|Richard studies the map at a PreO control|
For the first time, the 2017 U.S. Trail Orienteering Championships featured both PreO and TempO competitions and Richard Y. Ebright of DVOA went home the big winner. The competition, hosted by LAOC, took place March 18 and 19 at Camp Scherman. Course Setter was U.S. Team member Clare Durand with vetting being done by Paralympic team member David Irving and Karen Dennis.
The 16-control PreO course featured a variety of problems set in the rolling terrain. Most required careful attention to the vegetation features. The field was small but strong with a number of past WTOC participants competing. Mike Poulsen had a strong showing in the PreO, coming back with a perfect score, but a challenge to one control resulted in that control being voided and propelled Ebright to the lead due to a faster timed control station. Daniel Heimgartner, a relative newcomer to Trail Orienteering, took the gold medal in the Paralympic class.
The TempO Champs consisted of five stations with four controls each. While starting out with two mistakes at the first station, Ebright eventually dominated the competition with fast times and accuracy for the remaining stations. He ended up a full 100 seconds ahead of the next best score. Second place went to Ebright's father, Richard H. Ebright, whose speedy strategy failed to pay off when mistakes came in to play. Third place went to local orienteer Alex Kiperman, who called the medal a nice surprise.