Coon Bluff Classics
Sunday, April 9, 2017


We had a nice day of Classic-O courses at Coon Bluff Recreation Area in Mesa, AZ. We offered White, Brown and Green courses. The weather was great, in the 70's and 80's with a light overcast most of the day. We set up in the Phon D. Sutton parking area (northwest corner of the area.) We had a fairly wet winter, so there was lots of dead foxtail barley grass which stuck to shoes and leggings.

The White course was short but included a fair amount of climb. That suited all participants just fine, however, as they were far from beginners. The Brown and Green courses were intended to be on the short side, but due to the hills in the middle of these courses, the actual distances ended up being mid-range. Courses were designed to include nice views in all directions.

Erik Ringes finished the Green course in the shortest time. He had a clean run, and even had time to take some nice pictures. Jeff Brucker finished not far behind, pretty good for a guy who lost his glasses early in his run. Peg Davis of TSN ran the Green course in a nice time and took first place in the women's division. She ran the same time as the team of Rich Orndoff and Warren White, the top men's team finishers. The team of Martin Dmitrov, Antoniya Petovka and their dog Oggy were the fastest mixed team. There are unsubstantiated reports that Oggy navigated several race legs. Even though he is not a large dog, the heat and foxtails did not bother him, and he hardly seemed tired afterward! Maybe someone carried him part of the way? No matter! He will always be a "Big Dog" in our book!

Jeff Haskell of the Quantico OC won the Brown course. Jeff was in Phoenix for a family gathering. He had no trouble adapting to desert conditions. He may have missed a golf game to join us, but as anyone who has done both sports knows, orienteering is more relaxing than golf! Chee Loh finished second, while Heather McLean was the top-placed woman on the Brown course. Telia Curtis moved rapidly on the Brown course but missed a control. She's an experienced rogainer, so maybe the course was not long enough for her. We'll keep an eye out for her in upcoming events!

On the White course, the Scorpions team (Degan and Eli Gurnett of TSN) finished in well under an hour and took first place. Well done, guys!

Orienteers are a hardy bunch. And they are generally not afraid of wildlife. This was proven again at Coon Bluff. Brandon Drake heard a snake near the "ruin" control but did not have time to look for it. Chee and others saw a javelina but let it run off. Despite his lack of eyewear, Jeff Brucker found a huge fresh snake skin and finished his course in a good time, snake skin in hand. Daniel Yamashiro had the closest encounter of all. He surprised a big rattlesnake resting on a ledge, got into a quick standoff with it, and hurt his leg in the process. His concentration was a bit affected by all that, but he finished the Green course.

Big thanks to Ron Birks for helping with setup, registration, timing and teardown. And thanks so much to Erik, Ron and David who helped Gary pick up bags. Funny thing, though, Gary had to retrieve the two controls where snakes were sighted. Hmmm....maybe they are telling him something...... No problem, however. He proceeded carefully and even got a photo of the snake that Daniel encountered.

All's well that ends well! Thanks everyone for coming to the event! And for eveyrone who could not attend, we'll see you at an upcoming event!

Naturally, our course setter Gary could not get through an event without a minor flub. This year it was the last control on the course, which was marked as a "gate" when in fact there was no gate. In his defense, Gary says "there is sort of a gate thing there," but clearly, this should have been marked a "Fence/Creekbed intersection."


Course Setters: Gary Hickey
Meet Directors: Gary Hickey
Bag Hangers: Gary Hickey
Water Station Setup: None
Equipment Hauling: Gary Hickey, Ron Birks
Setup/Tear-down: Gary Hickey, Ron Birks
Registration Table: Gary Hickey, Ron Birks
Timing Table: Gary Hickey, Ron Birks
Beginners Clinic: None
Control Retrieval: Erik Ringnes, David Thompson, Gary Hickey, Ron Birks
Tabulating Results: Gary Hickey

White Course Summary

White Course Statistics  
Straight-Line Distance (km) 1.6
Climb (m) 60
Number of Controls 8
Total Participants 24

White Course Results

Name Size Category Time Category
Team Members/Club
1 Scorpions 3 TM 0:49:25 1 Degan Gurnett, Eli Gurnett (TSN)
2 Permanently Lost 3 TX 1:56:00 2 Timothy Callahan, Danielle Cotie, Steven Honda

Brown Course Summary

Brown Course Statistics  
Straight-Line Distance (km) 3.6
Climb (m) 125
Number of Controls 9
Total Participants 7

Brown Course Results

Name Size Category Time Category
Team Members/Club
1 Jeff Haskell 1 M 1:44:30 1 Visiting from QOC
2 Chee Loh 1 M 2:36:53 2
3 Heather McLean 1 F 2:47:30 1 Picked up trash as she went, thank you!
Rec Telia Curtis 1 F Rec Rec 7 controls
Rec Permanently Lost 3 TX Rec Rec 2nd course of the day, got 4 controls

Green Course Summary

Green Course Statistics  
Straight-Line Distance (km) 5.3
Climb (m) 150
Number of Controls 12
Total Participants 13

Green Course Results

Name Size Category Time Category
Team Members/Club
1 Erik Ringnes 1 M 1:10:04 1
2 Jeff Brucker 1 M 1:23:37 2 TSN. Lost glasses early in course
3 William Stevens 1 M 1:44:00 3 Late start/finish allowed by meet director
4 Peg Davis 1 F 1:44:00 1 TSN
5 So Far, So Good 2 TM 2:04:08 1 Rich Orndoff, Warren White
6 David Thompson 1 M 2:09:15 4
7 Brandon Drake 1 M 2:10:26 5 Heard rattlesnake at #4
8 Daniel Yamashiro 1 M 2:19:05 6 Got in fight with rattlesnake at #2, injured but completed course
9 Team Bulgaria 2 TX 2:25:25 2 Martin Dmitrov, Petkova Antoniya, and Oggy the dog
Debra Allen 1 F DNF 4 controls
Kyle Seifullin 1 M DNF 2 controls. Russian compass did not work correctly.