With three of the four Checkpoint Challenge Schools League events completed, the results are shaping up across the age groups.
The third event, which was hosted at Queens High School in Bezuidenhout Valley, welcomed 91 participants. With its wide expanse of sports fields, runners could be spotted racing from one side to the other in search of checkpoints.
Although participants are expected to complete individually, they sometimes pair up at the start or out in the terrain. Both the Senior Girls and Junior Girls categories do not have clear winner because of this. Nella Kyungu (Jeppe Girls) and Gugu Mabhena (Jeppe Girls), working together, have won two events convincingly but it will only be at Edenvale when competing individually that the stronger of the two will emerge.
Carmen Parker (Jeppe Girls) and Erin Conroy (Jeppe Girls) shared the win at Queens but as Parker has won two events, she’s ahead in the overall rankings.
The Senior Boys category has the most heat upfront. Freddy Kabemba (Jeppe Boys) took his second win with a 2:30 lead over Tyler Clark (Jeppe Boys), who won last week.
After a mis-punch last week, David Newton (Jeppe Boys) showed his abilty with a dominating win in the Junior Boys category.
The Primary Boys and Girls participants from Leicester Road School continue to show consistently good results. Tadiwanashe Kabaira won at Queens and he looks like a fair contender to challenge Hercules Kleynhans at Edenvale.
Kylie Mitchell’s first place shows her to be a capable navigator and a possible overall contender if she maintains this pace in the last event.
20 learners from the host school, Queens High, took part for the first time and a few achieved reasonable results within their age categories. With this type of event, navigation skills develop with each event and as the regular League participants have the experience of past events, newcomers are unlikely to make top rankings.
After the fourth event at Edenvale High School on Monday, 23 February, participants with the highest overall rankings will be invited to compete against children from the Orienteering Schools League, which is based in Jo’burg’s North-West suburbs. This final will be held at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve on Monday, 9 March.
Results have been posted on the Checkpoint Challenge page.
Special thanks for Ephraim Chuene from the Polokwane Orienteering Club (he’s looking to replicate Checkpoint Challenge in his area) and Sarah Pope from the Wits Orienteering Club for their assistance as well as the teachers from our participating schools (Robert, Sally, Richard and Thandi) as well as Annalise (Parktown Boys) who came to visit for the first time.