2017 U.S. National Orienteering Team Announced

Announcement from the 2017 Selection Committee of Kristin Hall, Erik Weyman, Peggy Dickison, Patrick Nuss, Victoria Campbell.

The National Foot Orienteering Team Selection Panel was delighted to have 26 athletes apply for the National Foot Orienteering Team this year, over half of whom were first-time applicants. The panel referred 6 juniors to the Junior National Team Coach and placed 20 athletes on the National Foot Orienteering Team:

Elite:

Greg Ahlswede, Giacomo Barbone, Eric Bone, Alison Crocker, Will Enger

Performance:

Tori Borish, Alison Campbell, Jordan Laughlin, Cristina Luis, Wyatt Riley, Ian Smith, Ken Walker Jr.

Development:

Isabel Bryant, Evalin Brautigam, Mariama Dryak, Teddy Fong, Amanda Johansson, Morten Jorgensen, Michael Laraia, Hans Sitarz


According to OUSA Rules of Competition section G.1.6.2, Senior Team selection is based on:

a. The results of national and international competition.
b. Dedication to the sport of Orienteering.
c. Demonstration of sporting attitude.

Criteria for Selection to the Senior Team:

Selection is based on those who submitted Athlete Agreements, indicating their desire to be named to the Sr. Team. From that pool, National meet and international M/F21 performances during the preceding year were used to divide the members into Elite, Performance and Development teams.

Senior Elite Team — athletes who consistently produce top-level U.S. results in F21/M21.
Senior Performance Team — athletes who frequently produce strong U.S. results in F21/M21, at or near the level of the Elite Team.
Senior Development Team — athletes who have demonstrated potential to reach Performance/Elite level with further training and experience.

Selection Notes:

  • Athletes who are turning 21 may be placed on the Development Team based on their results in F20/M20.
  • An athlete may progress from the Development team, to the Performance Team, to the Elite Team and back to the Performance Team, but never back to the Development Team.
  • There is a 1 year grace period to remain on a team if there are extenuating circumstances (prolonged illness/injury, major life changes).

Explanation of the panel’s application of rule G.1.6.2 and the criteria in selecting the team:

Subjective criteria: The panel assumed that unless evidence existed to the contrary, athletes who applied are dedicated to improving themselves as competitive orienteers and demonstrate a sporting attitude that will make them worthy representatives of Orienteering USA and the United States. We did not find any reason to question the dedication or sporting attitude of any applicants; all satisfied the criteria in G.1.6.2.b and G.1.6.2.c.

Objective criteria: The panel next turned to national and international competition results at the elite level (F21/M21, WREs, other races as submitted by the applicants) to name athletes to three teams (or not at all):

Although the language in the Criteria for Selection to the National Team focuses on U.S. results, we included international results as per Rules for Competition G.1.6.2.a, which was helpful in considering how to place athletes racing primarily overseas.

In placing athletes, we looked at where the clear “break points” were in OUSA and WRE ranking:

We named five athletes to the Elite team who are top-ranked US orienteers either in national races or in WREs.

We named seven athletes to the Performance team who compete primarily at the F21/M21 level and have some results approaching that of elite team athletes.

We named eight athletes with demonstrated potential, especially those just transitioning to F21/M21 with limited elite results, to the Development team.

In some cases, we named young athletes to the Development team who had similar or better results in head-to-head competition with established Performance team athletes. In one case, we named a Junior with competitive results in F21. We believe Development team is the best choice for these athletes because of:

  • their limited experience at the elite level
  • inflexibility in Criteria for Selection to the Senior Team requiring athletes to maintain Performance Team performance once named at that level or
  • risk not being named to the team at all in future years
  • allowance in the Criteria for Selection to the Senior Team for athletes turning 21 to be named to the Development team based on F20/M20 results
  • OUSA’s focus on junior development and, by extension, on the National Team’s Development team

By comparison, we view Elite and Performance Team athletes as sufficiently established and experienced as to require less support in finding a coach or mentor, developing training plans, handling injuries, etc. We will consider mid-year promotions as appropriate.

We referred six athletes to the Junior National Team as they are under 21 and had no F21/M21 results. We look forward to seeing them reapply for the Senior Team in future years.

--posted 27 January 2017