Possum Trot VIII Meet Report

Camp Naish (Bonner Springs, KS)

December 5, 2004

by Dick Neuburger

That lucky Orienteer Kansas...they get the good weather and we get the bad!

The two-day Possum Trot Weekend started with the Kansas Orienteering Championships on Saturday afternoon, December 4, 2004, hosted by Orienteer Kansas. Fritz Menninger set a short and fun motala course under clear skies and shirtsleeve temperatures. The Possum Trot Orienteering Club's Christmas Party on Saturday evening featured some good Kansas City barbeque and the gift exchange game.

After a week's worth of good forecasts for Sunday's Possum Trot VIII, the weathermen began to talk about rain. And, sure enough, it started to rain about one hour after the start. At least the temperature was around 40 and meet workers were under a good roof.

Mike Shifman set a challenging course on the Camp Naish map that Gene Wee had spent many hours updating. The racers could drop any two controls and Shifman had designed many possible choices.

35 racers began Possum Trot VIII...the most in history. The strong field consisted of some of the nation's top orienteers. Mikell Platt and Mark Everett separated themselves from the rest of the orienteers on the long first leg and had a 4-minute lead at the first manned checkpoint. The next 5 men were close behind. Peggy Dickison had about a 10-minute lead on Sharon Crawford by the second split. In the end, Mikell Platt finished 1st about 11 minutes ahead of Mark Everett. Eric Buckley had his best Possum Trot yet with a 3rd place finish only 3 minutes behind Everett. Peggy Dickison (15th overall) was about 18 minutes ahead of Sharon Crawford to win her first Dead Possum.

Thank you to the many Possum Trot Orienteering Club members that helped make this Possum Trot a great success: Mike Shifman, course setter and results; Gene Wee, mapper; Steve and Mary Brown, registration and aid station; Mary Jones, aid station and splits; Nick Hockman, refreshments and aid station; Bob Suddath, refreshments; Nancy Neuburger and Fira Shifman, hospitality.