U.S. Team at 2018 World Orienteering Championships

August 4–11, 2018
Riga / Sigulda, Latvia

The United States sent a talented team of orienteers (profiles below) to Latvia for the 2018 World Orienteering Championships. Race assignments (and as they are available, results and links to maps and photos) are below.

Support the Team by making a donation and designating it for the National Senior Team. Next year's World Orienteering Championships will take place in Østfold, Norway, August 12–17, 2019.

 

The 2018 National Team wants to thank you for your support!
We couldn't do this without you! (YouTube video)

 

Useful links -

editor's note: I'd love to post a
WOC 2018 US Team picture here,
when the time comes

 


The U.S. was represented at WOC 2018 in August by (listed alphabetically): Greg Ahlswede, Giacomo Barbone, Eric Bone, Tori Borish, Tyra Christopherson, Ali Crocker, Julia Doubson, Amanda Johansson, Michael Laraia, and Anton Salmenkylä. This is the first WOC for Amanda, Michael, and Anton. Athletes were assigned to the following races following the Team Trials held in New York in late May.

  • Sprint: Anton, Michael, Giacomo (Greg declined); Ali, Julia, Tori
  • Sprint Relay: Julia, Eric, Giacomo, Tyra
  • Middle: Anton, Ali
  • Forest Relay: Greg, Anton, Eric; Ali, Tori, Amanda
  • Long: Greg, Tori

Program

  • 4 August, Saturday: Sprint Qualification (morning) and Final (evening)
  • 5 August, Sunday: Sprint Relay
  • 6 August, Monday: rest
  • 7 August, Tuesday: Middle
  • 8 August, Wednesday: rest
  • 9 August, Thursday: Relay
  • 10 August, Friday: rest
  • 11 August, Saturday: Long
  • 12 August, Sunday: Departure

U.S. Team Results

Sprint Qualifiers, Saturday August 4 (morning) - video from the qualifiers

Women - top 15 qualify for final

  • Heat A - 1) Karolin Ohlsson (SWE), 12:00; 9) Alison Crocker (USA), 12:52 - Ali qualified for the final (click photo > for larger)
  • Heat B - 1) Judith Wyder (SUI), 11:43; 24) Julia Doubson (USA), 14:51
  • Heat C - 1) Maja Alm (DEN), 12:20; 20) Tori Borish (USA), 15:04; Jennifer MacKeigan (CAN), 20:45

Men

  • Heat A - 1) Tim Robertson (NZL), 11:44; 29) Graeme Rennie (CAN), 14:01; 31) Michael Laraia (USA), 14:07
  • Heat B - 1) Yannick Michiels (BEL), 11:00; 12) Damian Konotopetz (CAN), 11:37; 31) Giacomo Barbone (USA), 13:15
  • Heat C - 1)  Jonas Leandersson (SWE), 11:36; 21) Anton Salmenkyla (USA), 13:01T

Sprint Finals, Saturday, August 4 (afternoon)

Aliston Crocker (U.S.) finished 36th in the Sprint Final with a time of 16:34.0, less than 2:51 behind winner Maja Alm of Denmark. The women's Sprint Final course through central Riga was 3.8 km, with 15m climb, 17 controls.

No U.S. men were in the final, but Canadian sprint star Damian Konopetz finished 44th with a time of 16:45.4, less than 2:40 behind winner Daniel Hubmann of Switzerland.

       Commentary from Boris Granovskiy: The World Orienteering Championships got underway in Riga, Latvia earlier today. The first races of the championships were the sprint qualifier and final in old town Riga.

For Team USA, the highlight was Alison Crocker's (CROC) successful return to international racing after becoming a mom last year. She qualified for the sprint final in 9th place in her heat and finished 36th in the afternoon's final. Congratulations to Ali! In the other heats, Tori Borish (COC/BAOC) finished 20th and Julia Doubson (BAOC) 24th. Top 15 in each heat qualify for the finals.

On the men's side, Anton Salmenkyla (CSU / Helsingin Suunnistajat) had a successful WOC debut, finishing just 14 seconds outside of qualifying and in 21st place in his heat. In the other heats, both Michael Laraia (MNOC) and Giacomo Barbone (CSU) finished in 31st place.

The Sprint Final winners were Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) and Maja Alm (Denmark). Full results and maps here.

Sprint Relay, Sunday, August 5

1) Sweden (T. Alexandersson, E. Svensk, J. Leandersson, K. Ohlsson), 58:27
2) Switzerland (E. Roos, F. Horwald, F. Hertner, J. Wyder), 58:58
3) Denmark (AF Weber, T. Lassen, J. Edsen, M. Alm), 59:14
24) United States (Julia Doubson, Eric Bone, Giacomo Barbone, Tyra Christopherson), 1:14:15

      Commentary from Boris Granovskiy: The second race at the World Orienteering Championships in Latvia was the sprint relay. Team USA finished 24th, about 16 minutes behind the winners, team Sweden. The U.S.  team consisted of Julia Doubson, Eric Bone, Giacomo Barbone, and Tyra Christopherson. Full maps and results here.

[Giacomo and Julia pictured at right; click photos for larger view]

      WOC shifts to the forest on Tuesday with the middle distance final. The U.S. is represented by Alison Crocker (starting at 12:02 local time) and Anton Salmenkyla (14:22 local time). [Ed. Latvia is 7 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.]

      The World Trail-O Champs also get underway Monday with the TempO qualifiers and finals.

      The World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships get started in Austria on Tuesday.

Middle, Tuesday, August 7

Women: 1) Natalia Gemperle (RUS), 32:02; 2) Marika Teini (FIN), 33:32; 3) Isia Basset (FRA), 33:56; 40) Ali Crocker, 41:24
Men: 1) Eskil Kinneberg (NOR), 32:59; 2) Daniel Hubmann (SUI), 33:05; 3) Florian Howald (SUI), 33:13; 55) Anton Salmenkyla, 43:14

      Commentary from Boris Granovskiy, Aug. 8: Yesterday was the middle distance final at WOC. In the women's race, Ali Crocker ran a steady race in the thick Latvian woods and finished in 40th place, 9:22 behind the winner, Russia's Natalia Gemperle. This is the second-best US women's finish in the middle distance, behind only... Ali Crocker, who finished 29th in 2013.

      On the men's side, Anton Salmenkyla finished 55th, 10:15 behind Eskil Kinneberg of Norway. This was a great performance from Anton, who was making his WOC forest race debut. This was the best U.S. men's finish in the middle distance since Brian May finished 43rd in 2003. Great results for the U.S.!

      Read Team USA's impressions of their races on their blog here.

      Tomorrow WOC continues with the forest relay. The women (Ali Crocker, Tori Borish, Amanda Johansson) start at 14:20 (7:20am Eastern) and the men (Anton Salmenkyla, Greg Ahlswede, Eric Bone) at 16:20 (9:20am Eastern). Go Team USA!!

Relay, Thursday, August 9

click photos for larger view > (Ali attacking the hill behind Denmark's Amanda Weber; Anton starts out strong on the men's lead leg)

Women's Relay: 1) Switzerland (E. Roos, J. Jakob, J. Wyder), 1:45:03; 2) Sweden (H. Bergman, K. Ohlsson, T. Alexandersson), 1:45:18; 3) Russian Federation (A. Rudnaya, T. Riabkina, N. Gemperle), 1:47:20; 21) United States (A. Crocker, T. Borish, A. Johansson), 2:36:42

Men's Relay: 1) Norway (H. Gaute, E. Kinneberg, M. Daehli), 1:47:26; 2) Switzerland (F. Howald, D. Hubmann, M. Kyburz), 1:47:30; 3) France (N. Rio, L. Basset, F. Tranchand), 1:47:36; 24) Canada (D. Konotopetz, W. Critchley, G. Rennie), 2:19:14; 29) United States (A. Salmenkyla, G. Ahlswede, E. Bone), 2:25:56

Long, Saturday, August 11

Women: 1) Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 1:14:04; 2) Maja Alm (DEN), 1:15:31; 3) Sabine Hauswirth (SUI), 1:16:30; 61) Tori Borish 2:09:52; 67) Jennifer MacKeigan (CAN), 2:51:56

Men: 1) Olav Lundanes (NOR), 1:37:43; 2) Ruslan Glibov (UKR), 1:40:20; 3) Fabian Hertner (SUI), 1:40:47; 54) Greg Ahlswede, 2:21:38; 62) Will Critchley (CAN), 2:33:32

     


Related links:


Results


2018 U.S. Team to WOC

Women

Men


Women


Tori Borish

Home: Stanford, California
Year of birth: 1989
Occupation: PhD student / Applied Physics
Club: Bay Area Orienteering Club / Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2008-2009, WUOC 2010, 2014 and 2016, WOC 2014-15


What terrain suits you the best?  For sprints, I tend to do best in tricky urban environments. I have the most experience with university campuses. Even though it's my rival school, I really enjoy running at UC Berkeley! In the woods, I prefer terrain with good visibility and runnability despite growing up in the Pacific Northwest.

What is your training focus this year?  I started working with a new running coach last fall, so one goal is to focus on physical fitness this year, both getting in faster sections in runs several times a week as well as increasing the mileage. I started out 2018 with a bunch of training runs in karst terrain in Slovenia.

Tyra Christopherson

Home: Renton, Washington
Year of birth: 1998
Occupation: Student
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: NAOC 2016, JWOC 2015-17, WOC 2017

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  My first JWOC in Norway, 2015, was very special to me. I had only started taking orienteering seriously a year and a half before that JWOC, so it felt like a bit of a whirlwind leading up to it, but once in Norway everything fell into place. Becoming close with my teammates, meeting athletes from other countries, and developing my orienteering skills on that first international trip created many memories.

What is your training focus this year?  My training focus this year is on consistency, with orienteering training as well as physical training. One of the mantras of the Junior National Team is, "It starts at home." I find this simple phrase very empowering because it serves as a reminder that greatness can be achieved here in the U.S.,  if only the effort is put forth.


Ali Crocker

Home: Portland, Oregon
Year of birth: 1984
Occupation: Assistant Professor of Physics
Club: Columbia River Orienteering Club
International experience: WOC 2010-15

What has your training focus been this year?
Until making the WOC team in late May, my training wasn't terribly focused. I was recovering from having a baby last fall and had an injury associated with that to recover from, as well as the new demands of parenting. But as spring progressed, I was able to train more and more and start to get some harder physical training in (intervals and longer runs). My focus for much of the spring was on a 15 mile trail run, which kept me motivated and getting out the door (often with baby in a jogging stroller!).

What are you focusing on in the final months leading to WOC 2018?
I'm working hard on the two important parts of orienteering - the physical and technical training. I know I need absolutely as much technical training as I can get to be as comfortable as possible with the hard challenges the WOC course setters will throw at us. As a start towards that, I got in 4 days of orienteering on a recent road trip (2 in Laramie, 2 in Boise). I'll be working to get in as much sprint and woods training as I can. Physically, I'm focusing on increasing my 5k-10k running ability as that is what will be most tested in the sprint, relay and middle-distance. So appropriate intervals, tempos and hopefully a running race will help get me to where I'd like to be!

 


Julia Doubson

Hometown:  Palo Alto, CA
Year of birth:  2000
Occupation:  Student
Club:  Bay Area Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2015-7, WOC 2017

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful?
I've done a lot more speedwork in the past year which I'm hoping will help with my speed in the sprints this summer.

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?
WOC 2017. It was incredible to see some of the best in the world race and get to compete alongside them. That was also the first time I met most of the senior team members and got a feel for what the senior team is like.

What terrain suits you the best?
Terrain similar to the Bay Area with major contour features and high visibility.


Amanda Johansson

Home: Karlskrona, Sweden
Year of birth: 1996
Occupation: Student, Biotechnical engineering
Club: OK Orion (Sweden)
International experience: JWOC 2015 and 2016

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  My last JWOC in Switzerland 2016 was very special to me. I had trained hard and came well prepared to the competitions, but then realized it was really difficult to perform under that kind of pressure! In the middle quali I could finally put all the pieces together and had a fast, relatively clean race. It was great to see that on a good day I could be up there competing with the best. But the best thing with JWOC 2016 was definitely to see the whole American team consistently performing on a very high level, and of course all the fun we had together! Both as a team and with all the awesome people we met ;)

What terrain suits you the best?  I prefer forests like the ones I grew up in on the south-east coast of Sweden:  flat, fast, and difficult.

What is your training focus this year?  My focus for 2018 is WUOC, and especially the middle distance which is going to be flat, fast and difficult!


Men

Greg Ahlswede

Home: Philadelphia, PA
Year of birth: 1990
Occupation: Junior Development Coach, Translator
Club: Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, Escondite
International experience: JWOC 2009-10; World Cup Spain 2014, Finland 2017; WOC 2015, 2017

 

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful?  I've significantly increased the volume of technical training I perform weekly. However, it's not been focused solely on increasing the volume but also on giving each session a specific goal. These goals are based on my errors determined in the error analysis I carry out after every race and training session.

What is your training focus this year?  I have two: learn to navigate accurately through thick green and perfect my visionary map contact.

What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?  Your primary goal, before any competitive ambitions, should be to enjoy the sport at all times. There are a lot of dark points on the path to the top; enjoying the sport can provide the motivation you need to keep coming back for more.

Giacomo Barbone

Home: Munich, Germany
Year of birth: 1991
Occupation: PhD Student
Clubs: Cambridge Sports Union; O'Jura (France); Agrosso (Italy)
International experience: JWOC 2011; WUOC 2014 and '16; WOC 2012, 2014-17

 

What is the best part of being part of the National Team?  Representing the United States at international events gives me the extra motivation I need to get out and train at night after work on cold rainy days, to embrace a healthy lifestyle and to prioritize my training year-round. Being on the National Team also makes me part of a special community of like-minded athletes with common goals, a community to which I can turn to for advice, help and great company too.

What is your training focus this year?  After years training to run both in and out of the forest, I decided to focus mainly on individual Sprint events in 2018. I am thus devoting more time to prepare the physical aspect of my performances, I will run several 3-5k-type cross-country and road races, and will be attending as many Sprint WRE events as I can fit in my calendar.


Eric Bone

Home: Seattle, Washington
Year of birth: 1974
Occupation: Owner, MerGeo
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 1994; WMOC 2016; World Games 2013; WOC 1995, '97, '99, '01, '03, '05-'10, '12-17
 

 


Michael Laraia

Home: Hudson, Wisconsin
Year of birth: 1996
Occupation: Student
Club: Minnesota Orienteering Club
International experience: Jukola; O-Ringen; NAOC; WUOC 2016, '18; JWOC 2014-16

 

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful? Last year I had a tough set of results at the team trial races. Which is all right; I mean, getting used to University life was a challenge in learning to properly manage my time. I suddenly had to put a lot more work into my classes than what I was used to from High School, and there are so many other things that I was exposed to and wanted to explore. This year, now a sophomore, I started getting better at organizing my schedule in a way that allows me to get out and train more consistently, both on the road and in the woods.

What terrain suits you the best? Growing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin means that I didn't have access to much technical terrain growing up, which means that I'm a pretty weak navigator, all things considered. I think terrain that suits me is when there is a moderate amount of technical savvy required as well as being pretty physically demanding.

What is your training focus this year? I've been focusing most of my training on middle distance races lately. I would like to one day hold my own in an elite long race, but I'm not strong enough for that yet.


Anton Salmenkylä

Home: Helsinki, Finland
Year of birth: 1997
Occupation: Finnish military
Club: Cambridge Sports Union / Helsingin Suunnistajat (FIN)
International experience: Jukola 2012-2017; JWOC 2016, 2017
 

What event have you been to that was really special for you?  Jukola has always been such a special race for me. During the night with all the lights and so many other runners in the forest, the atmosphere is just magical.  I always get an adrenaline rush from the cold night air and it really keeps me going!

What is the best part of being part of the National Team?  Representing a club is like working everyday, doing what you love on a regular basis.  Representing a country, being in the National Team means so much more to me.  It's a pride you can only relate to if you have been in the National Team too.

Who is your "O" idol?  This is an easy one, Olli Ojanaho. I've raced with him since I was 10. Now that he is in my club, I can see him do his thing from close.  I'm trying to learn from him as much as possible but I've noticed we already have a lot of things in common.  Can't wait to race him and all the other elites this year!

 


updated 3 August 2018