Sunday, 27 April 2008

LVO runners excel at World Schools Champs

World Schools Orienteering Championships
Medals went to Sweden, Latvia, Poland, England, Scotland, Estonia, and Austria in Wednesday's long distance event at the ISF World Schools Orienteering Championships in Scotland.

But while Aine McCann, running with the Irish Schools Team, chalked up her second major win of the week over the rough going at Devilla Forest, she failed to take a medal. Ireland didn’t enter a team in the school section so while Aine was allowed to run in the select section she was not allowed to medal, so England's second place Charlotte Watson took the title.

Last Saturday, Aine, already the British Schools Champion, won the British Long Distance title at Forres. Now she has proved herself a talent to be watched in the future with her World Schools win at Kincardine. With a time of 30m50s she beat Charlotte Watson into second by 2m 2s while Ilsze Buza of Latvia finished third in 33m 20s. "I didn't expect to win," said the Lagan Valley club girl who is coached by her father Greg, "I didn't worry about it too much. Just went out and ran."

Brighton’s Jonny Crickmore, 2nd overall at M16 at the JK, but 8th at the British after a problem at the 15th control, gave England junior World Schools gold. The South Downs runner won the junior select title with a time of 30m59s for the 4.8km course, beating Austria's Tobias Habenicht into second by over a minute.

Finlay Langan became Scotland's first ever medal winner at the championships when he took junior bronze in the Schools section. The Mar club runner finished two and a half minutes down on the lead with his time of 32m26s. And now, with skateboard enthusiast Joab Matthews 4th and rugby player Sam Burgess 14th, Scotland is in the running for the team title when the short distance results are added after Friday's race.

"Finlay's an orienteer but the others are only occasional competitors," said the school squad parent official Fiona Wickes. "But they have all been training really hard with the Mar club coaches."

Latvia and Poland currently head the opposition in the team event.

RESULTS- Orienteering - ISF World Schools Championship Orienteering Long Distance - (Devilla Forest, Kincardine)
Select/Individual Section Senior Girls - 5.6km
1 J Olsson (Swe) 40:35, 2 L Martinsson (Swe) 45:19, 3 J Blomquist (Eng) 46:28
Junior Girls - 4.0km
1 A McCann (Ire) 30:50 (non-counter), 2 C Watson (Eng) 32:52, 3 I Buza (Latvia) 33:20
Senior Boys 6.5km
1 A Ridefeldt (Swe) 37:37, 2 K Kivikas (Est) 38:25, 3 K Jones (Eng) 38:28
Junior Boys - 4.8km
J Crickmore (Eng) 30:59, 2 T Habenicht (Aut) 32:08, 3 J Sars (Lat) 33:23

Schools Section Senior Girls - 5.5km
1 A Segersen (Sweden) 39m37s, B Gustavsson (Swe) 45:05, 3 V Ernstson (Swe) 45:34
Junior Girls- 4.0km
1 L Valdame (Latvia) 32:27, 2 L Pacher (Austria) 36:21, 3 G Jeskowiak (Pol) 41:41; 10 Clíona Galwey (Ire) 48.48; 29 Cornelia Galwey (Ire) 63.54; 55 Mary Deane (Ire) 87.02; 60 Claire Nagle (Ire) 99.30; 85 Ann Linehan (Ire) 115.13
Senior Boys - 6.3km
1 E Heinaro (Finland) 37:52, 2 R Kivleniens (Latvia) 38:31, 3 O Mikkola (Fin) 38:49
Junior Boys- 4.6km
1 P Piosik (Pol) 29:57, 2 I Klavins ( Lat) 30:11, 3 F Langan (Scot) 32:26; 8 Mark Stephens (Ire) 41.19; 22 Jack Millar (Ire) 62.10
Further results can be found here

World Schools Orienteering Championships-Friday results-Middle Distance
Running for Scotland, the Aboyne Academy junior boys' squad won team silver at the ISF World Schools Championship Orienteering at Barr Wood near Stirling today (Friday).And there was a second individual bronze for Finlay Langlan, their first counter home in the middle distance event, while Joab Matthews and Sam Burgess finished 12th and 14th.

Latvia with a total time of 2h 40m 15s for their best three counters in Tuesday’s long and Thursday's middle distance events won team gold. Scotland won silver with 2h 44m 32s. And Poland who had gone into the second day of competition just 8 seconds behind the Scots finished third with 2h 46m06s. It was a first ever team medal for the Scots at the ISF Orienteering Championships. Langlan, who clocked 14m29s, claimed individual bronze, seven seconds behind Latvia's Ivars Klavins (14:09) and Portugal's Luis Silva (14:22).

Ireland's Clíona Galwey finished 7th in the D2 class, improving further on her 10th in the Long Distance race on Wednesday. A non-competitive Aine McCann finished 2nd in the 2.1 km D2 Select class with a time of 12.55.

Other Irish results: H2 Schools class 2.5 km Jack Millar 17.47; Mark Stephens 17.55 (both non competitive).

D2 Schools class 2.0 km: 7 Clíona Galwey 15.46, 34 Claire Nagle 21.30, 40 Ann Linehan 24.16, 50 Mary Deane 29.08, 57 Cornelia Galwey 33.10.

(Information from Bill Melville)

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Leinster Championships 2008

It was certainly a fair mountain we had to climb from the start of Setanta Orienteers Leinster Championships at the Wicklow Gap. Fair Mountain was the location for the event, on a new Pat Healy map based on Stirling Surveys photogrammetry. In fact, everything was fair except the weather, though it could have been much worse. All hail the Leinster Champions and all hail described the weather at times too.
An exposed upland area to the west of Turlough Hill pumped storage power station, the bleak start and finish area gave no shelter to the runners, though conditions on the courses were not bad. Lots of rock faced the longer courses with a first leg leading diagonally upslope from the start, throwing the runners in the navigational deep end right from the off. This area was really the only part of any complexity and brought many to grief within sight of the start.
After this the courses stayed mostly on the boggy, gullied mountainside with the longest veering towards Conavalla: the area was more runnable and less heathery than neighbouring Glendasan where Setanta ran the Leinsters in 2004. (Have SET run more Leinster Championships than other clubs? Mullaghmeen and Djouce also spring to mind).

David Healy (GEN) had 2 minutes to spare over CNOC's Colm Hill in M21L with CNOC clubmate Seamus O'Boyle another minute down. Niamh O'Boyle (CNOC) took the W21L title just 41 seconds clear of QUBOC's Ciara Largey, with CorkO's Ailbe Creedon third.

The area is a good addition to Wicklow's maps but must be a difficult one to have planned easy courses on. Nearly all open mountain with some patches of young forest, areas like Fair Mountain are challenging and intimidating to orienteers who expect a gentle stroll in the forest with the kids, but it does show that it is a serious sport requiring stamina, fitness, strength and speed as well as map reading skills.

Fair Mountain and Sunday April13th's race at Carlingford Mountain, provided excellent open-mountain preparation for the Irish Championships at Bere Island on the May bank holiday weekend.

Leinster Championships results here
Courses and Route here on Routegadget

Leinster Spring Cup Final
Carlingford, the following Sunday, proved very challenging as usual. Trina Cleary's courses often use small, subtle control sites in areas with lots of larger features, so it wasn't going to be easy. There was serious climb on the longer courses which used the mountain to the full but visibility was good and underfoot conditions excellent so the fitter runners moved away from the pack. Start and finish were in the area used for the Irish Relays in 2006 and the shorter courses stayed on that side of the hill.
David Healy, Declan McGrellis and Seamus O'Boyle took top spots on the Brown courses with Colm Hill dropped to 5th following a problem en route to the first control. Colm Rothery continued his return to form in advance of the Irish Championships, finishing 4th. This was the final event of the Leinster Spring Cup. League results are here.
Carlingford routes are here (very interesting!)

In the Spring Cup (best 4 of 6 races) Gerard Butler (3ROC) held off the challenge of David Healy to win the series by a mere 3 points, Butler with a race in hand dropped his Carlingford result while Healy had only run four races. Another close finish was on the Orange course with CNOC's Caoimhe O'Boyle holding off Donal Kearns (Fingal) to win by 8 points.

Hill Of TaraRoyal County Runs
Fingal are running three events (the Tara Sprint series) to promote orienteering in Meath. Starting on April 19th at Dalgan Park, between Dunshaughlin and Navan, the events continue at Tara (May 10th) and Balrath Wood (off Dublin to Slane road) on May 25th. While aimed mainly at beginners, current orienteers are welcome too.