Yukon orienteerers bag medals at Canadian championships

A last-minute change of venue didn’t stop Yukon orienteerers from navigating to hardware at nationals this past week.

A last-minute change of venue didn’t stop Yukon orienteerers from navigating to hardware at nationals this past week.

Due to an abounding presence of bears at the Canmore Nordic Centre, three events at the Canadian Orienteering Championships were moved with just days to go last week. Still, five of the nine Yukon racers at the event claimed podium finishes at the event in and around Calgary Saturday to Monday.

“The organizers had an extremely difficult task in setting this up,” said Afan Jones, president of the Yukon Orienteering Association. “The middle distance event — the first one — on Saturday was held about 25 kilometres east of Canmore just off the Trans-Canada at a place called Rafter Six Ranch, which has been a traditional venue for orienteering, and it went off without a hitch. The next three events — the long, the sprint and the sprint relay — were scheduled to be held at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Last Thursday they were told by the Alberta Provincial Parks Agency they could not hold the event there. They had to switch the venue of those three events at the last minute.”

Yukoners collected a total of nine medals at the championships. A couple of Yukoners — Jones and Nesta Leduc — won two gold each.

Jones took first in the middle distance on Saturday and first in the long distance on Sunday in the men’s 55+ division. He then took 11th in the sprints — held on the University of Calgary campus — on Monday.

“I’m not a sprinter. Before the race I joked that I definitely won’t be in the top 10, so indeed I placed 11th,” said Jones.

Leduc won gold in the middle and long events, in the women’s 80+ division, before skipping the sprint on Monday. She also won two gold and a silver a week early at the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships in Hinton, Alta.

“She’s like a model for the rest of us. She just carries on,” said Jones. “It’s a lifetime sport for her — she’s in her 80s — and still makes her way around. She says she doesn’t run anymore, but we’re still very impressed she gets out to all these events and makes her way around the continent and around the world to compete.”

Forest Pearson, who is older than 21-34, raced that elite men’s division and took two medals. Pearson won bronze in the middle and silver in the long, finishing fourth and fifth in the races, but was third and second for Canadians. (Only Canadians are eligible for medals.)

In the same division Leif Blake, who recently raced at the junior worlds in Switzerland, placed third overall — second for Canadians — for silver in the middle distance.

Yukon’s Sabine Schweiger was another two-medal winner. She took silver in the long event for women 45+ and silver in the sprint (third overall behind a Scottish competitor.)

Whitehorse’s Trevor Bray placed 18th in the middle and 10th in the sprint in the tough men’s 21-34 division, and in the middle broke it open finishing fourth for Canadians in the long distance event Sunday.

“That’s a great result for him,” said Jones.

Jennifer MacKeigan placed 11th in the middle, 10th in the sprint in the elite women’s 21-34 division with a missed control in the long. She also produced three top-10 finishes at the westerns, topping out with a fifth in the long the week before.

Erik Blake took seventh in the middle, 13th in the long and 11th in the sprint for men 45+.

Darryl Bray, who was in a non-competitive beginner division, raced to third in the sprint and seventh in the long.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

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

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

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

Most Read