Florida Orienteering
Oscar Scherer state Park
January 25th, 2014


Suncoast Orienteering took a great leap forward with over 100 participants at the second event of the season. Held at Oscar Scherer State Park in perfect weather for orienteering the event featured a large turnout of JROTC cadets from four Charlotte and Sarasota County schools, two from Tampa and one from the Jacksonville area. Lemon Bay High School of Englewood won the school overall trophy in this only their third orienteering event. When asked the secret to their success one student said “we practice a lot.” Makes sense. Without an orienteering map of their school area they improvise by drawing courses on air photos.

Two young men deserve special mention. Tyler Adams of Venice High School, participating in his first orienteering event, won the Yellow Course and then went out to post the unofficial second fastest time on the Green Course behind only Reyce Bogardus of Lemon Bay, the second ‘special mention’. Bogardus has won pretty well every orienteering event for Suncoast cadets that he has entered in the last two years. Hopefully these two will be names for the future on the US orienteering scene.

But what about the older folks? There were plenty of story lines. The Blue course was actually a Super Blue length 15.8 km. Winner James Nici of Naples FL says he logged close to that in miles. Jason Scott finished an impressive second while carrying 19 month old daughter Roxie on his back. Both Jason and Roxie looked fresh but a little muddy at the end. The Scrub Jays were actually two couples, one from Orlando, the other from Naples who walked the Super Blue course and were still happily talking with each other at the end.

Of course this is Florida in the winter so we had visiting orienteers and of course their names are at the top of the short results lists. Lucas Rodriguez of Brazil won the Orange Course, Bruce and Valerie Metz of the Chicago Area Orienteering Club were first in Red and Women’s Orange. Kathy Bannister of Rochester, NY was tops on the Green course. Heather Hooper, participating in her first orienteering event posted the top time on the Yellow course.

And what about Tracy Acuff of Naples? After posting a very good time on the Red course she went out to post an unofficial second fastest time on the Orange Course, behind only Rodriguez of Brazil.

Finally it is always a pleasure to see parents out with their children helping them to learn about orienteering and experience the outdoors. Besides Jason Scott and young Roxie we had one young man whose main recreation is driving a motorcycle around inside a big steel ball. Another family coming out to try orienteering had a daughter active in gymnastics and a son who is a competitive rock climber.

As one Suncoast event wraps up planning is well underway for the next two – Feb 22 at T Mabry Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County and Mar 22 at the fabulous Ft de Soto Park, an island at the mouth of Tampa Bay reachable by toll bridge. Hope to see you at one or both of those events.

Gord Hunter


Name Time
Heather Hooper 46:14
Judy Williams 57:36
Ashley Melton 1:28:20
Powell 1:37:43
The Destroyers 1:37:59
Gordy Hawkins 1:38:00
Susan & Janice 2:00:10


Name Time
Lucas Rodriguez 37:44 - Brazil
Tracy Acuff 45:11 (#2)
Valerie Metz 57:16 - CAOC
Venice Noobs' 1:50:08
Sheila Mariner 1:54:15
Chris Roda +3 NTR


Name Time
Tyler Adams 0:40:48
Venice Raiders 1:11:42
Kathy Bannister 1:39:42 - Rochester
Starbucks 2:22:45


Name Time
Bruce Metz 1:08:10 - CAOC
Tracy Acuff 1:33:53
Dufresne +1 3:00:00
Derek Splinter NTR


Name Part 1     Part 2     Total
James Nici 1:16:04   1:43:50   2:59:54
Jason Scott 2:19:15   2:11:45   4:31:00
Scrub Jays 2:43:59   2:03:00   4:46:59
Chris Roda +1 1:49:45   DNF
Hank Pogorelski 2:00:00   DNF


DNF   Did Not Finish
NTR No Time Recorded
OT Over 3 Hour Time Limit

Created 27-January-2014