January 17, 2010

Tight timing on the Score

Turnout was enthusiastic for our first meet of 2010, with a "score" of returning and new participants to the sport of orienteering. The park was quiet and the weather held off until late in the meet, when we got some rain to wash us down a little.

Jeff B. (the author of this report) had enough time to prerun the course, and found it was extremely challenging to get all the controls in 25 minutes. In other words, I couldn't do it myself. Doug and I agreed to stick with this, figuring in the true spirit of a score course nobody should be able to get them all. As it turned out, the full 360 points was well beyond reach - I think even Sergey would have found it quite difficult (I dare not say impossible), but he was not there to prove the case! Jay Morgan grimly focused on getting as many as he could muster, and pulled off first place job admirably with only a small penalty. Later he went out again in the opposite direction and found it was still not quite possible. Close behind was Ole, who we encouraged to use his internal clock to keep time (as he so famously did at Rabbit Creek a few years back), but he went out with his cell phone to monitor the situation and came back with a score right behind Jay. Later he too went out to resolve the rest of the controls to his satisfaction. Jeff Decker and Jim Byrne also gave them a run for the money, arriving with bated breath and nearly the same amount of points, but a tidge more overtime. Jason Wiedemann and Matt Score (the latter with a name nicely tuned to the orienteering this day), informed of the club by Mike Bading and budding adventure racers themselves, gave it a mighty fine sprint and came in strong. I think they'll be back for more. Peter Beckner, possible future competition for Masha Velichko indeed, took the course reins on his own (with the family lab tracking behind) and gave the adults (and the lab) a run for their money. And Donna Goodwin had one of the most enjoyable meets of her orienteering career, feeling satisfaction in finding plenty of controls under the duress of time limits.

We had several takers for recreational, where no limit was imposed except those the participants had themselves. Bill Leahy, still recovering from an MCL tear, worked the course with Nicholas Byrne, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him slide the shortcut down the hill from control QQ (about as much elevation can be had in Ann Morrison) into XF. Joanne Leone and Joe Novak returned and found every control except JD, which they felt was enough after the soaking rain began - their map squeaked into the finish in one piece. The Tabor family, on their first outing, had a grand time and I think...got them all (but my meet notes are incomplete on this point). The Meade family, Roy and Ethan, also came out for their first time and savored most of the controls, leaving those in the NW map corner to make a 1pm time constraint. Despite the rain, I think they may be back for more too.

As a meet director, in retrospect I think I pushed the time constraints a little harder than necessary for this meet - most participants barely noticed the point differentials in their haste to simply start collecting controls. Most were 10 points, but there was 4 20 pointers and a single 30 pointer, QQ. A 30 minute limit would have still been challenging, and if I allowed a minute to study the map, there might have been a little more planning instead. Despite this small tradeoff, I think everyone enjoyed the challenge and sheer number of controls out there, especially those tucked into places that required reading the map and description carefully - GA buried in a thicket, QQ high up on the hill but below eye level, and VA buried in the entrance grass thicket as examples. And in the post finish discussion, there was lots of talk about what route choice was optimal, or which controls would have been most worth it. I do think that Jay found a better route than I thought for the SE corner. Many small choices were buried in the controls, and I believe we can keep the challenge up in our future meets.

Results (360 points available, 25 minutes, 10 points per minute overtime):
Jay Morgan 26:15 240 -10 230
Ole Bergset 26:35 230 -10 220
Jeff Decker 28:30 230 -30 200
Jim Byrne 27:40 220 -20 200
Jason Wiedemann 26:13 210 -10 200
Peter Beckner 26:50 150 -10 140
Donna Goodwin 28:30 160 -30 130
Matt Score 25:31 130 0 130

Recreational (in order by signup):
Bill Leahy & Nicholas Byrne 30 controls
Joann Leone & Joe Novak 29 controls
Aaron, Morgan, & Logan Tabor 30 controls?
Roy & Ethan Meade 23 controls

I'd like to say thank you to my codirector Doug LaMott for showing up early to help place controls and do setup. Thank you's also go to Jeff Decker, Donna Goodwin, and Doug for helping with pickup and Ole for hanging out to guard the table and help pack up. The team effort is really appreciated and we were cleaned up in record time. I was able to dry the wet supplies off in a few hours after I got home before sending them back to the storage unit, too, so they are ready for another day.

Check our meet calendar on the right for our future events, especially for next month's meet
on the still fresh off the press Julia Davis/BSU A meet map Sergey redid last spring. Bill Leahy
will direct. See you then!

Jeff Black and Doug LaMott

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