May 3, 2010

Stuart Gulch Meet Results

Thanks to everyone who showed up to run the Stewart Gulch East map. It was a beautiful day, which seemed to bring a little comfort to the fact that the day started out rough even for the meet director, and that each course was pretty demanding to say the least.

As I started out to set the course early on Saturday morning I was filled with energy and excitement since this was my first time designing courses on this map. I knew I had everything ready, maps, control flags, tables, sign-up sheets, water, snacks, etc. And since this map has pretty tough terrain I made sure to give myself extra time to set the courses. With the back of my car filled with all of the necessary 'O' equipment I made my way to Hillside Jr. High School to start setting the West half of the map. The air was crisp, the sun was rising, and I could tell it was going to be perfect weather for orienteering. With the first two hanging controls in place I headed off to pound in the first of the post controls with my trusted 5 pound sledge hammer in tow. It was at this point when I felt a shift in the air.

As I pounded in the first post and reached over to grab a control flag to hang I realized that I had forgotten all of the unmarked control flags for the post controls (did I mention earlier that I "knew" I had everything?). After a brief moment of some very "creative" words for my forgetfulness, I decided that all I could was continue setting the course. But I new my time was now severely limited. I made it back to the car and grabbed a handful of unused hanging controls (which would add an extra level of confusion later) and started back out to run the Western half of the map for a second time.

I finally made my way to the start where I met our trusted Jeff Black who was there to co-direct. I couldn't unload the meet center materials from car fast enough. Needless to say, I got the rest of the courses set and we only had a 30 minute delay.

Now onto all of those who actually paid money to run these courses. You all deserve a cold drink, a medal, maybe some new shoes, and maybe your sanity back. All three course were very challenging for their respective levels. Out for his first orienteering meet, Scott Hall started things off on the Beginner course followed up by Dondi Black and Toby, and then Angela Withers and her husband and two young girls.

Hats off to Roy, Ethan, and Kirsten Meade who were eager (and the only ones) to tackle the Intermediate course. Unfortunately, this course proved to be quite a challenge and a the Meade Family headed in early to mend some wounds.

The Advanced course, now known as the "Man-Maker", was not to be taken lightly. With several long stretches between controls, route selection was crucial. Although, I'm not sure any single route selection was better than another. Jay Morgan was the first competitor to head out on the Advanced course but soon ran into trouble at #4 where he was joined by Ole. The two of them worked together to finally get onto #5. Bill Leahy and Dennis Keogh tackled the course as a team while Bill gave some instruction along the way (which included some creative route selection which I'll get to later). Jeff Decker was up next with Sergey quick on his heels, just edging out Jeff Black by three minutes to take first. While Sergey didn't have a whole lot of comments on the course, Jeff seemed all to eager to let me know what he thought of the "Man-Maker". And finally, not to be outdone by anyone, the Brothers Pilcher raised their flag and prepared to out "O" each other. Bill took to the start first but as soon as he hit Hillside Jr. High School he decided that he'd had enough. Russ completed the entire course and is awarded with the "Man-Maker Man of the Day" award for not only finishing the entire course, but for also being the only competitor on the Advanced course to stay officially "in bounds". Choosing to take the much harder route in order to avoid the "out of bounds" section along Hill Road and next to the golf course. Not only that, but Russ (and the other competitors) also dealt with the confusing control markers since the post controls also had labeled hanging flags.

Despite the rough start to the day and the very challenging course I think everybody that showed up had a good time. There were very lively debates about the course and how us locals choose to respectfully disregard out of bounds sections on our maps. I'm sure tales of the "Man-Maker" will continue to grow increasingly hard to believe over the years and we can look back on this time say that we were there on that faithful day.

Again, a big thank you to all of you that showed up to compete and a special thank you to Jeff Black, Jeff Decker, and Russ Pilcher for keeping us all honest.

We look forward to seeing at the Rabbit-O/Crawfish Feed on May 16th.


Beginner Course
Scott Hall
Dondi Black
Angela Withers & Family

Intermediate Course
Meade Family

Advanced Course
Sergey Velichko
Jeff Black
Jeff Decker1:50:55
Bill Leahy & Dennis Keogh
Ole Bergset2:08:00
Jay Morgan
Russ Pilcher
Bill Pilcher

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