East Stewart Gulch April O meet Report
Gorgeous spring weather attracted a full complement of budding orienteers to both the Classic beginner course and the rigorous Score course in the Boise foothills:
Karin Didisse and Kristin Ritzenthaler cross "paths" on the Score course.
The beginner course involved a bit more climb and distance than our usual introduction, but it proved a perfect training ground for several guests whose interest was perked by an article in the Idaho Statesman the week before. These guests included C. Coyle and Barb Swaner, two women who brought some experience from the "other" orienteering club in the valley on horseback; Randall Gamblin and his family; Terry Johnson; and Kevin Kizer, who we talked into giving the beginner a try before tackling terrain at Rabbit Creek. All enjoyed the beautiful day and I think we may expect to see them again at a future meet.
Our hilly intro course also happened to attract some families who came from word of mouth, but then faced up to some of our running members who decided to see just how fast the beginner could really be completed. Apoorva, the budding daughter of the Lokanathan family, punched every control herself. They were perhaps closest in "class" to Leah Davidson who ran with her mom Alice (and started out briefly with the Ritzenthaler kids too) and seem excited for a return trip. By contrast, Dave Ritzenthaler and Bill Leahy stormed the course within a couple of minutes of each other, although Bill won out this time around.
Despite cramping up and earning a bit of overtime, Ole Bergset runs in with a grin.
Andy Hill set the challenge bar high in his Score course design, and he was chuckling quietly to himself all day even though he couldn't be there to witness the painful grimace that accompanied every finisher. Choices typically involved painful climbs and some highly technical control placements in many of the infamous reentrants of Stewart. High pointers were distributed in a rather interesting way that didn't always mean the farthest traveled bought more points.
Controls visited varied wildly depending on the strategy, intentional or not. HP, the 15 pointer on the very far west of the map, was only visited by Sergey. MM, a 10 pointer, was only a little less lonely since both Sergey and Jay Morgan saw the oft used depression in the southwest corner. HH required descending almost to the houses in the central south, and only Jeff Decker and Sergey took the quad pounding needed to get there.
By contrast, the closest controls QQ, XX, and LM, all worth 5 points, were visited by almost but not quite everyone - Jay Morgan aimed for the high pointers and skipped all three. The most frequented 15 pointer was XF, a centrally located, easily visible control but placed on a brutally steep reentrant near the water tower. The closer but slightly more subtle BB (also 15) came in for a close second in popularity.
Unfortunately, control BO, in the northwest corner near the golf course, intended to be easy to find but requiring a painful climb tradeoff to get there, mysteriously disappeared between the time of its placement Friday and meet on Saturday. Sergey and Bill Leahy spent some highly valuable minutes searching for this 10 pointer. Arguably Bill gets some extra credit points for his effort but I lack a nice way of counting this...
As you may have surmised in the lines above, Sergey took first given the combination of his training, running legs, familiarity with the map, and astute route choice but still had the face the music of all that climb in his run. By contrast, second place was hotly contested after all the points were tallied and penalties faced (5 minutes for each full minute). Kristin Ritzenthaler, Karin Didisse, and Bill Leahy all tied with 80 points each. I rank below in order by time. Ole was right up there behind them with 75 and actually punched more controls before his overtime kicked in. Jeff Decker, Masha, and Bob all made their calls in the limited time allowed and could arguably be classed as "intermediate" against the speedsters in front. Jay Morgan decided three controls in his hour was just not enough for him, and so spent extra time getting some controls few others dared to tackle.
Beginner, Classic 9 controls, 2.37km, 65m climb
Bill Leahy 19:24
David Ritzenthaler 21:33
Kevin Kizer 29:30
Leah Davidson & Alice Blake 40:00
Terry Johnson 43:00
Arun Lokanathan & family 50:00
C. Coyle & Barb Swaner 54:15
Randall Gamblin & family 59:30
Score Results (5 points per minute overtime penalty):
Score 15 controls, 155 total set, 145 available Punched Pts Final Score
Sergey Velichko 59:03 145 145
Kristin Ritzenthaler 54:15 80 80
Karin Didisse 1:01:45 85 80
Bill Leahy 1:02:00 90 80
Ole Bergset 1:07:08 110 75
Jeff Decker 58:46 60 60
Masha Velichko 57:00 35 35
Bob Didisse 38:00 15 15
Jay Morgan 1:40:45 75 0
These numbers reflect any corrections I realized when verifying totals here at home, so if it doesn't seem quite consistent with any scribbles I made on your map that is likely why. Let me know if I made any errors, of course.
Masha and Sergey Velichko (and their dog Mal'chik) race into the finish area.
Control punch table for comparison (in map point order, not actual completed):
Score QQ LM XX CC GG RN HH AL BO MM HP BB XF MR CR
Velichko x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Ritzenthaler x x x x x x x x x
Karin Didisse x x x x x x x x
Bill Leahy x x x x x x x x x
Ole Bergset x x x x x x x x x x x
Jeff Decker x x x x x
Masha Velichko x x x x x
Bob Didisse x x x
Jay Morgan x x x x x x
QQ-CC: 5 points GG-MM: 10 points HP-CR: 15 points
Great thanks go to course designer and Score control setter Andy Hill, as well as to Bill Leahy and Jeff Decker for control pickup. Special thanks to my wife Dondi for helping manage starts, finishes, and some photo op (last two above in particular) at the start area where I was often preoccupied counting totals or otherwise out of it.
Next month we return to the beautiful area of Rabbit Creek near Murphy, Idaho. Bill and Russ Pilcher manage to outdo themselves every year at this venue, and the terrain is spectacular, so this is not a meet to miss! See you on Sunday, May 4th!
Meet Directors Jeff Black and Andy Hill