January 22, 2009

Reaching for the Score

It was a brisk but dry day for the first meet of 2009. The bar was set high for this Score course (or perhaps I should say the maximum time was set low), so that everyone would have to make choices as to which controls were most important. Indeed, nobody could quite get them all - quite possibly a first in my memory of the club meets.

The setup was a little simpler than normal, with just one map for everyone, two possible time windows, and 27 controls. 0-9 were worth 5 points, 10-19 worth 10, and 20-27 were worth 20, with the furthest controls being worth the most. 5 points were deducted for each full minute overtime.

Before I delve into the details, I'll add the caveat that after I got home and tallied everyone's results again, I found several inconsistencies in my results as compared to my scribbled math in the heat of the moment (apparently my old algebraic calculator wasn't helping me - I knew I should have used the RPN version). For now, I've trusted the control lists I wrote down from everyone's map, and nobody's placement was really moved, but if you believe I made a mistake please let me know and I'll correct the report.

For the fast competitor types, they had only half an hour. The fastest orienteers at our meet took on this gauntlet with raised eyebrows but a fast pace. Nobody in this group garnered the distant western 10 pointers (11, 12), or the 5 pointer tucked into the fence corner furthest north (7). Nobody - not even Sergey! At last! He commented in his post run state if he just had a couple more minutes...he could have made it. As it was he was a minute over but took a solid first place. A few other controls were not popular either, with only one or two visits - mostly 5 pointers in the Willow Lane side of the map, but Sergey made his best effort and was the only advanced runner to get 4-6, 8, and 15. Jay was the only runner to get 3, which he nabbed after running in with a couple minutes to spare. Lee and Michael were two others who picked up 9 in the middle of the softball fences. The popular controls, which every single advanced runner went to early on, were all the 20 pointers in Veteran's. Bill and Doug had a real horse race going on, with exactly the same controls, but due to a very modest difference in the final route leg Bill took the honors with no time penalty. Jeff had to miss a few 20 pointers as the time slipped away from him. Lee perhaps succinctly summed up the feeling of all on the course, to paraphrase - "The first 15 minutes felt like plenty of time, but the last 15 disappeared!"

Such time constraints came particularly true for Lee, since when he arrived at #23 he found it missing and a park maintenance truck nearby...he almost went on but decided to check the dumpster before leaving, and lo, there was the control. He rehung it, saving all who came after him the frustration of a missing punch. For his effort I granted him an extra minute of grace period on his overtime.

For hiker or recreational or the younger crowd, they had an hour. This proved to be a mixed crowd. Masha, with her long range of experience and good legs, might well have been better suited for the half hour class, since she easily wrangled first. Others went out as teams, often as families, with very different strategies. Donna Goodwin went out with her new recruit, Carol, and they worked the Willow Lane side of the map. The Hill family went out in two competing teams (Andy and Rosie vs. Elijah) and Rosie worked those 10 pointers in close range to her advantage. Ted and Max made it their goal to get every control west of Veteran's Parkway, and they succeeded admirably. Joann and Joe, by contrast, adopted the high pointer strategy and worked the 20's they could reach and the majority of the 10's. Ken and Peter gave Masha a run for her money, just missing out on the 20 pointers she got but tallying up everything else. Joe Gumiensky came early for the training as a newcomer, and chose to stay out for as much experience as he could get regardless of time. Unfortunately...as meet director I failed to make sure he did set his declination for magnetic north, and his compass practice was more frustrating that it should have been. Hopefully this won't deter him for future meets! I'll admit this group was not as comparable in terms of ability by any means, but it did keep everyone engaged, finding more controls, and keeping the time my codirector Bill and I huddled near the table to a predictable level, avoiding frostbite (ok, Bill did bring his heater, fortunately for my feet). I hope everyone enjoyed it regardless and had some fun with the challenge.

Hiking Class (1 hour):
NameTimeOvertimeBase ScoreFinal Score
Masha Velichko56:000:00215215
Ken & Peter Beckner56:000:00155155
Joann Leone & Joe Nouch1:00:000:00145145
Ted & Max Varicks54:110:00115115
Andy & Rosie Hill1:00:400:40105105
Elijah Hill58:210:005050
Carol Joblin & Donna Goodwin1:03:103:106045
Joe Gumiensky2:21:001:21:001000

Racing Class (1/2 hour):
NameTimeOvertimeBase ScoreFinal Score
Sergey Velichko31:301:30270265
Bill Leahy29:380:00240240
Lee Scott32:332:33245240
Doug LaMott31:101:10240235
Michael Bading32:452:45235225
Jay Morgan30:170:17215215
Jeff Decker33:123:12155140

Many thanks to my codirector Bill Leahy, who brought some very helpful supplies (like a heater), and helped setup and packup, including some control pickup. Special thanks also to those who stayed to gather controls, including Doug, Jeff D, and Donna, and of course Lee who salvaged a control from the jaws of a dumpster.

Our next meet is our traditional winter variation up in McCall, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, Karin directing. Hope to see you on Sunday, February 22nd!

Jeff Black, Meet Director

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