Wisconsin and Idaho based Clubs garner 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grants

Posted on

Congratulations to Badger Orienteering Club (BGR) and City of Trees Orienteering Club (CTOC), the 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grant winners. Grantees receive $1,000 to be used for equipment and development projects. Nominated by Derek MacKenzie and John Murray respectively, winners were chosen through a selective process after a delay due to Covid-19. Established in 2016, the Wilson Community Growth Grant seeks to develop and implement programs aimed at expanding access to orienteering for youth. Read more about the 2020 awardees in the official press release.

Photo credits: Charlie Shabazian, Jen Fafinski

And don’t miss out, a little less than a week remains to apply for the 2021 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award and the Wilson Community Growth Grants. Each program includes a $1,000 payment to support individual or community-based youth Orienteering programs. Apply by April 30 via the links below,

Email iainwilsonaward@nullcomcast.net or click here to learn more about the Awards and their impact.

2020 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award

Posted on

Philadelphia, PA — The Wilson Awards, in partnership with Orienteering USA, is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award.  This award honors the memory of Iain Wilson by recognizing young athletes whose efforts demonstrate character through their commitment to growth and improvement in the sport as well as their contribution to the orienteering community through service and teamwork. This year’s announcement was delayed from spring 2020 due to the impact Coronavirus has had on training and competition.

We are excited to announce the winners, Bridget Hall and Keegan Harkavy  of New England Orienteering Club and Christiane Fletcher of Georgia Orienteering Club. Each athlete will each receive a $1,000  grant for orienteering travel and expenses. Additionally, applications for the 2021 Individual and Community Growth Awards are being accepted now through April 30, 2021 and can be found at  https://orienteeringusa.org/about/recognition/.

Read the full Press Release

2020 Silva Award Winner: Sandy Fillebrown

Posted on
Sandy at Everest Base Camp in 2018

Sandy has been a long time volunteer for Orienteering USA. Most recently, she assumed a range of administrative duties when Orienteering USA, in financial difficulty, found it necessary to transition from paid to volunteer services in these areas. For three years Sandy served as the primary contact for Orienteering USA, handling correspondence and maintaining the membership database. She helped OUSA through a significant transition of financial procedures by coordinating with the finance committee, accountants, and team contacts to keep the Federation running until we were able to put our financial house in order and rehire paid administrative support.

Sandy also volunteers extensively in more traditional orienteering roles. As a member of one of OUSA’s largest clubs, DVOA, Sandy has served in multiple roles at National Events. This includes event director for three events, course setter for three events, and registrar for four events. Not to mention all the course vetting she has done over the years. Sandy also served as the Event Director for the 2012 North American Orienteering Championships. This event only comes to US soil once every four years and is the largest event hosting job in the country, attracting over 600 participants in the year Sandy directed. She is currently on the course setting team for the World Games, which will take place in 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sandy also supports the US Team and directed three years worth of Sprint Series races which raised thousands of dollars for them. Sandy served on the OUSA Board of Directors for a few years in the early 2000s, including one year as Secretary. She also helped out with the transition of the rankings to Valerie Meyer. She continues to support orienteering every way that she can and has stepped up to fill roles that are not particularly exciting when she sees that there is a need. Sandy exemplifies the kind of service that the Silva Award stands for and Orienteering USA is excited to present her with this years Silva Award.

List of Past Award Recipients

2019 Competitive Award Winners!

Posted on

The annual OUSA Competitive Awards are given to top American orienteers in several categories for outstanding competitive performance over the course of the past year. The Awards Committee members are Susan Grandjean, Boris Granovskiy, Linda Kohn, Jeff Saeger, and Ken Walker Sr.

This is the tenth year for these awards, and the fifth year that Orienteering USA members had the opportunity to vote for the candidates. The committee thanks all those who submitted nominations and who took the time to vote for your top OUSA athletes. We had a near-record number of votes cast this year! The vote totals were used as the main component in final award selection.

The Orienteer, Junior, and Comet of the Year award winners each receive a $500 travel grant to help them continue to improve their skills. Additionally, the Honorable Mentions in the three individual categories will receive $100 travel grants.

The Awards Committee would like to thank two anonymous donors for their generous contributions to the travel grants.

Previous Competitive Award winners

Here are the 2019 winners and recipients of honorable mentions (HM). Congratulations to all the winners!

Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2019, based on results at national and international events

Anton Salmenkylä (CSU / Helsingin Suunnistajat, Finland)

Anton Salmenkylä, CSU

Anton had an outstanding WOC for Team USA. His 37th place in the middle distance final is the best-ever U.S. men’s middle result at WOC. He also ran an excellent second leg for the men’s relay team that finished 20th — the men’s best relay result at WOC since 1991.

Honorable Mention

Sharon Crawford (RMOC)

Sharon Crawford, RMOC

The ageless Sharon continued her string of top international and national results across a multitude of orienteering disciplines. Among her 2019 highlights were double gold medals in F75+ at the World Masters Championships in Ski Orienteering and a gold medal in the Women’s Ultra Veteran category at the World Rogaining Championships with her Australian teammate. In Foot-O, Sharon won all F75+ races in the U.S. Masters Championships, the U.S. SML Nationals and the annual West Point Meet. She is ranked in the top 5% of all brown course runners.

Junior Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2019 under the age of 21, based on results at national and international events.

Julia Doubson (BAOC)

Julia Doubson, BAOC

Julia was the top U.S. female in the Sprint (62nd) and Middle (52nd in the A final) distances at JWOC and took a step up to F21 towards the end of the season, earning a gold and two silver medals at the U.S. Nationals. She is ranked third in F21.

Honorable Mentions

AJ Riley (DVOA)

Anthony Riley, DVOA

AJ peaked towards the end of the season, with a string of top results in the fall. The highlight was his weekend of forest races at the U.S. Nationals in California, where he became the U.S. champion in the long distance in M21 and won a silver medal in the middle distance. This helped him to rise to fifth in the U.S. rankings in M21 as an 18-year-old.

Thomas Laraia (MNOC)

Thomas Laraia, MNOC

Thomas won the long and sprint distance races at the JWOC selection races and followed that up with a strong JWOC. In Denmark, he qualified for the Middle distance A-final and finished 52nd in the final, following up on a strong 57th place in the Sprint final.

Comet of the Year

Awarded to the U.S. orienteer who has made the most progress in their orienteering results during the 2019 season.

Joseph Barrett (QOC)

Joe Barrett, QOC

Joe Barrett returned to competitive orienteering after a multi-year hiatus for college in Oklahoma and immediately made an impact on the national scene, with a bronze medal at the M21 U.S. Long Distance Championships as the highlight, in addition to multiple podium finishes at National Ranking Events. He is currently ranked eighth in the U.S. in M21 after being unranked in 2018.

Honorable Mention

Bridget Hall (NEOC)

Bridget Hall, NEOC

Bridget convincingly made her first JWOC team in 2019, after finishing second and third in the JWOC selection races. She qualified for the middle distance B-final at JWOC, was the top F-20 competitor at several National Ranking Events, and finished the year ranked second in F-20 with a ranking of 81.1, a climb from sixth place and 74.7 in 2018.

Team of the Year

Awarded for the best team competitive performance during the 2019 season.

U.S. Men’s Relay Team at WOC

Left to right: Greg Ahlswede, Anton Salmenkylä, Morten Jørgensen

The team, consisting of Morten Jørgensen, Anton Salmenkylä, and Greg Ahlswede, finished 20th of 36 nations, which was the best U.S. men’s relay result at WOC since 1991, when considerably fewer nations participated.

2019 Silva Award Winner, Donna Fluegel

Posted on

Donna has published Orienteering North America (ONA) for the past twenty years. During her tenure the magazine has continued to serve as a significant communication tool for OUSA and as a primary benefit for our members. This is a labor of love for Donna, with OUSA funds only covering the basic costs of publication.

In addition to her exceptional work with ONA, Donna also served on the OUSA board for 11 years (2005-2016). Among the positions she held were Secretary and VP Marketing. She was an excellent administrator in this capacity.

Donna also championed National Orienteering Day (NOD) and for years served as the primary point of contact for clubs participating in this initiative. She coordinated a nationally publicized schedule of NOD events, secured sponsors, and distributed sponsor and OUSA materials to the clubs. She kept NOD going until it was superseded by World Orienteering Day.

List of Award Recipients

2019 President’s Awards Recipients

Posted on

Kris Beecroft

Kris is recognized for her exceptional work as President and Secretary of OUSA, putting in a considerable amount of time and work above and beyond the usual requirements of these positions during a transitional time for the organization.

Pat Meehan

Pat is recognized for his exceptional work as VP of Finance for OUSA, putting in a considerable amount of time and work above and beyond the usual requirements of this position during a transitional time for the organization.

Jordan and Jennifer Laughlin

The Laughlins are recognized for their service on the Technology Committee. They have been instrumental in helping the organization transition to use of GSuite for file sharing and internal communications. In addition, they have put considerable work into the implementation of a new website and are helping to oversee the work of updating Event Register.

List of Award Recipients

2019 Golden Service Award Recipients

Posted on

GLENN HASELFELD (GPHXO)

Here is a bullet list of Glenn’s accomplishments and activities promoting our beloved sport:

  • Longtime Board member and current Vice-President of Greater Phoenix Orienteering Club (GPHXO)
  • Organized and directed dozens of local events for GPHXO, TSN, JROTC and Arizona high schools
  • Created over 30 new event maps in Arizona and at least 10 teaching maps. Glenn has stayed on the forefront of mapping technology, and produces the highest quality maps we have.  He explores different event formats, such as Score-DOH! and JOM (Just One Map) which add to the fun and improve skills.
  • Significant support for the 2018 and 2019 Southwest Spring Weeks. Glenn helped the TSN club with their NRE events, and he served as Meet Director and Mapping Coordinator for the First Water Classic NRE event in Phoenix.
  • Sponsored and coached Nakai Lake, a candidate for U.S. Youth Team 2014-2016, at national events and tryouts.
  • Formed lasting relationships with Prescott Air Force JROTC, Embry-Riddle University, Prescott High Schools, and Arizona scouting organizations
  • Glenn is the GPHXO equipment manager.  In addition to making sure we have enough materiel, Glenn designs and builds equipment specific to our terrain and needs.
  • Conceived and conducted numerous beginner’s clinics in Arizona.

1st SGT (Ret.) TOBY HENSON (FLO)

1st SGT Toby Henson has provided outstanding and dedicated service to Florida Orienteering and to the entire national high school JROTC Community. Toby, from the beginning of his affiliation with FLO, has coordinated all Florida based High School JROTC participation at regular FLO events. In recent years—approximately the past five years—these efforts have culminated, in particular, with:

  1. Spearheading the creation of an online pre-registration system for all high school units attending regularly scheduled public orienteering events hosted by FLO, averaging over 120 cadets at each major FLO event through the years.
  2. Single-handedly establishing and heading up his high school unit’s serving as host to an annual JROTC 3-day training camp (about to hold its 15th season!), assisted by FLO officers and attended by 200 to 400 high school cadets from across Florida each year.
  3. Heading up his high school unit’s hosting the 2018 U.S. National Navy JROTC Championships, again assisted by FLO officers, attended by over 300 pre-qualified cadets from across the United States, including Florida and Southeastern U.S. units.

Furthermore, Toby contributed vital contacts and encouragement during the formation of member club Suncoast Orienteering and Adventure Racing (SOAR) to assist that club in its foundational efforts. SOAR is now fully established and thriving with a largely JROTC clientele. In summary, Toby has been invaluable to the historic and ongoing success of orienteering in Florida and has proven to be a significant factor in the growth of JROTC orienteering participation far beyond the local club level.

THURSTON and BONNIE MILLER (OCIN)

Thurston and Bonnie Miller are recognized for their service to Orienteering Cincinnati, OUSA, and to their community in propagating orienteering to the South Bend, Indiana, local region. Thurston and Bonnie home school their four kids and for many years have brought the entire family to OCIN events, often a five-hour drive each way. They advocated for and convinced Orienteering Cincinnati to have four parks in the Michiana, Indiana, area professionally mapped. They have used those four maps to support numerous events in their local area, typically involving very long drives to pick up gear either in Cincinnati, or halfway to the Indianapolis area. They’ve hosted orienteering teaching events in Indiana and near Cincinnati for Home School Families. They’ve gotten interest and attendance from Notre Dame ROTC units. Bonnie and Thurston are reliable volunteers for OCIN’s Flying Pig and Winter Pig National Ranking Events, where they often work as start crew, as well as Junior Team fundraiser support by organizing the sandwich sales or putting on various maze-orienteering challenges. They have, along with their children, become proficient at course setting, vetting, and the various computer skills needed to run events, including SportIdent download. We recognize and thank Thurston Miller and Bonnie Miller for their exemplary service to orienteering at the local, regional, national, and international level.

MIKE REASON (LAOC)

Mike has been a member of LAOC for over twenty years and in that time has served as President for a few years. Most importantly, Mike is one of our regular course setters who is especially supportive of our national events. He has served most recently as the middle distance course setter at our Camp Scherman national event a few years ago. He also directed our first national meet at Vasquez Rocks, which was the 2001 Relay Champs. Additionally, he has vetted courses for a number of other national events. Mike is a significant asset to OUSA due to his support of these events and we wish to honor his commitment to the sport.

MIKE SHIFMAN (PTOC)

Mike is recognized for his dedication as course setter for 20 years of The Possum Trot, the mass-start “goat” race hosted annually by PTOC. Mike has designed all the Possum Trot courses. This event has become an important fixture on the midwest schedule and draws repeat competitors from Missouri, Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada. Mike tirelessly designs the course, vets the area and puts out tapes over an approximately 13 km course every year.

List of Award Recipients

2019 Wilson Award Winners

Posted on

Aidan Minto and Itzel Barbiere earn $1,000 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Awards

Philadelphia, PA —

The Wilson Awards committee, in partnership with Orienteering USA, is pleased to announce the winners of the sixth annual Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award. This award honors the memory of Iain Wilson by recognizing young athletes whose efforts demonstrate character through their commitment to growth and improvement in the sport as well as their contribution to the orienteering community through service and teamwork.

This year’s winners, Itzel Barbiere of Suncoast Orienteering Adventure Racing Club and Aidan Minto of Indiana Crossroads Orienteering Club, will each receive a $1,000 travel grant.


Itzel, a resident of Bushnell, Florida, is currently enrolled at Lake Sumter State College. She aspires to a career in nursing, and hopes to someday become an orienteering coach who can “teach the newer generations of orienteers.” Currently, Itzel is on the Junior Development team and hopes to someday challenge for a spot on the national team. She is a three-time Florida State Champion and was fifth in the nation for orienteering on the Brown Course at the 2018 Navy National JROTC Invitational. She recognizes that “training is a way to become a better you.” Orienteering, Itzel writes, “defines me as a person by giving me confidence and motivation. I fell in love with the atmosphere around me every weekend.” The members of the selection committee were excited by Itzel’s recognition that the benefits of Orienteering extend well beyond the course and the competition. Itzel’s NJROTC leader Victor Martinez writes, “Itzel Barbiere exemplifies the ‘whole cadet’ model, excelling in academics, athletics, leadership and service to others as a role model student, cadet, and citizen. Her commitment to her success and, most importantly, to the success of others is unmatched.” The IWA selection committee is confident Itzel is someone of outstanding character who will be giving back to the sport of orienteering for many years to come.

Already orienteering at a very high level, Aidan is a rising star among young orienteers, but what caught the attention of the selection committee was Aidan’s work ethic and internal drive. He writes, “My orienteering experiences have made me realize that in any pursuit in life, there is always work to be done. I know that to achieve true excellence, I need to work harder than I ever have before.” At the same time, Aidan recognizes that orienteering provides him time among “the wonders of nature,” and he talks about escaping the pressures of school and day-to-day tasks when he writes, “Training and competition is a way for me to distance myself from the challenges of everyday life.” Aidan is a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, and excels in running and French horn, as well as academics and orienteering. As his high school track and cross country coach, Taylor Marshall writes, “Aidan is a student-athlete of tremendous character. He is principled, inquisitive, and balanced.” A motivated and determined young man of strong character, Aidan’s work ethic will lead him far.


Marc Balcer, Co-Chair of the Award Committee, observes, “We were heartened to see so many applications that reminded us of Iain’s spirit. Both of our 2019 awardees described how orienteering transformed them from shy individuals into passionate advocates for the sport whose voices are heard both through their actions and words.”

“Orienteering USA is thankful to the community that supports the Wilson Awards for their continuing support of young orienteers,” writes Clare Durand, President of the Board of Directors. She continues, “We admire their efforts to provide opportunities for our athletes that might not otherwise be available.”


The Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award

2018 OUSA Competitive Award Winners Announced

Posted on

The annual OUSA Competitive Awards are given to top American orienteers in several categories for outstanding competitive performance over the course of the past year. The Awards Committee members are Susan Grandjean, Boris Granovskiy, Linda Kohn, Patrick Nuss, and Ken Walker Sr.

This is the ninth year for these awards, and the fourth year that Orienteering USA members had the opportunity to vote for the candidates. The committee thanks all those who submitted nominations and who took the time to vote for your top OUSA athletes. We had a near-record number of votes cast this year! The vote totals were used as the main component in final award selection.

The Orienteer, Junior, and Comet of the Year award winners each receive a $500 travel grant to help them continue to improve their skills. Additionally, the Honorable Mentions in the three individual categories will receive $100 travel grants.

The Awards Committee would like to thank two anonymous donors for their generous contributions to the travel grants.

Previous Competitive Award winners

Here are the 2018 winners and recipients of honorable mentions (HM). Congratulations to all the winners!


Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2018, based on results at national and international events

Greg Ahlswede (DVOA / Escondite Nature Sport, Spain)

Greg was among the very best U.S. orienteers at almost every race this year, with top-3 finishes at NAOC (3rd – long, 2nd – middle, 2nd – sprint) and at the U.S. Champs (2nd – long, middle, sprint).

Greg also finished 54th in the WOC long distance final and anchored Team USA to NAOC relay victory.

Honorable Mentions

Alison Crocker (CROC)

Ali made a strong return to the world elite in 2018, finishing 36th in the sprint and 40th in the middle at WOC, Team USA’s best two individual performances.

She also exchanged in 10th place after the first leg of the WOC relay and anchored Team USA to relay victory at NAOC. A win in the long distance at NAOC earned Ali an automatic qualifying spot for WOC 2019.

Anton Salmenkyla (CSU / Helsingin Suunnistajat, Finland)

In his first year as a senior, Anton distinguished himself by qualifying for the middle distance finals at the European Championships in Switzerland, finishing 48th against an extremely strong field. Other highlights include 55th place in the middle distance at WOC and a gold in the middle distance at NAOC, earning an automatic spot for WOC 2019.

Also at NAOC, Anton was part of the relay-winning US Team and finished 3rd in the sprint and 6th in the long distance.


Junior Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2018 under the age of 21, based on results at national and international events

Tyra Christopherson (COC)

In her final year as a junior, Tyra qualified for the senior WOC team for the second year in a row and was perhaps the top U.S. junior at JWOC, where she finished 66th, 63rd, and 72nd in the three individual distances.

At NAOC, Tyra anchored the dominant U.S. junior women’s relay team to victory and added a sprint gold, middle distance silver, and long distance bronze in F-20 to her collection.

Honorable Mention

AJ Riley (DVOA)

Though still an M-18 runner, AJ had a dominant year in North American racing, sweeping the individual golds at NAOC in M18. He is ranked 1st in the U.S. in M-18 and 4th in M-20 and is the reigning U.S. High School Varsity Champion.

AJ tried his hand at racing against the seniors at the U.S. Champs, winning a bronze medal in sprint in M21.


Comet of the Year

Awarded to the US orienteer who has made the most progress in their orienteering results during the 2018 season

Keegan Harkavy (CSU/NEOC)

As just a 15-year-old, Keegan made the jump from the Orange course to Green in M-18 and finished the year ranked 2nd in that category.

He also earned the bronze medal at the U.S. High School Varsity Championships, and had top-10 finishes at the Billygoat and the Harriman Fall Goat races.

Honorable Mention

Sydney Fisher (SMOC)

Sydney improved from a ranking of 8th to 4th in the F21+ category over the course of the year, raising her OUSA score from 74.75 to 78.85. She was named to the 2018 USA team for the first time as a development member. After training hard through the spring, she came in 3rd in points at her first team trials and was named an alternate to the WOC team for the first time.

She also recorded her first solo overall wins in Rogaining with wins at Green Corn Moon (6 hr) and Legend of the Dogman (18 hr) and earned a silver medal at the U.S. Champs in the long distance.


Team of the Year

Awarded for the best team competitive performance during the 2018 season

U.S. Senior Team at NAOC

Team USA went all the way to the Yukon, Canada and took the Björn Kjellström Cup back from the Canadians. This was a true team effort, as four different team members (Ali Crocker, Tori Borish, Morten Jorgensen, and Anton Salmenkyla) winning individual gold medals, and both the men’s and women’s relay teams claiming golds as well.

Fifteen different competitors contributed to Team USA’s victory.

Honorable Mention

U.S. JWOC Men’s Relay Team

Composed of Thomas Laraia, David Runde, and Martin Borge Heir, the team finished as the 15th country, just 17 minutes behind winning Norway.

This is the best-ever U.S. men’s relay finish at JWOC, improving on last year’s 18th place.


Competition Awards eligibility

To be awarded any of the individual awards a nominee has to be a USA citizen, and must be a member of Orienteering USA in good standing during the current calendar year. Additionally, for the Junior Orienteer of the Year award, the nominee has to be no older than 20 at the end of the calendar year. To be selected for the Orienteering Team of the Year award, all team members have to be Orienteering USA members and represent the U.S. or an OUSA chartered club in competition.

Competitors in any forms of orienteering are eligible, including Foot O, Ski O, Mountain Bike O, Trail O, and Rogaining.

The award winners were selected by a committee appointed by Orienteering USA from a list of candidates nominated by members of the U.S. and international orienteering communities, with voting by OUSA members again guiding the selection this year.