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Exciting Competition at JIRCs 2010

Scotland’s defence of the Junior Inter-Regional Competition trophy, won last year in Northern Ireland, took place last weekend in Sennybridge near Brecon in South Wales, over two days of very hot weather.


The venues for both days, on army training areas consisting of hilly pastureland with small patches of woodland, made for very fast running. On both days the courses were visible from assembly, giving an excellent view to spectators of competitors running across the hillsides.

In Saturday’s Individual race, Kirstin Maxwell and Jo Shepherd came 1st and 2nd respectively in the W18 course, Sasha Chepelin was 2nd in M14, Rona Lindsay was 3rd in W16 and Jenny Ricketts, running in her first JIRCs, was 3rd in W14. With two to count in each age class, every place was important and all the Scottish team performed well.

Accommodation was in the army barracks at Sennybridge. A “friendship relay” with mixed teams from different Regions took place in the evening around the barracks.
At the Individual prize-giving the team scores were announced:
NWOA: 245
SOA: 233
YHOA: 221
So, only 12 points in it and all to play for on Sunday at the Relays.  However, Scotland have never won the Relays in the 21 years since the competition began, although they have won the Individual several times.

The race begins with a mass start of the 16’s, followed by the 14’s who then hand over to the 18’s.  The 16’s and 18’s courses are gaffled together, but the 14’s race is ungaffled.  Much of the race was visible to spectators, as legs had been planned across the hillside and there was a spectator control close to assembly.  There was much excitement and noise as around 200 juniors cheered on their teams and blew or banged on various noisy instruments.

The boys went off first and had to run across a stream then uphill for about 100m to the start control.  A few minutes later they were to be seen running across the hill, recognisable to their team-mates and coaches by their distinctive team O-tops.  A gap soon opened up between the good hill-runners and the not-so-good.  By the time the 16’s finished their course and handed over, the Scottish M16’s were close together, only about 2 minutes down on the leaders.  Their speedy M14 team-mates had closed this gap by the spectator control and it was Finlay Langan and Joab Matthews who were chasing the leaders on the last leg.  Joab was close to the leader at the spectator control.  In spite of having done very little orienteering this year, he held it together and was cheered into the finish in 2nd place, accompanied by team-mates Matthew Galloway and Calum McLeod.  Second SOA team to finish were Craig Nolan, Sasha and Finlay.

In the girls race, W16 Rona Lindsay ran a good first leg for SOA, coming back seconds behind Lucy Butt of SWOA, and handing over to Briony Kincaid.  When Briony came back only seconds behind the leader and handed over to last-leg runner Kirstin Maxwell, we were quietly confident that their team would win, and Kirstin did not disappoint us.  Second SOA team to finish were Katrina McLeod, Jenny Ricketts and Jess Mason (running up a class), in 5th place.  So total relay scores:
SOA: 252
NWOA: 246
YHOA: 228
Scotland had won the JIRCs Relays for the first time ever, thus ending our relay jinx.

Unfortunately, not a big enough score to win the overall title, North-West just beating us by 491 points to 485, with Yorkshire in 3rd place on 449.
Scotland won the Girls trophy for the 5th time in succession.
Well done to all the Scottish juniors, a great team effort.
Full results on the SWOA website

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Photo of authorPosted on 29th Jun 10
by Maureen Brown - ScotJos Squad Manager



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