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Orienteering takes intercollegiate title

MIT Orienteering Club takes Intercollegiate Title

The Orienteering Club won this year's intercollegiate orienteering championship decisively, taking the title back from defending champion Brown University. The final scores were: MIT 136, Brown 78, Harvard University 71, Bentley College 14, and Bates College 11. The two-day event took place at Mount Misery in Lincoln on Saturday, Nov. 17 and at High Rock in Foxboro on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Saturday's relay event, involving teams of three orienteers of varying ability, was clinched by MIT with a deceptive use of strategy. Instead of the customary expert-novice-intermediate order of runners, the MIT club ran in an expert-intermediate-novice order. This obscured placement of the MIT teams when the second runners returned.

The first MIT team, consisting of Mike Chin G, Alan Thompson G, and Rod Hinman G won the event with a time of 94:40. Although one Brown team was ahead after the first leg, the consistent orienteering of Thompson and the speed of Hinman (formerly with the cross-country team) blew away the competition. The Harvard team finished in 104:06 and the Brown team finished in 107:02. The second MIT team (Dmitri Chklowski G, Marc Leblanc '91, Brendan Bellew G) finished fourth in 111:36.

Similar domination by MIT occurred at the individual event on the following day in Foxboro. Individual courses of expert, intermediate, and novice level were held with staggered starts. In the expert course, it was expected that the top runner would be either Chin or the top Brown runner. However, Detlef Westphalen G, recovering from a knee injury, managed to win in 64:40 by relying on accurate navigation rather than fast running. The top Harvard finisher (70:21) also beat Chin, who came in third (71:55).

In the intermediate course MIT did not fare so well. Bellew finished in 136:03, well behind the top finisher from Harvard (81:43). In the novice course Hinman shut out the competition in 33:70. The next best time was 48:35 by a Brown runner.

The intercollegiate orienteering competition has been held annually since 1987. MIT has won three times and Brown once.

(Editor's note: This article was submitted by members of the Orienteering Club.)