Easley High NJROTC wins regional orienteering meet

EASLEY — The Easley High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) orienteering team easily took the title of Area Six orienteering champion on Saturday at Oconee State park in Mountain Rest.

The competition was also hosted by Easley NJROTC, however setting the course and all scoring was professionally done by Georgia Orienteering Club (GAOC).

Twenty two NJROTC units from North and South Carolina with teams strong enough to compete at a higher level of competition met for a great day of orienteering.

Orienteering is a sport that is enjoyed worldwide and is known as “the thinking sport,” which involves cross country running, map and compass reading and decision-making. It requires a competitor to be physically fit and think logically.

Three courses were set throughout Oconee State Park by Bill Cheatum of the GAOC on Friday for Saturday’s championship competition. The easiest course was the yellow course with a length of 3.1 kilometers and 10 control points. Easley’s Eric Crenshaw took first place with a time of 32:45. The mid-level course was the orange course, with Easley’s Hunter Nix taking third place with a time of 66:45. The orange course was 3.8 kilometers with 11 control points. The hardest course of the day was the green course, covering 5.6 kilometers with 14 control points. Easley’s Justin Hill took secondnd with a time of 79:19 and Brandon Marsh finished with a time of 86:47.

“These cadets worked extremely hard to prepare for this competition,” Easley NJROTC instructor Mark Stauder said. “They knew that they would have some tough competition and some rough terrain to run on, and they pulled it off.”

In addition to Crenshaw, Nix, Hill and Marsh, other Easley cadets who competed were Nathanael Lopez, Ryan Jeanes, Brenda Lopez-Perez, Tyler Burton, Colton Sheriff, Joseph Sigler, Freddy Juarez, Matthew West, Jacob Davis, Kelsie Hart and William Fraizer.

This competition would not have been possible without the supporting staff. Cheatum and Andrea Berger from the Georgia Orienteering Club mapped and set the course and controlled the finish line, ensuring the accuracy of the completion times.

Oconee State Park manager Joanna White and ranger Brooks Garrett allowed the competition to use the park.

“Oconee State Park is a fabulous park that made hosting such a large event an easy task,” Stauder said. “NJROTC Booster Club president Yazmin Bruce and vice president Vickie West did an outstanding job feeding more than 200 hungry mouths by organizing numerous parents and cadets with the grill and the kitchen. Last but not least, thank you to Samantha Hamilton-Rackley for her tender loving EMS support for any cadets with scratches and bruises.”