While there was somewhat of a shortage of orienteers at the Suncoast Orienteering event at T Mabry Carlton jr Memorial Reserve on February 22nd there was no shortage of story lines.
Outside of the JROTC competition there were only 13 individual and group entries to keep registrant Lise Hunter busy. Each entry seemed to produce a story.
For example, James Nici of Naples can tell you the story of why our car’s GPS system cannot replace our own sense of navigation. James is responsible for printing the competition maps and bringing the maps to Carlton by 9 am for the 10 am start. His GPS led him to the wrong exit off I-75 and towards a remote canoe launch location in the 24,000 acre park. He was able to realize the device’s mistake, make corrections and get the maps to the park well in time for the start. The experience seemed only to sharpen Nici’s navigation skills as he cleared the 4.4 km Green course in the day’s best 47:26 and the 10 km bike-O in 70:59, half the time of the next fastest participant. Needless to say he was the outstanding Adventure Duathlete of the day.
How about Jason and Roxie Scott on the 8 km Blue Course? They did not have the best time but they got the biggest cheer when they came through the event ‘arena’ part way through the course. You see while dad Jason was running 19 month old Roxie was riding in a carrier firmly strapped to his back. “It’s getting harder,” said the fatigued but upbeat Jason at the end, “she is definitely getting heavier.”
Adventure racer Jim Gorton was one of the several who came from a long distance to tackle the unique Carlton Reserve courses. His time: an awesome 63:02.
Second on the Blue Course was Tyler Adams in 99 minutes. No story there, you think. Think again. Tyler is a cadet with the Venice High School Marine Corps JROTC. A little earlier Tyler had handily won the Yellow course in the cadet competition with an amazing time of just over 21 minutes for just his second orienteering experience ever. With time on his hands he decided to tackle one of the longer courses but not just one of the longer courses. A jump from novice to the long advanced Blue course is supposed to be unthinkable. Tyler handled it like the expert he is quickly becoming.
Then there are Peter Losche and Jacob Sizemore, JROTC orienteers from Dunedin High School. Their school was not participating at the Carlton event so thanks to Sizemore’s mom they and friend Adam Fahey of Palm Harbor entered the FLO side of the event. Losche and Sizemore have little side bets on who between them posts the best time on their course. Next time you see Losche ask to see his ‘tattoo’. This time Sizemore got to buy Losche one of FLO’s bright pink tee-shirts. This started a trend and soon several of the boys were sporting the pink shirts, our best day of sales for the fund raising shirts.
As for the official JROTC side of the competition Lemon Bay HS did a near flawless job of staging the event. The Timing team lead by cadet Reyce Bogardus had the individuals’ results in to the laptop computer within minutes of their finish, faster than the cards could be stapled to the string.
There was one glitch at the very start when a cadet intending to run on the Green Course was given a Yellow course map. This mistake was not noticed until his finish. Unfortunately the mistake has ripple effects as Dylan Sands of Charlotte HS and his team mates lost out on a good chance to win the Green Team award and the school the overall award. Dylan lost a chance to earn valuable season ranking points on the Green course. When Dylan was moved to the Yellow category in the results other cadets were bumped from second and third respectively. My particular apologies go to Jamie Rivera of Gaither who missed out on a deserved third place medal. Further, I offer my apologies that we were not better prepared to make sure the right map got in to the right hands every time. Even one mistake is one too many.
However it was one mistake and otherwise the Start team performed extremely well to get over 100 cadets and ‘civilians’ on their way.
The event wrapped up in good time with several of the cadets and Jason Scott, this time minus Roxie, helping to retrieve many of the controls.
Finally thank you to land manager Debbie Blanco for her help in staging the event as well as in driving out to retrieve two cadets who had strayed way off course, I mean WAY off course.
|Name||Time Bike-O Duathalon|
|James Nici||47:26 1:10:59 1:58:25|
|Dixie Hollins HS||2:38:58|
|Name||Time Bike-O Duathalon|
|David Shurman||1:17:15 2:20:35 3:37:50|
|Blaik Matthews||1:49:30 DNF DNF|
|Jason & Roxie Scott||2:52:09|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|