A Big Weekend for Moravian

Thirty six Moravians headed down to Stirling and Edinburgh for the final big away weekend of the year.

As well as being the penultimate round of the Scottish Orienteering Urban League and the final round of the Scottish Orienteering League, the weekend included the Junior Inter Area competitions where younger members of all the nation's clubs gathered together to represent their area teams, to make new friends, and to meet up with old ones from around the country.

SOUL 10 - Livingston

Our urban specialist, Jon Hollindgdale, retained his 12-point lead at the top of the mens veterans (40+) standings. With nearest challengers Roger Goddard and Jon Cross from FVO both due to be on the starting line up there was a chance to strengthen his lead with one race to go. What this correspondent hadn't accounted for was INT's Ray Ward and 3 other runners not amongst the leaders who took the top 4 places.  Despite Jon beating both his nearest rivals in finishing 5th, Ward's win means that if he (or Roger Goddard) wins the final race, and Jon finishes lower than 2nd the title is theirs.Otherwise the title in Jon's. That final race is in faraway Biggar on 12th November. Who will travel all that way remains to be seen. 

In the Junior Women class, Mairi Weir did her prospects no harm with 2nd place earning her 96 points. This race gave her 4 of the required 5 counting results for a competitive score. While she was no match for class leader Rachel Brown (ESOC) who won by over a minute, Mairi had the satisfacton of beating 2nd-placed Mairi Eades. Now looking solid in 3rd place Mairi looks likely to take the overall bronze medal, an award she could secure by running (and finishing) at Biggar.  Moravian team mates Carrie Brown and Hannah Kingham also ran in Mairi's class after their runs in the JIA relays.

Finally in the Young Junior Women class, 2nd placed Isobel Howard had a great battle with close rivals Maja Robertson (ESOC) and Morven Farquharson (GRAMP). Having outrun Maja in the JIA relays earlier on, Isobel found that costly mistakes at no 2 and 12 gave her opponent a clear win. Morven was 2nd but really needed a win to give her the 100 points needed to threaten Isobel's runner-up spot which she is now guaranteed to claim after the league comes to a close. 

You can see the updated SOUL league tables HERE.


Junior Inter-Area Relays - Dechmont Law near Stirling

The JIA relays saw a satisfyingly close contest between North, West and East. West Area were the reigning champions from when we hosted the weekend at Culbin last year, but with East fielding a significantly strengthened side it was always going to be hard to predict the winners.

In the Open relays, teams of 3 runners had to complete legs at Orange, Yellow and Light Green standard. Our super-speedy Finlay McLuckie ran the Yellow leg for the eventual winners, with team mates Oscar Shepherd (INVOC) on Orange and Joe Wrght (MAROC) on Light Green. Finlay ran the 3rd fastest yellow leg but it was a storming last leg by his MAROC team mate that clinched the win by just 11 seconds. The next-best team with a Moravian runner in the open class was David Spencer's team of Ranolph Whitehead and Luke Graham. David ran 1st leg (Orange) and handed over in 7th place. Ranolph dropped to 11th but a strong final leg by Luke left the team finishing in 6th.

There were good runs by several other Moravians in the open class, including Carrie Brown, Fergus Kenyon, Ben Coutts, Connor & Ryan Curran and Josh Britian. Every one of them achieved a clear round which is never an easy task in a relay. The results of the Open race, in which North were the overall winners, are HERE 

In the girls relay, North Area didn't have quite the same success as the boys but they finished 2nd. Isobel Howard (Orange) and Kate McLuckie (Yellow) were put in the same team and both ran fine races. Isobel handed over in 2nd place to Kate who managed to storm round as fastest Yellow girl and hand over to final Light Green leg runner Katrina McGougan (BASOC) with a 7-second lead. Katrina ran valiantly but had to settle for overall 2nd, just 58 seconds behind the winners. Mair Weir's team was the next best team with Moravian interest, coming 7th, but we did have an all-Moravian team comprising Eva Wiseman, Sophie Howard and Faith Kenyon who were 12th. Ida Oikkonen and Scarlett Bitain were our other Moravian girls, with Scarlett managing the 5th fastest yellow leg only to find her team disqualified after the first-leg runner had missed a control. Like for the open class, every single Moravian runner got a clear round. Extremely well done to one and all! Girls relay results are here.

The team points after the relays were West 64, North 56, East 48 

SOL 7 and JIA Individual - Drummond Hill

The JIA Individual race was tagged on to the final SOL race of the year at Drummond Hill above Loch Tay near Aberfeldy.  North area were 8 points down on West, with East a further 14 points back so it was all to play for. Several Moravians occupied leading positions in the SOL league tables (both senior and junior). These were only published on the Friday before the race, so lots of individual pride was at stake even though some of our competitors probably had no idea what position they were in.

Could North Area overturn the 8-point deficit from the relays? Of course they could. And with some style! Although the results summary for the JIA isn’t available as this report is being written, the SOL results from all 333 competitors is. And they make good reading.

On Yellow we had the fastest boy and girl with the McLuckie kids once again coming up with the goods. Finlay’s thrilling winning margin over close rival Finn Duguid (TAY) was just 3 seconds while Kate was just a single second ahead of the 2nd girl from Roxburgh Reivers. Every second counts in these big races!

On Orange, Isobel and Faith took 1st and 2nd places in the girls race for North Area, finishing overall 2nd and 4th with the boys results included, while on Light Green Hannah Kingham was 1st girl – another maximum for the North. With 2 MAROC lads claiming 1st and 2nd, North Area was now in an incredibly strong position and a comprehensive win looked likely.

Meanwhile, among the seniors, Eddie Harwood continued his recovery with a solid 2nd place on Short Blue where Morag McLuckie did her chances in the overall SOL results no harm by coming 3rd W45.

And we can’t not mention the Moravian takeover on the White course. It was, by all accounts one of the most physically tough White courses anyone can remember seeing! Although this wasn’t part of the Junior Inter Areas, Anna, Hannah, Hayley and Gemma made up 80% of the field with young Miss Howard claiming the bragging rights after 2 Km of roughy-toughy hill bashing. Stars of the future for sure.  There were many others, both junior and senior giving it their all, and while it's nice to be able to celebrate the achievements of our top performers, it was the togetherness and team spirit created by EVERYONE in the team that made this such an outstanding weekend. A huge well done to everyone who made the trip and we hope we can welcome a few more newer members next year in the great adventure that is Scottish Orienteering.

The juniors are working on an event report of their own which we hope to publish later in the week but for now we’ll leave you with a link to the full SOL results. We’ll let you know when the final SOL positions are announced. We're pretty sure these results mean that Finay McLuckie has won the M10A category, Kate McLuckie has won W10A and Isobel Howard and Faith Kenyon are 1st and 2nd in W12A. 

(editor's note - the final SOL tables were published on Tuesday. We were right in our assumptions! View them here)

The team points scores from the JIA Individual races were:

North 78, West 50, East 47

Which all made for a comprehensive overall win for the North after defeat on home gound last year:

North 134, West 114, East 95

A full summary of the JIA individual points scorers is HERE

A full summary of the JIA team scores for the whole weekend is HERE