EMPO Times Winter 1999-2000

US Champs

For the second time, EMPO will be hosting the US Ski-Orienteering Championships. In fact, it will be the second consecutive time, because there hasn't been a US Ski-O Champs since the last one EMPO held in 1997. For this go 'round, the event will also serve as the US Ski-O Team Trials, to select the group who will venture off to Russia (Siberia, actually) to compute in the World Ski-O Championships. And to really add a little icing (and bring it all back a little closer to home for many of us), the races will also be Empire State Games Qualifiers. This will allow you to qualify for the Games by competing in the required two races in just one weekend.

There will be one big similarity and one big difference from our last US Ski-O Champs: the similarity will be the Day 1 race at Garnet Hill Cross Country Ski Center, where we were in 1997. While the venue is the same as before, the courses will certainly be different, utilizing different aspects of the expansive and challenging terrain there. Put that together with the always delightful hospitality we have received from Dick Carlson and the folks at Garnet Hill, and this should be a great day. The difference from '97 will be that we'll move for Day 2 over to the Saratoga Biathlon Center for "Sprint" races. Some new trails are being cut there, just for this event, and Course Setter Eric Hamilton will have some new challenges ready for us, while our host Jim Schriener and family will make us all welcome.

We have had numerous contacts from orienteering folks around the country looking forward to this event, including a number who say they plan to give it a try even though they have rarely or never been on skis before. So why don't YOU plan on coming out too! Enjoy the Winter. Get out and "O in the Snow!"

- Phil Hawkes-Teeter


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