Scottish Juniors take on European Youth Championships in Belarus
Alice Wilson (Clyde), Lizzie Stansfield (FVO) , Rachel Brown (ESOC) and Matthew Gooch (MAROC) represented Scotland on the last weekend in June as the first junior international orienteering competition of the year took place in Belarus.
With a long race on Friday, Relay on Saturday and Sprint on Sunday, the forests were tough and green, with the low visibility punishing even the smallest of mistakes. The Scottish participants made some mistakes in the long race, but took these lessons in to the relay to produce some strong results.
Special mention goes to Rachel, who was the only W16 member of the team. The British team had chosen to take only two M16 boys so Rachel joined them for the relay, running the third leg. Joe Hudd and Jim Bailey had excellent runs, sending Rachel out in fourth place. Despite the pressure she also had a technically strong run, bringing the team back in seventh place – just off the podium.
Sunday was the sprint race, and Rachel again had the performance of the day finishing in 20th, Alice 39th, Lizzie 48th.
The European Youth Orienteering Championships is a key international event for providing juniors with experience to take into bigger races in the future, and all four athletes gained a lot from their experiences.