The future looks bright for Yukon orienteering.
Some of the youngest competitors from the Yukon Orienteering Association were multiple medal winners at the Canadian Orienteering Championships over the weekend near Edmonton.
“All those younger kids did awesome and it bodes really well for the future,” said Yukon’s Brent Langbakk. “It’s just nice that there’s young talented kids coming up behind crew that we have.”
Fifteen Yukon athletes competed at the championships, amassing a total of 32 medals. Seven of the Yukoners won medals in all three distances – short, middle and long.
Of those seven, two won gold in every race.
Yukon’s Hannah Shier was a triple gold winner in the women 13-14 division.
“She’s really fit and I think the work (coach) Kendra (Murray) has done with her and Savannah (Cash) and the other young kids is paying off,” said Langbakk, the only other Yukoner to take in three gold medals.
Winning medals is nothing new for Shier. She captured a gold and a bronze the previous weekend at the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships in the Calgary area. She also won two golds at last year’s nationals held in the Yukon.
Cash showed herself to be another young Yukoner to watch. Competing in the girls 12-and-under division, Cash won gold and two bronze. In the same age group, teammate Amanda Thomson navigated to a silver and a gold.
Yukon’s Caeland McLean took in two silvers and a gold in the boys 15-16 division.
Trevor Bray, who competed at the Junior World Orienteering Championships on Team Canada last month, won two bronze and a silver in males 17-20.
Other Yukon orienteerers with three medals include Barbara Scheck with two gold and a bronze in women 45-54 and Ross Burnett with two silver and a gold in the same category for men.
Murray, another to compete at the junior worlds, won two golds. Leif Blake won gold; Forest Pearson bronze; Jennifer MacKeigan silver; Kerstin Burnett two bronze; and Nesta Leduc won gold and silver, for their respective age categories.
Langbakk, who went undefeated in men’s 35-44 division, has represented Canada at the World Orienteering Championships five times. He also coaches the Canadian junior team, which includes Bray, Burnett and Murray.
“I’m in a weird place,” said Langbakk. “I’m not training anymore so I’m not competitive with the elites. But at the same time I do well in the 35 category because I’m still living off of the training that I did when I was on the national team.”
The previous weekend Yukon athletes won 16 medals at the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships.
Winning hardware in all three races at the westerns were Cash, Burnett and Bray, each earning two golds and a silver.
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