Local successes in SW orienteering team

The Junior Inter Regional Championships were held last weekend at Sandringham Park in East Anglia. Emily Keenan, 13, from Sidmouth, and Ellie Stone, 16, from Colyton, both pupils at Sidmouth College, were part of the South West girls’ team. Grey Grierson, 15, from Ottery St Mary who attends The King’s School, and Sean Rowe,14, from Torquay Grammar School, were part of the boys’ team.

They are all part of Devon Orienteering Club. Other members of the 22 strong team came from BOK (Bristol Orienteering Club), Sarum Orienteering Club (Salisbury) and Wimbourne Orienteering Club.

The first day, Saturday, was the individual races. The juniors race in three different age categories, W14 and M14 for boys and girls 14 and under, Emily was in this category. W16 and M16 for those 16 and under, Ellie, Grey and Sean were all in this category. There is another category of W18 and M18. This is the fourth year Stone has represented the South West squad at the Inter Regionals, the other three are new to the squad this year.

Stone has also been selected for a national 16/17yrs training camp in Kincraig in Scotland in August along with three others from the South West.

The individual course was technically difficult with high bracken making visibiltiy tricky.

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Keenan's course was 3.7km and had 15 controls. She completed it in a time of 1.15.35hrs and came 23rd, which was a good run for the conditions and a great run for her first time at this sort of competition.

Stone's course was 4.8km with 16 controls and she completed in 1.00.11hrs, 26th. She was disappointed, having made a navigational error, but it was still a good performance in the difficult conditions. Grierson and Rowe's course was 6.9km with 25 controls. Grierson completed in 1.34.50hrs, Sean in 2.07.09hrs, 34th and 41st respectively. Lucy Butt from Sarum was the W18 winner and completed the 7km course of 23 controls in 56.50 minutes - an outstanding result in the conditions. Adam Potter from BOK was fourth in the M18 category completing the 10km and 29 controls in 1.14.29hrs.

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At the end of the first day the South West (SW) boys were sixth and the girls in fifth, fourth overall as some boys had done well, but some girls not so well. Scotland is just one region and were first, NW second and Yorkshire third.

No luxury overnight - accommodation was on the floor of Lynn Sports Hall in King’s Lynn, with a simple meal and a football match to watch!

the Sunday saw team relays with teams made up of each age group and girls can run for the boys’ team but not the other way round. Competitors can’t open their maps until the race starts, and as not everyone is going in the same direction it gets edgy.

The M16 course was 4.5km and the W16 was 4.1km. First runners - Rowe had a cracking run in 45 minutes, Grierson 55.12 minutes and and Stone finished in 47 minutes.

Keenan was a second runner, she had 3.2km, which she completed in 37.31 minutes. Stone's team came 21st, with the third leg runner having difficulties, Keenan’s came 17th, Grierson's team was 30th and Rowe's did not have a third leg runner so could not be counted, which was a shame after such a good run. The other girls’ team came eighth and the other boys’ teams came seventh and 13th.

The SW boys were joint third place with South Central and Yorkshire. The girls were also third which meant that overall SW kept their fourth place against all 12 regions.

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