Adina Mayo – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program has three teams that students can participate in: Raiders, Rifle, and Orienteering. Competing on these teams will earn students awards to pin onto their uniform.
The orienteering season has begun, and students have already started practicing.
Orienteering is a competitive sport in which competitors find their way to various points in the competition area using only a map and compass. Although there are paths outlined on the map, the runner is not required to follow them, which can alter how far the runner will travel.
Senior Kendyl Brahler is on her third year of Orienteering this year. She said, “I’ve done it since my sophomore year. I love it because the feeling you get when you accomplish a course is incredible. You go out into the woods by yourself, and you have to trust yourself.
“My favorite part is the family it creates. We all become very close-knit, and a few of them will be my friends for life,” Brahler continued.
There are three course levels: yellow, orange, and green.
Yellow is the beginner’s course. The distance the runner must travel ranges from one-and-a-half to two miles, with most points being along the manmade paths.
Orange is the intermediate course. It is a longer course, around three miles, and the points are more difficult to find.
Green is the advanced course. It’s the longest course, averaging around five or six miles, and the points are even harder to find, some even being hidden very well.
Junior Carli Kasten, who is running the green course this year, said, “I started last year, and I enjoy it because I love being outside and enjoying the creation.”
Depending on the number of competitors, the ranking can be split up by gender as well as by difficulty level. In this case, there would be six first place winners. The winners are determined by the time it took for the competitor to finish the course.
An exception to this rule is if a runner misses a point or doesn’t finish. If this happens, the runner is given either a disqualification (DQ) or a “did not finish” (DNF) status.
With a school team, the top five runners on each course represent that school, determining their overall ranking.
The first meet of the season for the LRHS team is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8.