Cambridge clash with contours!
Mixed success in the Varsity Match
This years' Orienteering Varsity Match took place at Wharncliffe Wood, near Sheffield, on the 17th February.
The area provided a real physical and mental test for both teams, with steep rocky terrain making the running hard whilst
areas of complex contour detail kept the navigation interesting. The tough courses challenged all the runners, and the average
times were correspondingly much slower than anticipated. However, sporting our fabulous new o-tops and displaying our amazing
home-made CUOC windsock, we were all prepared for the challenge.
The competition was very exciting, with closely packed individual results and the time trial format ensuring an
anxious wait for final runners to return and overall times to be calculated. The men's race initially looked evenly
matched, but proved less so as the Cambridge men stormed round their courses to take an easy victory of nearly 20 minutes.
CUOC 'old man' Alan Elder (Emmanuel) led the team home taking second place overall behind Oxford's British Junior Squad member
Joe Mercer. Chris Williamson (Churchill) and Ben Stevens (Trinity Hall) also had excellent runs to finish third and fifth
place overall respectively. Men's Captain Alex Copley (Queens) narrowly edged out Graeme Ambler (Wolfson) and Ian Elder (Downing)
to take the fourth scoring position, with all three finishing comfortably ahead of their Oxford counterparts.
On paper, the Oxford women were far stronger then our team, with three of their runners having international experience.
With only the three best times needed to count, Cambridge was faced with a daunting task! It proved to be by far the closest
Varsity match ever, with Oxford claiming victory by an agonising 4 seconds (from a cumulative time of nearly 4 hours!). Despite
this, the entire team deserves to be incredibly proud of their performances. Captain Elspeth Ingleby (Emmanuel) took second
place overall, behind Oxford's Helen Gardner, and was backed up by fantastic runs from Anya Crocker (Jesus) and Rosemary Dyer
(Girton) taking fourth and fifth place respectively. Excellent support from fresher Clare Sutherland (Clare) and newcomer to the
sport Sarah Lilley (Fitzwilliam), in their first appearances at the Varsity Match, ensured that next year should be a close event.
Elspeth Ingleby and Anya Crocker