If there is any doubt that Yukon is a powerhouse in orienteering, just look at the roster of Canada’s junior national team.
Four Yukoners are on the seven-person team and will compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) at the start of next month.
Three of the four used the first segment of the Yukon Orienteering Championships as preparation on Wednesday.
“It was good practice,” said Whitehorse’s Kendra Murray. “I did not have the greatest race tonight. I got a little messed up and didn’t relocate properly, so it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. But I was able to shake it off and get back into it and that’s almost as important as having a good race because you need to learn how to reframe and get back into it.”
Over 50 orienteerers hit the bush for the sprint distance segment of the championships at the Robinson Roadhouse Historic Site off the South Klondike Highway near Carcross.
Murray, Jennifer MacKeigan and Trevor Bray, three national junior team members, competed in the event. Fellow Yukoner Pia Blake at JWOC will join them in the Czech Republic at the start of July.
It was the first time the map was used for an event since Yukon hosted the Canadian championships two years ago.
“I had to redeem myself a little bit. I screwed up pretty badly two years ago,” said MacKeigan. “I pretty much redeemed myself. I made one little booboo, but I did relocation like I was taught and I found it perfectly fine.
“After that it was pretty much: know your path, know your route, have your big features that you check off right away.”
Bray, who will be making his second appearance at JWOC, finished second overall in the expert course behind former senior national team member Forest Pearson.
Murray, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Wednesday, was the top female finisher on the expert course on Wednesday.
Next month will be Murray’s third and final time competing at JWOC.
“I’m really excited. I’m hoping to improve a bit on my previous results,” said Murray. “I’m excited it’s a new team, younger team, and it’ll be good to meet some new people and get them introduced to the world of oversees orienteering.”
MacKeigan was the third female finisher on the expert course behind Murray and former senior national team member Philippa McNeil.
This JWOC will be the 20-year-old’s first and last.
“I had some good final races at COCs (Canadian Orienteering Championships) in Edmonton and Calgary last year and that helped me qualify for this year,” said MacKeigan. “I had a good end to the season. At the start of this season I wasn’t orienteering too much because I was in Europe. So I was just doing meets when I could over there.
“That gave me (experience on) different terrains, different styles, met some different people and got some new techniques, and it really helped improve my orienteering.
“I found out what I’m good at and what I need to work on.”
Yukon also has an orienteerer on Canada’s senior team.
Kerstin Burnett is currently training in Finland where she will compete at the World Orienteering Championships in the second week of July.
The middle distance event of the Yukon championship will take place Wednesday at the Pump House Pond on Fish Lake Road. The long distance event will take place June 26 in the Chadburn Lake area.
1st Forest Pearson – 19:46
2nd Trevor Bray – 21:07
3rd Afan Jones – 22:43
4th Lee Hawkings – 23:02
5th Caelan McLean – 24:35
6th Gerry Willomitzer – 26:25
7th Adam Scheck – 26:57
8th Darren Holcombe – 27:33
9th Kendra Murray – 28:23
10th Philippa McNeil – 28:50
11th Jennifer MacKeigan – 31:45
12th Bob Sagar – 33:26
13th Joe Bradley – 39:45
14th Barbara Scheck – 42:51
15th Ryan Kelly – 44:36
16th Violet Van Hees – 50:56
1st Grant Abbott – 28:14
2nd Lara Melnik – 46:48
3rd Nesta Leduc – 51:36
4th Linda MacKeigan – 1:08:58
1st Katherine Sheepway – 22:23
2nd Darcy Olesen – 24:45
3rd Savannah Cash – 29:45
4th Wendy Nixon – 31:33
5th Holly Jones – 39:09
6th Fumiko Miyahara – 42:14
7th Pat/Brooke Tobler – 46:06
8th Ev Pasichnyk – 47:35
9th Kim/Veronica Porter – 49:27
10th Gord/Noah/Kyla Kurzynski/Jean Beckerton – 1:14:24
11th Jason Watters – 1:21:58
1st Pat/Brooke Tobler – 14:09
Rob Kelly – 16:23
3rd Lisa/Bruce Freeman – 17:20
4th Cameron Hill/Elias Sagar – 22:32
5th Bianka Walcher/Jack Walcher-Wegman – 23:57
6th Maura Glenn/Elvira Knaack – 24:14
7th Jennifer/Owen/Samuel Bugg – 24:36
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