As the Florida JROTC state-wide orienteering ranking progresses through its fourth year a few trends are coming forward.
We have had about 450 different participants in five events so far this year. The events total is down compared to last year but it seems each event is attracting larger fields.
The event total is down due to the cancellation of the Moss Park event, postponement of the Markham Park event and inability to secure a permit for an event in Ocala’s Silver Spring Park.
However it looks as if we are going to build up the event total in a hurry as we head in to 2017. There will be eleven eligible competitions on the nine Saturdays between Jan 14 and March 11. Included in the stretch are four SOAR events, three FLO events and two being run by the new South Florida Orienteering group assisted by SOAR. Also counting in the mix are chances for cadets to earn points at the South-east interscholastic championships in January in Georgia and the Navy Nationals in February in Maryland. It is an exciting and busy season coming up and concluding after some spring breaks with the Suncoast championships and the State JROTC championships in April.
But where do we stand right now?
Trend #1: Those who attend the most events are going to have the most points. Conversely a cadet who does not participate does not earn any points. Eventually we will have close to 20 events in the rankings and a cadet counts his/ her five best events. That will even things out but for now most events brings you to the top. Take Alexa Keeler of Robinson, for example. She leads the Female Advanced Rankings by participating with her team three times, winning a first, second and third. She also participated on the public side at Lake Manatee and earned equivalent third place points to put her 27 points ahead of undefeated Isabella Park who has three events on her record.
Trend #2: If you ‘took your game to the higher level’ and participated at the recent North American Orienteering Championships you are going to do well at the state level. Todd and Isabella Park of Venice represented the state very well and came back with valuable experience. They are both three-for-three in wins this year.
Trend #3: You don’t have to be from a large school to be doing well as a team in Orienteering. Athletes from Francis Marion and South Sumter own most of the top ten spots in the Male Advanced class. South Sumter has six of the top ten spots in the Male Novice class.
Trend #4 Not really a trend but I’d like to give a shout-out to the top ranked students who have yet to win a medal for finishing in the top three in any one event. Their continuing effort exemplifies the best in our competitions.
Adv Female: Haleigh Mayhew, Robinson Adv Male: Logan Perdigon, Robinson
Int Female: Savannah Johnson, West Nassau and I Rodriguez, Mitchell
Int Male: Justin Connally, Robinson
Nov Female: Sarah Watson, Robinson Nov Male: Tyson Possehl, Venice
Congratulations to all who have participated in our Ranking Events. I look forward to seeing you in 2017.