Solid runs at European Youth Champs

The 7th European Youth Championships (EYOC) were held in Switzerland last weekend. EYOC is becoming a popular and prestigious competition for European 16’s and 18’s, 29 countries attended this year with a total of 370 competitors. Ruth Lynam reports …

The Irish team members were M18’s Niall Ewen, Alan Lane, Padraig Mulry, Kevin O’Boyle, and M16’s Seán Knight, Colm Moran & Conor Short. For Padraig & the M16’s this was their first International selection event. They were led by Ruth Lynam & Darren Burke.
The 450 or so attendance – runners & leaders, were organised with (mostly) exemplary Swiss efficiency. The food was good & plentiful. The afternoons were sunny but early morning fog kept the temperature down & the running conditions were excellent. The rising mists, autumnal forests, & white crags of the Jura Mountains made a beautiful backdrop for those who had time to look.

On Thursday the team arrived in time to do the model event in delightfully runnable mature forest with very good visibility & lots of paths. The terrain for the Long & Relay on Friday & Saturday was similar, but decidedly more overgrown though still passable. The Long required a mix of skills, using contour detail & vegetation as well as untangling the paths. Kevin O’Boyle in M18 had the best Irish run coming in 59th out of 106 runners, and the M16s on the whole ran steady races, Conor coming in fastest, 67th of 96.

The Relay area was similar but flatter, good fast relay terrain. Sean ran a good first leg to set the M16 team up for 19th place, ahead of the Danes, among others. Niall on the last leg had the best run of the M18s.

There was some Irish interest among the higher placings. Emma Klingenberg, whose mother is from Northern Ireland, had a convincing win in the Long, & anchored the Danish W16s home first in the Relay, and Severi Kymäläinen’s Finnish team were 5th in M18 relay.

The Sprint on Sunday was in Solothurn. Darren & I were not allowed visit the competition zone in the reportedly beautiful baroque city, & the juniors brought back no descriptions, but we did see the dramatic Finish area. The run-in followed what must have been a wide moat below high city walls, & the race featured a dramatic run-past along the ramparts overlooking the Finish area. Kevin put in a very good run here to take 39th place, just 1min 40sec down on M18 winner Kristian Jones of Great Britain.

Sprint & Relay are not Irish strong points as there are so few opportunities to practice, so this was a terrific performance by Kevin. All the Irish juniors put in real effort & showed great enthusiasm, & on the whole ran good controlled races keeping any errors small. With experience they can improve at Relay & Sprint, and learn to race assertively on strange terrain.

Results in brief below. Full results are on the EYOC website http://www.eyoc2008.ch/dyn/eyoc/results/

or better but in German at

http://www.swiss-orienteering.ch/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=33

Some pictures at http://irishjuniorsquad52.fotopic.net/c1595509.html

Ruth Lynam

Results in brief
Long
M16 6.9km 290m. 96 entries
1 Jan Petrzela CZE 41:27, 67 Conor Short IRL 59:07, 75 Sean Knight IRL 60:22, 81 Colm Moran IRL 64:48.

M18 8.5km 375m. 106 entries
1 Matthias Kyburz SWI 53:28, 59 Kevin O’Boyle IRL 69:08, 85 Alan Lane IRL 78:11, 95 Niall Ewen IRL 87:15, 100 Padraig Mulry IRL 102:17.

Relay
M16 6.7km 150m/7.1km 180m/6.7km 150m. 24 teams.
1 Russia 2:01:59, 19 Ireland 2:43:55 – Sean Knight 47:01, Conor Short 56:22, Colm Moran 60:22.

M18 7.9km 230m/8.9km 230m/7.9km 230m. 27 teams
1 Estonia 2:15:17, 23 Ireland 3:13:21 – Kevin O’Boyle 57:39, Alan Lane 79:39, Niall Ewen 56:03.

Sprint
M16 2.4km. 96 entries
1 Christoph Prunsch GER 11:22, 80 Sean Knight 13:42, 83 Conor Short 13:59, 90 Colm Moran 14:49.

M18 2.6km. 106 entries
1 Kristian Jones GBR 12:05, 39 Kevin O’Boyle IRL 13:45, 89 Niall Ewen IRL 15:41, 92 Alan Lane IRL 15:52, Padraig Mulry IRL mp.

(PS The title of this report was chosen by JMcC, not Ruth, and is not an endorsement for Arret, Imodium or any other such product!)