Title found: Jefferson boys bring home orienteering state championship

By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror

Thomas Jefferson High School has another state championship.

The school’s varsity orienteering team won the title at last month’s state championship meet, held on Feb. 23 at Green River Community College in Auburn. The Raiders beat out several teams from as far north as Burlington and as far south as Spanaway Lake.

The Jefferson team of Jason Allmaras, Reid Mayfield, Ian Brown and Andrew Potter totaled 265 points during the competition at Green River, to outdistance second-place Oak Harbor.

Individually, Allmaras finished up in third-place overall with 92 points and Mayfield was right behind in fourth with 90. Brown finished 11th overall. Redmond High School’s Huw Stradling won the individual state title with a perfect 100 score.

Orienteering is a running sport involving navigation with a map and compass. The competition is a timed race in which individual participants use a special purpose map and a magnetic compass to navigate through diverse terrain (often wooded) and visit, in sequence, control points that are indicated on the map.

The course of control points is kept secret from the competitors until the start, when they are provided with a detailed topographic map on which the course is marked. Competitors start at staggered intervals, are individually timed, and are expected to perform all navigation skills on their own. Standings are determined first by successful completion of the course, then by shortest time on course.

High levels of fitness and running speed are required to compete successfully at an elite level. Success is also heavily dependent on choosing the fastest route between control points. While controls are generally the same for the competitors in any particular category, the routes they choose may be very different. Competitors are often required to cross rough, undeveloped terrain, where accurate navigation is essential.

Washington is something of a hotbed of the sport, which originated in Scandinavia in the 1800s as a military exercise and spread through Europe and beyond following World War II. There are world championships each year, and supporters for the past decade have sought to get their sport into the Olympic Games.

Jefferson also had a solid finish on the girls’ side at the orienteering state championships.

The Raider girls ended up in second place behind Lakeside High School with three top 10 individual finishes. Christina Gonzales ended up in fourth place with 90 points, Molly Evans was sixth with 88 and Brianna Calveri was ninth with 85 points.

The Jefferson boys junior varsity team of Daniel Gonzales, Kevin Wills and Keegan Webber placed second

The TJ orienteering team is coached by Lori Matthews and James Roach.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com