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James, Langbakk put in solid runs at World Championship relays

Yukon orienteers Pam James and Brent Langbakk both contributed solid runs to help their respective Canadian teams improve from last year at the World…

Yukon orienteers Pam James and Brent Langbakk both contributed solid runs to help their respective Canadian teams improve from last year at the World Orienteering Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday.

The women’s team placed 20th, compared to 24th last year, while the men finished 25th, up from their 26th place finish last year.

In the women’s race, James was the lead runner for Canada, drawing on her experience to stay calm and focused during the early going of the mass start race, where the pace and excitement can lead to mistakes.

James was able to stay with the lead pack of runners for the first part of her six-kilometre course, handing over to Canada’s second runner Heather Smith in 18th spot.

Heather and twin sister Victoria, running third, both had fairly respectable runs in the 30-degree heat to place Canada at 20th.

In the men’s race, Wil and Mike Smith (brothers, but not twins) were Canada’s first two runners. They both ran consistently, before fading somewhat near the ends of their 8.6-kilometre courses.

Langbakk, running the anchor leg, made a mistake on the way to his fourth control, but was able to refocus and carry on with a solid, safe run.

“Relays are always very exciting, and there is the added pressure you feel from being part of a team — knowing that if you blow it, it’s affecting more than just yourself,” said Langbakk.

“We always have a rivalry going with the Americans, and in my case, at least I had an idea where we stood when I started, as Mike had provided me with a couple of minutes lead on them.”

Langbakk, in fact, widened that gap, as the American men’s team finished in 29th spot, about seven minutes back.

The men’s relay was won by Russia, with Sweden taking silver, and Finland the bronze medal.

The women’s race was won by Finland, followed by Sweden and Norway. The American women’s team placed one spot ahead of Canada.

Hot hounds

Fifteen dogs and 11 sets of wheels left the start line Saturday, at the Marsh Lake Community Centre for the Phillipes’ Bike Repair Races, the second in the Hot Hounds dry land race series.

Racing through the trees on a winding, climbing, falling trail, neither the dogs nor their monkeys could afford to lose concentration over the short three-quarter and four-mile courses.

Numerous tire drags around tighter-than-expected corners and tree roots attested to the technical nature of the Marsh Lake Community Centre’s trails.

With recent rain the trails of damp earth made for cool temperatures and the dogs had a great time.

Everyone used bikes this time, except Jonathan Lucas and Susie Rogan, who took scooters.

One Pet Dog class, 1.6 kilometres

1st Asha/Jon Lucas, 3:47

2nd Becky Cadsand, 4:30

3rd Linda Krafta, 6:01

One Sled Dog class, 1.6 kilometres

1st Assman/Jon Lucas, 3:11

2nd Khunboo/Colin Morrison, 4:06

3rd Texas/Susie Rogan, 4:14

4th Becky Cadsand, 5:26

Two Sled Dog class, 6.4 kilometres

1st Linda Krafta, 18:39

2nd Tony Radford, 19:11

3rd Jon Lucas, 19:35

4th Becky Cadsand, 20:09

Next race: Icy Waters Ltd., Saturday September 15th, 5 p.m. All prizes: Arctic Char for dogs and monkeys. There’s a potluck barbecue after the races.

Men’s Commercial Golf

The first week of playoffs are complete, and Emco 4-Skins and MacKay LLP were victorious at the Mountainview Golf Course.

Emco 4-Skins won all four of their matches over Shoppers Drug Mart, while MacKay LLP won three out of four matches over Missing Links. The format used was individual match play.

Next week the two winners will square off for the championship trophy, and the two losers will vie for third place, using the individual match format. The remaining 24 teams will play as per the schedule.