Yukon orienteerers vie for national team spots

Last weekend at the Calgary Spring Cup, three Yukoners used their orienteering skills in an attempt to navigate their way onto the senior national team. It is not yet known if they will be selected.

Last weekend at the Calgary Spring Cup, three Yukoners used their orienteering skills in an attempt to navigate their way onto the senior national team. It is not yet known if they will be selected.

Taking home the best results was Brent Langbakk with a sixth and two fifth-place finishes. However, the former national team member, who has represented Canada five times at the world championships, did not submit his name for consideration because of an Achilles tendon injury that has limited his training.

“I think I probably could of (made the team),” said Langbakk. “I’ve been injured and I wasn’t interested in going if I wasn’t going to give my best results.

“I haven’t done too much training through the winter.”

Joining Langbakk in the Calgary races, and preceding training camps in Canmore and Calgary, were Whitehorse’s Colin Abbott and Lee Hawkings. Abbott and Hawkings will be representing Canada this July at the Junior World Championships being held in Italy.

“I was really impressed with how well they did,” said Langbakk.

“They haven’t announced the team yet, but (Abbott) was definitely almost in there for making the team.”

Abbott finished the Spring Cup with seventh-, eighth- and 11th-place finishes while Hawkings produced two 13th place finishes and a 10th.

“It probably wouldn’t be great for his development to go to the (Senior) World Championships,” said Langbakk of Abbott. “He’s already going to the Junior Worlds and there will be tough competition there. For this year that will be his focus, but it definitely bodes well for the upcoming years.”

Although Langbakk is not in the running for the senior team this season, he hasn’t counted out next year.

“I won’t rule it out completely,” said Langbakk. “We’ll see.”

This Sunday, the Yukon Orienteering Association is hosting the Whitehorse Adventure Run starting at the Chadburn Lake boat launch at 9 a.m.

“It’s a fun thing the Yukon Orienteering Association puts on,” said Langbakk. “It’s a half-marathon distance, so it’s quite tough physically but the navigation is quite easy.

“It’s to attract non-orienteerers, (so they can) give it a try.”

One leg of the race will be the “Chilkoot Climb,” a section of the event timed separately to see who completes it the fastest. The winner of the leg will receive some free beer from the Yukon Brewing Company.

“We sometimes have little missions that the runners have to do along the way,” said Langbakk. “It’s in teams of two, but there might be a little section where they split up and have to do something. They might have to use supplies (they take with them) to complete a task.”

The Adventure Run and also includes a 10-kilometre, individual event.

More information can be found at www.yukonorienteering.ca.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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