on Wednesday night, with more than 50 athletes competing in the middle distance event at the Lewes Lake area.
Once again the top spot in the expert division came down to a close finish between Lee Hawkings and Forest Pearson. The two experienced orienteers have been competing closely all season.
In the expert course, stretching 3.3 kilometres over hilly, rocky, rooty technical terrain, just 45 seconds separated the two athletes, with Hawkings in the lead.
“A difference that small, over a course that long, is nothing,” said Ross Burnett, who mapped the four courses.
It was a role reversal from last week’s sprint distance championships, where Pearson ousted Hawkings by just 30 seconds on the expert course.
In each of the championships so far, Trevor Bray has rounded out the top three. Competing against the two veterans is great experience for Bray, who will be taking his talents to Bulgaria to compete at the junior world championships next month.
Other local orienteers will be competing at the national level in August for the Canadian Orienteering Championships, to be held in Whistler, B.C.
On the advanced course, Jeremy Johnson led the field with a time of 34:48.
Pippa McNeil and Karen McKenna weren’t far behind, taking second and third, respectively.
The largest draw of the night came on the 2 km intermediate course, which saw 20 athletes competing.
Logan Florkiewicz held on for the win with a time of 29:23, Savannah Cash was second at 32:27.
On the novice course Elias Sagar maintained a 10 minute lead on his closest competitor, Finn Pearson. Sagar completed the 2 km course in 19:08.
The championships have been building up to next week’s final event in the long distance category. The maps will be the most challenging and technical terrain yet.
On Wednesday evening, a few competitors were greeted with a surprise on the course near one of the controls, as five or six athletes spotted a roaming black bear.
“That’s part of competing here,” said Burnett. “Most people are aware that there’s a chance could see a bear.”
Burnett noted that a few years ago, while mapping a course, he encountered three bears in one evening.
The bear was on the advanced and expert courses, away from any of the younger competitors.
Next week’s final will take place on Wednesday evening.
Novice course (2.0 km)
Elias Sagar 19:08
Finn Pearson 29:33
Anais and Dave Hildes 29:41
Joie and Gerry Quarton 32:06
Wolf Benefeldt and Conly Watson 33:41
Elvira Knaack and Maura Glenn 36:53
Sidney and Anna Maddison and Edward Good 46:08
Intermediate course (2.0 km)
Logan Florkiewicz 29:23
Savannah Cash 32:27
Aven and Darryl Sheepway 35:24
Gaetan Cyr 35:37
Ev Pasichnyk 46:06
Jennifer Line and Michelle Clusiau 48:19
Valerie Theoret 48:25
Neil Mikkelsen 50:15
Cooper Fraser 50:20
Sabrina Bouayd 51:08
Darryl Bray 51:21
Micah Hildes 54:28
Marina Boulerice and Manon Desforges 63:48
Craig Brooks 66:31
Linda MacKeigan 68:25
Charlene Desjarlais and Karen Furlong 89:06
Advanced course (2.2 km)
Jeremy Johnson 34:48
Pippa McNeil 38:21
Karen McKenna 45:45
Barbara Scheck 46:24
Grant Abbott 51:06
Jim Hawkings 58:55
Nate Wood 60:02
Sabine Schweiger 61:23
Meghan Rance 82:40
Gjermund Roesholt 99:59
Georgi Pearson DNF
Sarah Murray DNF
Juliana Scramstad DNF
Expert course (3.3 km)
Lee Hawkings 32:13
Forest Pearson 33:02
Trevor Bray 36:22
Caelan McLean 40:19
Kendra Murray 40:35
Katherine Sheepway 48:13
Darren Holcombe 54:32
Adam Scheck 59:18
Jennifer MacKeigan 81:18
Bob Sagar 81:30
Ryan Kelly 82:09