Summer is almost here and with that the end of SPOTS, the Spring Park Orienteering Thursday Series, which this year offered seven evening events in parks around Boston varying from lightning-fast Fresh Pond and Magazine Beach to more technical Hammond Pond and Franklin Park and ending with a picnic and pizza party at beautiful Pine Banks. We had a great turnout with a total of 290 starts on the different courses (Sprint, Short, and Kid-O).
Three runners had the chance to win the point series on the Sprint coming into the last event, which on the day was won by Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck, who ended up tied for the overall Top SPOT with Keegan Harkavy. The woman’s Top SPOT was Elsa Barthel with an excellent 6th place overall. The Top SPOT on the Short courses was Nicholas Palmer who was awarded the SPOTlight award, with almost twice the number of points as the second runner after a series of strong results over the series. He got hard competition on two of the races by Egil Yildiz-Botterud, who had so much fun at Fresh Pond that he did the course twice!
We realized halfway through the series that the short course was too long for some of our youngest competitors and added a really-short Kid-O course which ended up with Diego and Giulia Berlanda Bertoldi on the Top SPOTS ahead of Elenor and Catherine McNeal-Lewis. Our youngest competitor also deserves a mention. It is always fun to see Arthur Waller spending some quality time with his grandparents on the short course. We saw him being carried around the courses before the pandemic but he is now on his own feet and we look forward to seeing him able to run the courses by himself in the coming years.
It was fun seeing many old friends in person again, but also to see and get to know some newcomers. Nils Peters claimed the SUN SPOT prize (SUN stands for “Speedy Unknown Newcomer”) and there were many other newcomers to the park-O series that took on the varied challenges of fast areas and technical areas with great spirit and increasing navigational skill. In terms of veterans of the park-O series Brendan Shields, who has helped organizing many park-O’s in the past, won the Prodigal Son SPOT award after returning to town after some 7 or 8 years in Switzerland. Another experienced orienteer, Tobias Karlsson won the SPOT-cleaner award for the cleanest run at the final event.
There was a strong showing from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School team which earned several SPOT prizes: the Bright SPOT for a 1st year orienteer went to Zephyr Newman ending up 5th overall after placing in a podium SPOT at a couple of events. Dashiell Mazzotta earned the Sore SPOT prize for showing up at events despite having a broken arm. And CRLS coach David Landrigan earned the Rooted to the SPOT prize for not running any courses but instead guiding and rooting for the CRLS team.
This series wouldn’t have happened without a lot of helping hands. Special kudos to Sara-Mae (who won the Sweet SPOT award for always bringing cookies) and Larry Berman (recipient of the SPOTless award) for running the events, and our different course setters: Ari Ofsevit, Dean Sturtevant, Patrick McNeal, and Terry Costello. Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck won the Soft SPOT award for running the timing software and programming the wireless results screen and Giovanni Berlanda Scorza the Hard SPOT award for providing and building the timing and results screen hardware. Barb Bryant and Dave Yee didn’t only let us use their back yard for one of the events, but also provided post-race pizza. Barb, Dave and Patrick share the SPOT-On award for making SPOT week 6 happen. We also had help from many people that I haven’t kept track off to pick up flags and clean up after the events. Thanks to you all!
The planning for the 2023 Park-O series has just started. We are always interested in signing up new or returning course setters so please let us know if you are interested in helping as we have Open SPOTS on the organizing team.
Have a nice summer and see you again in the woods in the fall!
Pia and Ian – Co-SPOnsors
|Place||Name||Fresh Pond||Franklin Park||Beaver Brook||Edmands||Hammond||Magazine||Pine Banks||Total||Best 4|
|19||Graham van Bever||11||12||11||2||11||47||45|
|55||Jose Carlos Santos Berna||1||1||1||3||3|