Two Yukoners navigated to Team Canada’s best results in four races at the Junior World Orienteering Championships last week in Borovets, Bulgaria.
Whitehorse’s Trevor Bray, competing at his third JWOC, and Pia Blake, competing in her second, each produced Canada’s strongest results in at least one race.
“This years JWOC was particularly fun because of the variety of challenges,” said Bray in an email to the News. “Each race had a unique physical and technical challenge, forcing us to challenge ourselves in all aspects.”
Blake led her team in all three individual races – four counting the middle distance qualifier – in Bulgaria. The 18-year-old came 96th in the sprint, 89th in the long and 28th in the B final of the middle distance.
Bray, 19, placed 137th in the sprint, 129th in the long – for Canada’s top finish – and 21st in the C final of the middle.
“The middle qualifier really stood out because it was an incredibly difficult map to navigate and therefore the most gratifying when you did succeed,” said Bray. “The long was actually my best result. The key to success in this year’s long was to be very careful, especially when approaching the control, to avoid any mistakes while at the same time pushing hard when you were on a safe route.”
Blake and Bray also teamed up with Canadian Robert Graham to place 42nd in the relay.
As impressive as it is to have two Yukon athletes on Canada’s seven-person junior worlds team, it’s actually the smallest contribution the territory has made in three years. Yukon had four athletes on the junior worlds team last year and three in 2012. Two Yukoners competed at JWOC in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
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