Broward County's C B Smith Park was the venue for the first Suncoast Orienteering event of the 2015-16 season. Well it was really a Flanagan HS JROTC event with Suncoast helping out with some of the technical details.
Flanagan is very much an urban park with areas hived off for specific uses such as a golf driving range, tennis courts a water park, campground, concert and undeveloped areas all of which were out-of-bounds for orienteering. That plus the fact that about half the park area is part of a series of ponds better suited to kayak orienteering than the foot orienteering we were doing made it a challenge to set courses of appropriate difficulty. Happily I was able to incorporate territory at neighboring Flanagan HS and a YMCA park.
I think a lot of orienteers must have looked at the park on Google Earth and said 'heck there is no challenge there. I'm not making the trip' as we had one of the lowest turn-outs of public orienteers I've experienced in the last three years. However the JROTC were out in good numbers with five schools from South Florida and two from the Sarasota/ Charlotte area out in fine form.
Notable performances were turned in by our participants. Nic Watkins, a former British National Junior Squad member won (or was the one) on the Blue course. Nic now lives and practices law in Miami.
Marco Costello who learned his orienteering in Italy and now lives and works in South Florida posted the fastest Green course time. Tracy Acuff, fresh from the World Deaf Orienteering Championships drove over from Naples to place as top female on the Green course.
Two leaders with the Venice HS team Gunner Reed (29:00) and Suzanne Park (32:41) made short work of the Orange course.
There was also a good-sized contingent of Scouts from Troop 238 in Broward County. They divided in to three groups to tackle the Green and Orange courses.
On the JROTC side of the competition I guess the headline should be "Michko Makes it 2 for 2" After winning the event at Moss Park Sebastian Michko of Ft Lauderdale blitzed round the Green Course in 28 minutes flat, the only cadet to beat Gunner Reed's time. Well, after all, Michko is the only Florida representative on the National Junior Training Squad and is fresh off a season of cross country running at Ft Lauderdale. (Message to all high school athletes interested in improving your orienteering: train with your school's cross country team!) Shannon Hourigan of Boca Raton also followed up a good result at Moss Park with a win at CB Smith
The next most noteworthy JROTC performance has to be Isabella Park of Venice who had the fastest time - males and females - on the Yellow course. Then came two males, Jonathan Middlebrooks and Benjamin Posner, who posted times three seconds apart to top the Male Yellow course.
Christopher Webber of Ft Lauderdale and Recce Nagao of Boca Raton posted convincing wins on the Orange course.
Congratulations to the top schools Krop (Overall) Port Charlotte (Yellow), Ft Lauderdale (Orange) and Venice (Green)
Finally congratulations to CDR Welp and his crew on a finely organized event ably assisted by the Sport Ident timing expertise of Master Chief Sosa of Boca Raton. The South Florida schools have invested in their Sport Ident timing system. It is a big investment but it is proving its worth in its timing accuracy and the level of reliability it brings to the results.
|Katie Petit + 2||63:17|
|Troop 238 #1||48:13|
|Troop 238 #2||74:43|
|Odam & Carlson||92:43|
|Troop 238 #3||99:53|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|