by Kristin Hall
NEOC's fall in-person events attracted hundreds of people, and challenged all with a variety of courses. Of the hundreds, 45 dedicated NEOC orienteers achieved a final score in the Fall Point Series by competing at three (or more) events on the same course. The series used "cross country scoring," with first place receiving one point, second two points, and so forth. Each athlete's lowest three scores were totaled, and the athlete with the lowest score on each course was victorious.
No runner achieved a perfect score of three points, but Isla Finlayson-Johnecheck came close, dominating the White course with just four points! Two sets of siblings, the Webbs and the Kvaitchadzes, took the top four places on the Yellow course, with Tor Webb narrowly edging out brother Lukas for the overall win.
The Cambridge Rindge and Latin crowd were led by Conlan Doran on the Orange course, but they were all chasing veteran Jim Paschetto, who posted the low score of just 7 points. Channon Ames was a close second with 11 points.
The Brown course had the highest number of orienteers with the three required scores,15. Stephen Tarry led the way, following two wins at Willard Brook with a third place finish at Great Brook Farm. Michael Cooper's strong second place at Mt. Tom helped him pull into second overall. Emilie Knippen showed the most steady and consistent improvement, though, from a 25 point dnf, to 15th, 8th, and then a very strong 4th on a technical course at Mt. Tom. Watch out for her next spring!
Showing up consistently worked out well for me, Kristin Hall, on Green. I was helped by three individual course winners not having the required three scores. Clint Morse narrowly held onto second place overall, in spite of Alar Ruutopold's strong run at Mt. Tom. Dashiell Mazzotta and Samuel Greene of CRLS led the youth contingent in fourth and fifth overall.
The Red course had a lot of people with two scores, but only three with three. Ian Finlayson equalled his daughter's score on White, with a near perfect four points. Magnus Bjorkman followed close behind with five. On "Purple" (a combination of red and blue courses), Tristan Smith took the overall lead at the final event, with a strong second place finish at Mt. Tom. Alex Vai ran strong for second place overall.
We hope the Point Series kept you entertained, or motivated you to get to an extra event, or challenged you to run just a little bit harder.
See you in the spring!