Orienteerers challenged at sprint, middle championships

That's why the Yukon association decided to hold both its sprint- and middle-distance portions of the Yukon Orienteering Championships there on Sunday, off Lewes Lake Road near Carcross.

Last year, as the Yukon Orienteering Association was preparing to host the Canadian and Western Canadian Orienteering Championships, an expert from Norway said the Lewes Lake area wasn’t suitable for a Canadian championship.

Instead, the area should be used for an international event. The Lewes Lake map is just that good – it’s world class.

That’s why the Yukon association decided to hold both its sprint- and middle-distance portions of the Yukon Orienteering Championships there on Sunday, off Lewes Lake Road near Carcross.

It was only the second time the Lewes Lake map was used, the first being last summer in the Canadian championships.

“The maps are incredible. They are world-class maps with incredible terrain, great course setting and amazingly scenic,” said Whitehorse’s Philippa McNeil, a former Team Canada member who has raced at three world championships.

“I really enjoyed the map-reading today. I think it’s a treat to be on this map, because we were only on it for the first time last year for one event … I’ve never been in this area and I hope I get a chance to come back out here again.”

The terrain, which is challenging physically and mentally – testing stamina and map-reading skills – was great practice for three Yukoners who are on the junior national team as they prepare to compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships next month in Slovakia.

Kendra Murray, Trevor Bray and Kerstin Burnett make up almost half of the seven-member Canadian junior team, coached by Whitehorse’s Brent Langbakk.

“I’ve never run on terrain like this before. It was really incredible,” said Bray.

Even with his national team status, Bray, 17, got turned around in Sunday morning’s sprint, getting disqualified with a miss-punch. However, in the afternoon’s middle-distance race, he was back on the mark, finishing second overall on the elite men’s course behind his coach, Langbakk, who also had a miss-punch in the morning.


“This morning I was having a great race; everything was going smooth. I was physically pushing myself, and then on the second last control, there were two controls really close together, and I didn’t check my control description number and I punched the wrong one,” said Bray. “Overall I was happy with how I did for most of the race.

“This afternoon was an interesting race as well. I just had one blowup control where I got lost. I made a parallel error on one of those hills and I wandered around for a long time. Other than that, it was really good. I’m pretty happy with my race.”

Murray had the most consistent results of the three national juniors. The 19-year-old was fastest on the elite/expert women course for the sprint and finished second behind McNeil in the middle-distance race. She also won her long-distance event last week in the first segment of the Yukon championships on the Carcross Desert map.

“Here is super difficult because, even though there are big hills, they all look very similar,” said Murray.

“The sprint this morning was really good. Sprint usually isn’t my forte – I had a couple hesitations, but the rest was really good. This afternoon (in the middle-distance race) I was planning on taking it really slow and really safe and it mostly worked, except for a couple little blowups.”

Burnett, 19, had her own difficulties with the tough terrain. She was third for expert/elite women in the sprint and fifth in the middle-distance. She also navigated to third in last week’s long-distance race.

“Mostly good. This morning wasn’t so great,” said Burnett. “I was pretty happy with my navigation. I think generally my focus was pretty good – I sometimes get distracted.”

Murray is the only one of the three juniors who has competed at the junior worlds before. She competed last year, placing 27th in the C final of the middle-distance for her best result.

“I’m just happy that we had this weekend, because it was really, really good training on this terrain because it’s so technical,” said Murray. “I’m really looking forward to heading over the Europe.”

“I can’t believe how quickly it’s coming up,” said Burnett. “I’m really excited because I think it will be a lot of fun. But I’m also kind of nervous because I know it will be really technical with a very high level of competition.”

Sprint distance results

Novice (1.1 kilometres)

1st Elias Sagar (M-14) – 9:20

2nd Liam Mather (Novice) – 9:33

3rd Reena Coyne (Novice) – 12:38

4th Sonjaa Schmidt (Novice) – 13:19

5th Charlie Gill (Novice) – 18:38

6th Mike/Ruby Gill (Novice) – 20:03

7th Mettias Schmidt (Novice) – 25:52

8th Finn/Ron/Marsha Pearson (Novice) 28:36

9th Nichollis Schmidt (Novice) – 43:48

10th Sam Mather (Novice) – 43:49

11th Ben Shier (Novice) – 44:08

Advanced (1.0 kilometres)

1st Karen McKenna (W55+) – 9:07

2nd Ellyn Brown (W55+) – 10:58

3rd Violet Van Hees (W55+) – 11:22

4th Darcy Olesen (Int.) – 16:52

5th Wendy Nixon (Int.) – 18:26

6th Nesta Leduc (W75+) – 18:46

7th Hunter Vincent (Int.) – 19:06

8th Kris Gardner (Int.) – 20:27

9th Mael Pronovost (Int.) – 24:59

10th Sofia Bond (Int.) – 25:03

11th Luanda Pronovost (Int.) – 25:06

12th Savannah Cash (W-14) – 27:41

13th Amelie Latour (Int.) – 1:17:55

Expert (1.2 kilometres)

1st John Rance (M55+) – 13:53

2nd Sabine Schweiger (W45+) – 18:14

3rd Wendy Nixon (Expert) – 20:28

4th Jim Hawkings (M55+) – 25:40

Elite/expert women (1.4 kilometres)

1st Kendra Murray (EliteW) – 11:23

2nd Philippa McNeil (W35+) – 13:04

3rd Kerstin Burnett (EliteW) – 13:41

4th Pia Blake (W-20) – 13:53

5th Georgi Pearson (W35+) – 15:10

6th Bruce McLean (Exp+) – 20:27

7th Lara Melnik (W35+) – 25:42

Elite men (1.8 kilometres)

1st Ross Burnett (EliteM) – 13:49

2nd Caelan McLean (M-20) – 14:07

3rd Darren Holcombe (M45+) – 15:55

4th Gerry Willomitzer (M35+) – 16:49

5th Kimball Forrest (M45+) – 17:12

6th Dan Shier (M45+) – 25:43

7th Michelle Clusiau/Lee Fleming (Rec) – 52:12

Middle-distance results

Novice (2.2 kilometres)

1st Reena Coyne (Novice) – 17:33

2nd Sonjaa Schmidt (Novice) – 22:04

3rd Nichollis Schmidt (Novice) – 24:03

4th Sam Fleming (M-12) – 24:14

5th Ben Shier (Novice) – 24:14

6th Mael Pronovost (Novice) – 31:38

7th Sullvian Bond (Novice) – 31:43

8th Mettias Schmidt (Novice) – 45:49

9th Finn/Ron/Marsha Pearson (Novice) 49:31

10th Cy McDowell (Novice) – 55:05

11th Maeve McDowell (Novice) – 55:06

12th Dune McDowell (Novice) – 55:23

Beginner (2.0 kilometres)

1st Savannah Cash (W-14) – 25:33

2nd Ross/Daniel/Davi Sennett (Beg.) – 49:22

3rd Amelie Latour (Beg.) – 1:08:23

Intermediate (1.4 kilometres)

1st Georgi Pearson (Int.) – 20:16

2nd Darcy Olsen (Int.) – 27:48

3rd Caelan McLean (M-16) – 28:39

4th Lara Melnik (Int.) – 31:25

5th Luanda Pronovost (Int.) – 34:16

6th Suzane Dionne/Greg Christie (Int.) – 37:47

7th Michelle Clusiau/ Lee Fleming (Int.) – 45:00

8th Sophia Bond/Leylsa Weston (Int.) – 1:04:18

9th Fumiko Miyahara (Int.) – 1:08:30

Advanced (1.7 kilometres)

1st Wendy Nixon (Adv.) – 46:27

2nd Kris Gardner (Adv.) – 1:07:46

3rd Steve Hahn (Adv.) – 1:07:47

4th Marc Pronovost (Adv.) – 1:14:57

Expert (2.2 kilometres)

1st Ellyn Brown (W55+) – 31:01

2nd Sabine Schweiger (W45+) – 38:40

3rd Karen McKenna (W55+) – 41:15

4th Violet Van Hees (W55+) – 53:37

Expert/elite women (2.3 kilometres)

1st Philippa McNeil (W35+) – 34:03

2nd Kendra Murray (W-20) – 35:41

3rd Kimball Forrest (M45+) – 36:45

4th Darren Holcombe (M45+) – 38:23

5th Pia Blake (W-20) – 40:12

6th Kerstin Burnett (EliteW) – 41:44

7th Bruce McLean (M55+) – 45:11

8th Grant Abbott (M55+) – 48:07

9th John Rance (M55+) – 1:02:41

10th Jim Hawkings (M55+) – 1:05:28

Elite men (3.0 kilometres)

1st Brent Langbakk (M35+) – 27:32

2nd Trevor Bray (EliteM) – 34:37

3rd Ross Burnett (EliteM) – 35:12

4th Ryan Kelly (M35+) – 53:10

5th Gerry Willomitzer (M35+) – 55:55

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Most Read