TeamUSA: WOC Team Trials update

The National Team ESC has announced that races at the 42nd West Point National Ranking Event weekend will serve as team trials to select a team to compete at the World Orienteering Championships to be held June 26-30 in Denmark.

This year’s WOC will be a ‘sprint-WOC’ featuring a Sprint Relay, Knockout Sprint and Individual Sprint events. As such, the Saturday afternoon sprint (4/23) at Trophy Point will be one of two trials races for team hopefuls. An additional Friday sprint (4/22) is scheduled (pending permitting) to be held at Fort Tryon Park in New York City to serve as the second trials race.

Additional information regarding the Friday sprint will be forthcoming as details are confirmed. At this time only Red & Blue courses will be offered and may be open to non-trialers pending decision of the organizers. Of course the full slate of sprint courses on offer as part of the S/M/L event at West Point are open to all.

Board Adopts RUS/BLR Policy

Orienteering USA supports the recently announced IOF suspensions of the Russian and Belarusian member federations due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. At a special Board meeting held on March 21st, 2022, the Orienteering USA Board adopted the following policy to clarify how these suspensions will affect participation in events sanctioned by Orienteering USA.

Whereas the IOF has suspended the RUS and BLR federations, OUSA adopts the following policy:

1. Participation in OUSA-sanctioned NREs representing Russia and Belarus – the nations, their orienteering federations, and/or clubs affiliated with those federations – is not permitted.

2. Participants displaying symbols that identify them with the states of Russia or Belarus, the Russian or Belarusian Orienteering Federation, or one of their affiliated clubs are subject to disqualification.

3. This policy shall be automatically revoked with respect to each federation if and when the IOF restores the full membership rights of that federation.

Approved March 21, 2022

A copy of this policy can be found in the OUSA Library. The IOF has also published this FAQ concerning the suspensions.

US Ski-Orienteering Team opens the 2022 World Championships / European Youth Championships with Solid Performances

The 2022 World Ski-Orienteering Championships and European Youth Ski-Orienteering Championships are taking place in the North of Finland in Kemi this week. In the men’s class Chris Burnham coming off of an impressive 2nd place finish in the American Brikebeiner classic ski marathon had a solid race. The race was won by Ville Petteri Saarela from Finland in 11:47 one second ahead of Tuomas Kotro of Finland and three seconds ahead of Rasmus Wickbom of Sweden. Chris Burnham of Stowe, VT was the top American finisher in 51 st place in 17:50.

When asked about his race Chris commented, “It was a solid race for me. I am happy there were quite a few wide skating trails. The terrain was not as steep as I had expected compared to looking at the old map of the area, but there were never-the-less some real hills.” Chris also indicated that he was looking forward to the longer races to come later in the week as he normally does better in longer races. When asked by the TV production crew about an interesting fact about himself yesterday Chris explained that when he is not skiing his job is computer programing of underwater robots which sounds very interesting.

Tim Lundberg of Sweden won the Boys European Youth Ski-Orienteering Championships 9:23. Erik Fey from the USA was 24th in 12:22. When asked about his race Erik commented, “Since I am 13 years old and race in the 17 and under category, my coach and I decided that my main goals for this year would be to gain experience and not make any mistakes in the race larger than 15 seconds. I am happy that I managed to do that.” Erik also commented, “We came into the finish area on a huge downhill today, and it was a little distracting with people cheering, but we had discussed this would be the case. Thus, I told myself concentrate. I was right behind someone there. It was a bit confusing because the skier in front of me kept going straight into the stadium, but a much better route choice was to turn left just at the bottom of the hill before one came into the stadium. Luckily, I was reading my map and went the correct way. It really is exciting to be here and meet and race against people from all over the world. It was helpful that my father and coach [Carl Fey] has raced many times in World Championships, so he was able to explain to me what to expect.”

Tomorrow, March 16th is a pursuit race for World Championships (one starts the amount of time that
a skier was behind today’s winner). The youth class will have a normal medium distance race tomorrow.

Press Release & photos courtesy Carl Fey

OUSA Announces Masters Nationals for 2022 & 2023

At its board meeting this past Monday, the OUSA board approved not one, but two bids for national championship events.

The 2022 OUSA Masters Nationals will be hosted by the New England Orienteering Club (NEOC) on October 8-9, 2022 on a brand new map of Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, CT on the CT/MA border.

Early October is fall foliage season in southern New England – don’t miss it!

The 2023 OUSA Masters Nationals will be hosted jointly by the Buffalo Orienteering Club (BFLO) and Rochester Orienteering Club (ROC) on Sept 23-24, 2023. Saturday’s event will be held at Sprague Brook, about 25 miles SE of Buffalo, then the action heads to the east side of Letchworth SP about 50 miles S of Rochester for Sunday. If you want a sneak peek – don’t miss this year’s Billygoat which will be held on the west side of the gorge at Letchworth in conjunction with the Overlook NRE the weekend of May 7-8, 2022.

Both events are now listed on the OUSA National Calendar – links to event information and registration will be updated as details are published.

Youth Mapping Program – 2021 Summary

The Youth Mapping Program supports the mission of Orienteering USA, with a focus on the goals of increasing participation and teaching map reading and navigation skills. We match schools and youth organizations with cartographers, provide grants for maps, develop mappers, and encourage relationships between local clubs and schools. Mappers can become part of the program by signing up here; schools and youth organizations can apply to get a map made here

As of our last report to the OUSA Board, the program had produced 33 completed maps, with 13 more in progress and 12 in the planning stages, for a grand total of 58 map projects. Finished maps can be viewed using the locator map on the OUSA website. Many kids have orienteered on the finished maps. We also publish example stories of map use on the OUSA website, you can view these here.

We are asking all OUSA member clubs to publicize this mapping program to schools and youth organizations in your area. For each map that is made, several educators have the opportunity to teach dozens or hundreds of children about orienteering. Please contact the committee if you have any questions. A good way to get started might be to ask your members to share with any school or youth group contacts a link to the YMP page

The YMP maps have already been used by hundreds of children and adults. PE teachers have created new orienteering units. JROTC units have conducted training on the maps. Parks and Recreation departments have collaborated with local Scouts and orienteering clubs to create permanent courses. 

The volunteers on the YMP Committee are orienteers who also teach kids or make maps themselves. We welcome additional volunteers, including people who can help with outreach to educators. Email us to find out how you can support the effort!

Announcing the 2022 US National Team

The Selection Committee for the US National Orienteering Team is excited to announce the new merged team for 2022! We got a taste of what is to come at the WRE/NRE races in Georgia a few weeks ago. Along with upcoming domestic NREs this year, we also have The World Games, Sprint WOC, JWOC, WUOC, and World Cup competitions to look forward to.

I’d like to thank my fellow Selection Committee members, Eric Weyman and Boris Granovskiy, for their knowledge and interest in the process of determining the 2022 Team.

Peggy Dickison
US National Team Selection Committee Chair

Elite Squad

  • Ali Crocker (CROC)
  • Anthony Riley (DVOA)
  • Anton Salmenkyla (FIN)
  • Eric Bone (COC)
  • Greg Ahlswede (DVOA)
  • Joseph Barrett (QOC)
  • Ricardo Schaniel (SWI)
  • Thomas Laraia (MNOC/SCOT)
  • Tori Borish (RMOC)

Performance Squad

  • Alison Campbell (DVOA/SCOT)
  • Danny Riley (CAOC)
  • Diana Aleksieva (QOC)
  • Evalin Brautigam (WCOC/AUSTRALIA)
  • Jessica Colleran (COC)
  • Julia Doubson (BAOC)
  • Michael Laraia (MNOC/GER)
  • Peter Zakrevski (BGR)
  • Sydney Fisher (QOC)

Junior Squad

  • Aidan Minto (ICO)
  • Alex Merka (QOC)
  • Annika Mihata (COC)
  • Ava Suhocki (DVOA)
  • Ben Brady (COC)
  • Bridget Hall (NEOC)
  • Emilia Schmidt (QOC/FIN)
  • Keegan Harkavy (NEOC)
  • Kirsten Mayland (DVOA)
  • Lily Addicott (GAOC)
  • Victor Frolenko (DVOA)
  • Zariah Zosel (COC)

Alison Campbell joins US National Team ESC

At a team meeting held during last weekend’s events at the Georgia O-Fest, members of the 2021 US National Team voted to elect Alison Campbell to a seat on the US National Team Executive Steering Committee (ESC).

Alison has been a member of the US Team for over 10 years competing as part of the Development, Performance and Elite squads during her tenure on the team. Originally from the Philadelphia area (DVOA) she currently lives and competes in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alison is stepping into the ESC spot vacated by Giacomo Barbone who is stepping down having completed his term. OUSA would like to express our sincere thanks to Giacomo for his service to TeamUSA during his term on the ESC. Alison and Giacomo are pictured here at the World Cup Sprint Relay in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy last October.

Peggy Dickison (QOC) was re-elected to the ESC for another term and will continue in her role as acting Committee Chair. Peggy is pictured here handling the starts for the 2021 Team Trials held last May.

Rounding out the ESC for 2022 are:

  • Linda Kohn – Administrator
  • Greg Ahlswede
  • Eric Bone
  • Virginia DeBons
  • Jeff Saeger
  • Samantha Saeger

Stay tuned for an important announcement about the 2022 US National Team early next week. With the recent merger of the Senior & Junior Teams into a single entity we are excited about the future prospects for TeamUSA.

OUSA Junior Development Team expands into Youth Development Program

As originally conceived, the Junior Development Team was intended to encourage and support kids who simply love orienteering – with competitive aspirations an option but not a requirement.  

The recent merger of the competitive Senior Team and the Junior National Team allows us to hone in on this original conception by expanding on existing training, coaching and Youth Mapping Program initiatives. We envision a Youth Development Program to support youth and young adults in developing their competitive interests as well as mapping, event direction, course design, sport journalism, or other aspects of orienteering that they love.  

The program can connect orienteers from all disciplines with peers, experts, and coaches as part of building Orienteering Development Model Stage 4 capacity and community across the sport. Youth participants will have the opportunity to increase their skills, connect with other orienteers, and develop relationships in the community that support their continued participation in the sport as they transition into independent adulthood.  All participants will have access to OUSA resources to work in areas such as mapping, sport photography and marketing, youth coaching, or competitive orienteering below the national team level. Participants will have access to existing education and coaching resources and can apply to use funding designated for Youth Development in their projects. 

Orienteering USA is  looking for people interested in both supporting and participating in this program. We especially need people who are well-connected within their local orienteering community to help build these important connections. Once we have identified a team of 3-5 people to support this effort, we will publish forms for youth and adults to indicate interest in participation.  Interested in helping us get started?  Let us know here.

US Team Merger Announced

Orienteering USA is excited to announce the merger of the US National Team, aka TeamUSA, with the US Junior National Team to create a single, unified US National Team beginning in 2022. This merger will provide a more streamlined pathway for competitive junior athletes interested in advancing to the elite level.

Starting in 2022, the National Team will consist of three tiers: the Elite Squad, the Performance Squad, and the Junior Squad. The Elite Squad will consist of those athletes who consistently perform at a high level and are deemed most likely to be selected for WOC, WC or TWG teams. Performance Squad athletes also perform at a high level but may not yet be consistent picks for international team selection. The Junior Squad will encompass all Team members age 20 and under but are fully eligible to take part in all team activities and to compete for spots on the international event teams. Team selection for races such as JWOC and WUOC will of course be subject to the age restrictions of the individual competitions.

Applications for the 2022 US National Team were announced in December and athletes interested in applying for this year’s team should have submitted their applications. The entry period for 2022 is now closed. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about the revised Junior Development Program which will include exciting new options for youth orienteers beyond the competitive track.