• Orienteers tackle Great Pumpkin meet

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  • Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
    Spectacular fall colors, light winds and cool temperatures set the perfect conditions for a clean run and technically competitive Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 27.
    Family teams, solo orienteers and two-person teams lined up in anticipation of capturing as many controls as possible on the two courses and the “Sprint for the Cookies” mini-course. The event offered electronic punching and timing splits where racers were able to compare route choices and to analyze moments lost or gained as orienteers executed their attack plan.
    Competitive participants’ goals were to develop an attack plan to capture all the controls sequentially in the least amount of time and distance. Other participants chose to take a leisurely walk with family and pups through the autumn splendor while teaching younger orienteers how to navigate terrain using the old-school use of a map and a hand-held compass.
    The long course contained 5.4 kilometers of urban landscape. Unlike previous orienteering events where racers chose their own order of marker capture, course rules mandated participants punched controls sequentially. The new rule required the 10 solos and five teams to stay focused on marker placement and order.
    Additionally, leading orienteers sought ways to hide from following orienteers to prevent the rest of the pack from duplicating the frontrunners’ strategies. This was especially true in the male solo division where the finish line separation from first place to sixth place was about six minutes.
    John Schoen topped the leader board clearing the 14 controls in 34 minutes and 22 seconds.
    Alan Hastings was a close five seconds behind.
    Reta Roe placed first in the female division in 1:14:01.
    Father-and-son team Micah and Alex Morozov led the two-person male team division with a time of 1:11:46.
    Newcomers Carrie Gooding and Cathy Massey — Team Double C — continued to hone their orienteering skills topping the female team division.
    Family Team Jensen — Matt, Jackie, Megan and Gretchen Jensen — captured first clearing the course in 1:16:57.
    Five family teams competed in the 2.5-kilometer orienteer course. Similar to the long course, the teams captured points sequentially.
    After competing in the long course with daughters Mara and Kate, Gary and Nicole Lysaght ventured out on the short course as a co-ed team securing first place in 28:22.
    Father-and-sons Kurt, Stone and Calvin Roberts — Team Star Wars — took second capturing eight controls in 28:31.
    Seven-year old Juliet Scott led mom Elaine and dog Echo to a winning time of 30:22 for Team Owls in the two-person team division.
    The mini-sprint event was dubbed the Sprint for the Cookies. The solos, teams and junior orienteers with the fastest times received boxes of gourmet cookies. Five teams and 11 solos dashed through the 900-meters, eight-control course, seeking to capture the cookies.
    Page 2 of 2 - Stone “Solo” Roberts topped the junior orienteer division clearing the course in 5:30.
    Junior orienteer Kate Lysaght sprinted past sister Mara by eight seconds to grab cookies in the female division.
    Fritz Menninger captured the solo male division in 5:26.
    Carrie Gooding led the solo female division navigating the distance in 6:56.
    Family Team Jensen slipped by Team Cow People — Brad, Alison, Joshua, Bethany, Abigail and dog Fergus Kattlemann — in 9:06.
    The FMWR Adventure Series continues with the Veterans Day Orienteer at 8 a.m. Nov. 10. Visit FTLVAdventure.com.
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