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Meet results


Deer Grove, June 1, 2003

The club has been blessed with truly fabulous weather for almost all of its events so far in 2003 (which makes up for cold wet spring of 2002). Over 340 people took advantage of the 70 degree temperatures and bright sunshine to make this one of the largest meets of the last few years (the Poplar Creek meet in May had just a few more registrants).

Recent rains have made the ground very soft, and each of the five courses had to cross the creek that winds west to east through the Deer Grove Forest Preserve. The trails were still in good enough condition, however, that most of the folks on White, Yellow, and Orange came back without too much muck on their shoes.

The same rains, unfortunately, have helped the mosquito population finally bloom. Participants were motivated not to hang around too long at the controls. Meets earlier this year have benefitted from low mosquito population caused by the relatively cool, dry spring. Still, the nuisance of thick poison ivy and ticks still seems to be at least a few weeks away.

Participants on the various courses each had their own challenges. The White course kept folks on the trails, but they some of the steepest terrain with which to contend (along the creek). Luckily, enough trees have fallen across the creek so that kids (and some adults) could cross without needing to wade through the ankle-deep water. A first time orienteer, Scott Chupack, was able to blast through the 10 controls in less than 20 minutes. (Sadly, Scott sprined his ankle when he went out on the Yellow course later in the morning.)

The Yellow course took people into the trail network south of the creek, and offered a choice of bushwacking or taking longer (but easier) routes along trails. One of the controls was located at the deepest, widest part of the creek, so competitors had to look around a little harder for a log or a picnic bench to use as a bridge.

The Orange course required some accurate off-road navigation, since several legs did not have convenient, nearby trails. The subtle terrain of the preserve made it difficult for some teams to keep track of their location. This led to the typically large number of groups who were unable to find all of the controls. Kyle McNerney, currently in second place in the Junior Club Championships, had a fabulous time of 46:49.

Competitors on the Green course got deep into the south part of the preserve, which has the most open forest in the preserve. Recent burns within the park have also reduced the amount of underbrush. The vegetation was still a challenge for competitors, however, as most legs required at least some travel through the scrub to some very subtle features.

The Red course took competitors to some of the most challenging locations in the preserve, including a 10-foot knoll in shallow valley, and a saddle (low spot between two hills) with marshes on either side. Only one person, Olaru Maricel, was able to complete the course with an average speed faster than 10 minutes per kilometer. (Typical running speed on pavement is 6-8 minutes per kilometer.)

Regretably, a control on the Green and Red courses was misplaced. The control was about 60 meters west of the boulder marked as its location on the maps. Luckily, most compeitors only had to spend a couple minutes to find the control. Our apologies for the error.

The meet directors, Michael Collins and Drew Bolda, would like to thank all of the volunteers who made it possible to handle the large crowds with a minimum of fuss.

Ray and Nancy Stoddard, Rachel Ashley, Annette Kandell, and a couple unsolicited assistants kept registration moving smoothly, explaining that, for at least one more meet, we wouldn't be collecting money on-site. (Due to Cook County Forest Preserve District rules, money cannot be exchanged within the forest preserve.)

Amy Kozy made an emergency run to Kinko's for extra clue sheets.

Gil Novak and Larry Hundley helped out with the geocaching, and used the GPS receivers to record perhaps the most accurate start and finish times of any local orienteering meet.

Chris Edwards, Susan Wilson, Janet Century, and Howard Rothstein checked the accuracy of the punches, and compilied the results.

Kyle Ryberg, Chuck Clark, Bev Hartline, Fred Hartline, Jim Gordon, Tom Nutt collected the controls in record time.

Thank you all.

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