EMPO Times Winter 1996-1997

US Champs!

This issue presents a couple of EMPO firsts: our first US Orienteering Champion, and our first US Ski-O Championship event. We've had some US Ski-O Champions before, but Martin Hawkes-Teeter is our first US (Foot) Orienteering Champion; and we've hosted some US Championship events before, but this is our first Ski-O Championship. Our recent Club Championship was also a big event for us, as we had a large number of new folks come out, plus several people we haven't seen in a while were able to return. So read on, and see where we've been the last few months, and where we're going in the next few; then join us to play in the snow!

Berne Boy Wins Title

Nine-year-old Martin Hawkes-Teeter of Berne won the 12-year-old-and-under male crown at the United States Orienteering Championships held in Oxford, Ohio. Hawkes-Teeter is a fourth-grader at Berne-Knox-Westerlo Elementary School and the top ranked orienteer in his class in the US for the last two years. He currently holds the North American Championship and the New York State Championship. In the US Championships, he covered the 3.0 kilometer course in 25 minutes, 15 seconds and the 3.4 kilometer course in 34:47. His two-day total time was 7:04 faster than the second-place finisher.

-Albany Times-Union, 10/31/96

  • Also check out the recent article in Jack and Jill featuring Marty.

EMPO Goes to New England

One of the larger contingents of EMPO club members in recent memory, eight, made the trip to central Massachusetts for the New England Championship "O" Meet in late September, this year, and were met with great success. Of particular note was the Club's results in the Female and Junior Classes, where each entrant finished "in the money."

EMPO Women wear New England Championship laurels

This year the Meet was set up on two very different venues for the two days. On Saturday, the courses were at Townsend State Forest, a large, relatively flat area close to the New Hampshire border. The area has only a moderate trail network, and many parts are fairly featureless, requiring careful selection of attack points and more compass work than in some places. It is also not very open in much of the woods, which slows you down, forces you out of your way, and makes it hard to pick out the control flag even when you are close. None of these problems had much to do with how I managed to foul up the 3rd control, which ultimately cost me the race many kilometers and one day later: I was sloppy in identifying the correct trail bend for my attack point -- twice! At least I didn't get completely tangled up in any mountain laurel thickets, as I had a few years ago.

All the rest of the EMPO folk had better outings on Saturday. It's always nice to feel like you're still in the race on the second day, and pretty much everyone was. Sunday's courses were set on the more recent Mount Wachusett map, site of, among other things, this past Spring's Billygoat Run. If your were there then, or saw the feature article on it in Orienteering North America, you know that there was a substantial amount of snow still on the mountain for that event. Mount Wachusett is a downhill ski area during the winter, and they must have had a good snow season last year; but by October it was finally all gone! Now there was just the mountain itself to deal with. To keep the climb within official limits, the upper part of the mountain wasn't used this time around, but there was still more than enough to satisfy all but the most masochistic. It rained the night before, but fortunately it wasn't enough to make things very slippery or sloppy, and the temperature was comfortable for running.

And run we all did, with much success as shown below. The courses were well set, except for one control placement error affecting Red and Green runners. In the end there was no protest, and there would have been little effect in any class in which EMPO was competing. Next Spring, come to an "A" Meet with the EMPO crew and we'll have even more of us to swap route choice ideas (and maybe a few excuses, tall tales, and other stories).

Townsend Wachusett Two-Day
Course Class Time Finish Time Finish Time Finish
Rita Reed Orange F Open 123:56 1st 131:19 1st 255:15 1st
Robert Reed Green M Open 92:41 4th 104:56 4th 197:37 4th
Greg Tryson Yellow M-14A 52:01 2nd 44:43 2nd 96:44 2nd
Janet Tryson Green F40-A 85:43 1st 85:37 1st 171:20 1st
Glen Tryson Red M40-A 97:10 5th 115:22 5th 212:32 5th
Marty Hawkes-Teeter White M-12A 21:05 2nd 16:13 1st 37:18 1st
Sue Hawkes-Teeter Green F40-A 129:59 3rd 140:50 3rd 270:49 3rd
Phil Hawkes-Teeter Red M45-A 86:54 6th 90:03 2nd 176:57 2nd

EMPO Club Championships

On a beautiful, sunny November day, over 80 people turned out for the 1996 EMPO Club Championships at the Schenectady Museum Nature Preserve. With temperatures rising into the mid-40's, everyone took the opportunity to get into the woods one last time (on foot) before Winter set in.

Many people went out in groups to enjoy the woods at a leisurely pace, while the more competitive individuals tried to earn coveted EMPO Championship trophies. Bill Jameson and Janet Tryson both challenged younger runners and won the trophies in the Male and Female Open categories respectively.

There was some heated competition in the younger categories. In the 15 and under class on Yellow, Tom Temple flew through the course in about 20 minutes. Unfortunately for Tom, he had skipped one of the controls, which opened the door to the championship to Greg Tryson who posted a very good time of 34:14 for the 2.6 km course. Not to be denied a trophy, Tom moved up to the 18 and under category on Orange and successfully completed that course in 68:00 to win. On the White course in the 12 and under category, the course setter challenged Marty Hawkes-Teeter and Rob Tryson a bit too much as neither was able to find all the controls. Both still have a few years of eligibility in this category, so there's always next year.

Among the more experienced orienteers (sounds better than "older", doesn't it?), club newcomer Rita Reed won in F35, while Irene Purificato earned the F45 trophy. John Beatty won the M35 class, while Phil Hawkes-Teeter topped the M45 class with the fastest time of all the competitors on the Red course.

Thanks to all those who helped out at the meet (sorry if I missed anyone). Registration: Janet Tryson; Beginner Instruction: Phil and Sue Hawkes-Teeter; String Course: Phil Hawkes-Teeter and Greg Tryson; Equipment Set-up and Tear Down: Bill Jameson and John Beatty; Control Pickup: Eric Hamilton, Tom Temple, Rich Ruh, and Phil Hawkes-Teeter.

-by Meet Director / Course Setter: Glen Tryson

Tawasentha Park Meet

Meet Director instructs new members

Our first meet of the season, and my first as Director, was held at Tawasentha Park on September 15th. Fortunately, the weather cooperated much better than predicted, with lots of sun and comfortable temperatures. This was my first attempt at real course designing. Doing a reasonable long course was made difficult by the map changes and the fact that the best locations in the woods were on private property that we were expressly prohibited from crossing. I think we now all agree that major map re-working is needed before any meets other than beginners can be held there again.

It was great fun designing the easier courses, though. The gardens at Tawasentha were absolutely gorgeous - so nice, in fact, that it seemed a shame to run right by them. Thus originated the first EMPO White course "flower option", for those who preferred to stroll and make note of the names of three flowers on the course. I managed to keep the Yellow course people alert by hanging the flag on the correct corner of the wrong fence. I wish I could say it was on purpose; actually my only excuse is that I hung it just after an encounter with a very insistent woman who claimed she had the authority to hold a birthday party for sixty people in the pavilion we had reserved and paid for a month earlier. What could have been a very difficult situation was mitigated somewhat by the fact that we were winding down as the party was getting going. Later, the Guilderland Parks Office graciously refunded our money, even though they insisted that they had not authorized the woman to be there.

What was most fun for me was the number of new families who decided to try orienteering. One young man even decided to have his birthday party at our meet (not involved with the above woman!). What a great idea! We hope to see you all on skis this winter or back on foot next spring.

-Sue Hawkes-Teeter

Winter Meet Schedule

Dust off those skis!

  • Winter meet schedule

The 1997 US Ski-Orienteering Championships are being hosted by EMPO and Garnet Hill Cross Country Ski Center.

  • More information
  • US Ski-O Championships entry form