A clean sweep at the Junior Inter-Regional Championships

A full team of 24 made the trip down to JIRCs at Cranleigh near Gatwick at the weekend and had to make room in their luggage to bring all 5 trophies back to Scotland.

Saturday was the Individual at Winterfold and Pitch Hill with a very green looking map thanks to a lot of summer undergrowth. The Planner had to make compromises and so there was a lot of path running on all courses. We had 3 class winners:

  • M16 Matthew Gooch (MAROC)
  • M18 Freddie Carcas (INT)
  • W18 Grace Molloy (FVO)

..and two third places with Eilidh Campbell (MAROC) in W16 and Emma Wilson (CLYDE) in W18.

At the end of the first day Scotland had won the Individual trophy with 245 points, ahead of North West (226), Yorkshire and Humberside (222) and South West (199). Matthew was presented with the trophy for the Best Individual Performance having won M16 by 4 minutes.

Sunday was warm and sunny for the Relays which made spectating very pleasant though it was hot and energy sapping for the runners. Any mass start is always entertaining to watch and this was no exception when Alistair Chapman suddenly broke away from the pack heading up the path and charged across the open heath – 4 or 5 others then followed! There was a spectator control near the end of the courses and we didn’t have long to wait before Scotland Men came through in 1st, 2nd, 3rd places closely followed by several others. Matthew came in to hand over to Ewan Musgrave in the lead but the others had small misses in the final loop and so there was some work to do for the other 14s who went out next and acquitted themselves well to hand over to the 18s. Freddie Carcas held on the 2nd place with Joe Wright bringing his team home in 8th place – enough to keep the points tally up for Scotland.

The girls’ relay was even more exciting. At the spectator control Lizzie Stansfield came through with two others, followed a couple of minutes later by Eilidh and Kirsty Campbell in another group. At the end of the first leg there were 10 teams all within 2 minutes…what could the 14s do? Keep their heads and finish fast is what they did, so the 18s went out to run cleanly without having to push it too much. By the spectator control we could tell some gaps had opened up but it was Grace Molloy in the lead with Emma Wilson and Lindsay Robertson not far behind …oh and there was Clare Stansfield too; could we have a Scotland 1,2,3? YES! Plus 6th,  which put us in an unassailable lead for the Relay Trophies and the Overall JIRCs Trophy.

A great weekend thanks to South East Orienteering Association for organising and planning everything within an hour of Gatwick. The team did themselves, and me, proud and were a pleasure to be with. Huge thanks to Teresa and Craig Chapman who supported us over the weekend with driving, general logistics and making sure we all had enough to eat (☺).

Full results are linked from www.jros.org.uk. We’re looking forward to the Junior Home International on 7/8 October in Wales.