Grace Fitzgerald, of Team Space Dinos, punches control point No. 6 during the Bunny Hop Orienteer Meet April 16 by the Frontier Army Museum. Team Space Dinos — Libby, Chad, Caleb, Grace, Jack, Abby, Grandma DD and Grand Papa John — secured nine controls in two hours, 39 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens/Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

Connie Carpenter, Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

The Bunny Hop Orienteer Meet brought cool temperatures and light winds setting the perfect conditions for a holiday walk outdoors.

Several teams consisted of visiting guests to include grandfathers and grandmothers holding hands with the littlest orienteers.

Solo orienteer Richard Stanfield secures control point No. 13 at a bend in the trail April 16 during the Bunny Hop Orienteer Meet. Stanfield cleared the 16-control Olympic course in one hour, 38 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens/Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

The event offered three courses designed to match the orienteers’ skill levels and to accommodate all ages, sizes and groups.

The two-kilometer introductory course proved competitive with several family teams navigating the course.  Moms and dads often served as primary navigators with younger orienteers serving as lookouts for the orange navigational controls. Family Team Hammacks — Andrew, Nathan and Charles Hammack — captured eight check points in one hour, 32 minutes to edge out Team Nifflers — Jeanette, Mark, Aiden and Zachary Balboni — for the top spot in the division. Team Nifflers secured seven markers in 35 minutes. 

First-timer and solo racer Cathy Schrankel topped the intermediate course leader board by applying a clover attack plan, capturing the lower course controls before pursuing the western controls. Schrankel secured 10 controls in 1:18.

Family Team Space Dinos — mom Libby, dad Chad, and children Caleb, Grace, Jack and Abby Fitzgerald — were joined by Grand PaPa John and Grandma “DD” Dirk. Team Space Dinos led the family team division finding nine controls in 2:39.

The Olympic course also proved competitive with a large number of participants pursuing the 16-control course. Solo orienteer John Schoen set a scorching pace, securing 16 controls in 46 minutes. Daughter Madison followed closely behind punching 16 controls in 52 minutes.

Team Cheetah — father-son duo Dallas and Jacob Cheatham — topped the two-person division, clearing the course in 1:28.

Family Team Mundell — Zach, Julie, Deborah, Jonathan and Tabitha Mundell — took their division, punching 14 controls in 1:28.

Veteran-orienteer family Team Thornton — Melissa, Chris, Thomas and Gregory Thornton — followed closely behind capturing 14 markers in 1:41.

The orienteer series continues with the Strong BANDS Orienteer Meet May 14th. See for more information.


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