Six junior national team orienteerers training for upcoming championships in Poland missed the long-distance segment of the Yukon championships on Wednesday.
But their early departure didn’t make things any easier for the remaining athletes.
Using the highly technical Long Lake map, 13 of the 43 competitors were disqualified after missing patrols (checkpoints).
“It was really, really challenging, which makes it fun,” said Whitehorse’s Brent Langbakk. “Nothing’s for free in the forest here; you have to work for every inch. It has a lot of climb and there was a section at the end here with two-foot deep moss. It’s super physical, super tough.
“This is world-class terrain. It’s one of the most technical maps there is, that you can get anywhere. I’ve shown this map to world-class orienteerers and they just drool.”
Langbakk, a five-time Canadian team member at the world championships, took in the fastest time at the championships on the long-advanced course.
Though the top juniors were away, Langbakk still had some tough competition. Taking second in the long-advanced was Ottawa’s Eric Kemp, who is in town preparing for the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships and the Canadian Championships, both of which are taking place in Whitehorse on consecutive weekends in July.
“There’s no other place in Canada that has as much orienteering training as Whitehorse right now,” said Kemp, who competed at the junior worlds in 2009, but now exceeds the age limit. “This is the place to be if you want to get better. With the Westerns and Canadians coming, there’s no better place to prepare.
“I can bike here in 20 minutes and this map, Long Lake, is one of the most technical and fun maps to race in all of Canada.”
Taking third on the long-advanced course was Forest Pearson, another former Canadian team member.
Among the elites on the way to Wejherowo, Poland, for the worlds, taking place July 2-9, are locals Kendra Murray and Lee Hawkings, who is competing in his third and last junior worlds.
Course 1 (2.3 km)
1st Hannah Jirousek (F12) – 19:35
2nd Savannah Cash (F12) – 19:55
3rd Amanda Thomson (F12) – 22:59
4th Sonjaa Schmidt (F12) – 29:56
5th Mettias Schmidt (M12) – 29:59
6th Lea Ott (F12) – 30:04
7th Marshal Latham (Open 1) – 39:59
8th Family Sennett (Open 1) – 45:50
9th Finn Pearson (Open 1) – 1:02:56
Nicollis Schmidt (M12) – mp
Course 2 (3.1 km)
1st Caelan McLean (M13-14) – 31:21
2nd Pia Blake (F15-16) – 38:28
3rd Georgi Pearson (Open 2) – 52:04
4th Sherri Cooper (Open 2) – 1:16:04
5th Tracey Taylor (Open 2) – 1:25:10
6th Anne Tayler (Open 2) – 2:33:21
Deb Kiemele (Open 2) – mp
Aileen McCorkell (Open 2) – mp
Eleanor O’Donovan (Open 2) – mp
Andrew Gaule (Open 2) – mp
Course 3 (3.8 km)
1st Philippa McNeil (F35-44) – 47:26
2nd Jeremy Johnson (Open 3) – 1:01:52
3rd Jim Hawkings (M55-64) – 1:05:41
4th Karen McKenna (F55-64) – 1:06:41
5th Bruce McLean (M55-64) – 1:12:07
6th Violet van Hees (F55-64) – 1:50:57
7th Lara Melnik (Open 3) – 1:59:31
8th Jill Pangman (F55-64) – 2:21:41
Doug Hitch (M55-64) – mp
Craig Brooks (Open 3) – mp
Linda MacKeigan (Open 3) – mp
Miko Miyahara (F55-64) – mp
Grant Abbott (M55-64) – mp
Wendy Nixon (F45-54) – mp
Course 4 (6.2 km)
1st Ross Burnett (M45-54) – 1:08:41
2nd Ryan Kelly (M35-44) – 1:42:30
3rd Darren Holcombe (M35-44) – 1:56:29
Helena Hrubesova (F21-34) mp
Course 5 (8.0 km)
1st Brent Langbakk (M21-34) – 1:11:12
2nd Eric Kemp (M21-34) – 1:22:36
3rd Forest Pearson (M21-34) – 1:24:45
4th Afan Jones (M21-34) – 2:12:32
Trevor Bray (M17-20) – mp
Contact Tom Patrick at