Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

The Gobbler Orienteer Meet Nov. 30 tested orienteers’ attack strategies as the event’s Score-O format placed emphasis on point values and time management versus number of controls captured.

Each navigational control offered a point value. Racers faced a dilemma where controls requiring higher navigational skill sets and longer treks from the finishing point garnered higher point values. The peril associated with racers choosing to capture higher points was the participants being unable to return to the finish line within time limits.

Controls in easily accessible urban areas were within a short walking distance of the finish line. While the captures resulted in reduced risks, the navigation controls brought lower point values. The maximum level of points for the entire course was 535. The event consisted of three time divisions of 60, 90, and 180 minutes.

Two families competed in the 60-minute division. First-timer Team Ninja —Aimee, Michael and sons Vance and Maverick Sullivan with dog Winchester — chose a low risk approach focusing instead on the art of navigating in urban terrain. Team Ninja captured 55 points in 48 minutes.

Team Callahans — mom Mary and sons Lucas and Liam Callahan — leveraged their experience and tiny tykes’ team management skills to gain 80 points in 51 minutes.

The 90-minute division proved extremely competitive as top orienteers sought to clear the course within time constraints. The approximately eight-mile course stretched from the urban areas east of Grant Avenue to the higher western trail system, just west of Sherman Avenue. Orienteers ascended and descended approximately 350 meters.

Edwin Callahan set a blistering pace clearing the course in 68 minutes.

Coed Team Alias — Sandy Beverly and Dylan Bassett — squeaked into the finish line at 89 minutes securing first in their division with 535 points.

Family Team Penguins — Brian, Melissa, Brendan, Sara and Avery Hanley — applied a textbook Score-O attack plan. The team navigated the course using a counter-clockwise, clover approach steadily capturing western points while moving east toward the finish line as time expired. Penguins secured first place in the family division with 230 points in 88 minutes.

The 180-minute division provided racers additional time to clear the course. However, endurance served as the primary factor in participants’ decision making and course choices.

Bill Schluben topped the leader board securing 535 points in 94 minutes.

Mary Jones followed, gaining 535 points in 119 minutes.

The objective of Family Team Go As A Team — mom Melissa and daughter Corinthia Stafford — was to enhance Corinthia’s navigational skills. The young Scout sought to achieve Scouts BSA’s coveted orienteering badge. Team Go As A Team captured 435 points in 257 minutes.

The Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series wraps up the winter season Dec. 14 with the Tinsel 20 Orienteer Meet starting at 8:30 a.m. at Gruber Fitness Center parking lot. For more event information, visit or call (913) 683-5634.

Dylan Bassett and Sandy Beverly of Team Alias sprint toward the finish line at the 89-minute mark during the Gobbler Orienteer Nov. 30 by Gruber Fitness Center. Team Alias met the 90-minute cut-off with seconds to spare scoring 535 points. Photo by Connie Carpenter


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