TeamUSA Announces 2024 WOC Roster

The TeamUSA WOC Team Selection Review Panel – Peggy Dickison (chair), Tyra Christopherson, Jeff Saeger, and Glen Tryson – is pleased to announce the Team members for this summer’s Sprint WOC in Edinburgh, Scotland. There were some very strong results, which made our job difficult. We all feel that we have a strong team, and we look forward to seeing your performances.

Given that the Team will not have a coach at WOC (but there will be a Team Administrator, TBD), the Review Panel will determine who runs in the Relay. There will be one team, with two men and two women; we will announce the members soon. (Note that the Team can decide, as a group and with the Team Administrator, to make changes to the relay make-up if everyone feels it is warranted.)

Congratulations to all the Team members and alternates!

WOC Women

  • Evalin Brautigam (NAOC personal spot)
  • Bridget Hall (automatic qualifier from Sprint Storrs)
  • Alison Campbell
  • Lily Addicott (by petition)
  • 1st Alternate: Oriana Riley
  • 2nd Alternate: Paige Suhocki

WOC Men

  • Joe Barrett (NAOC personal spot)
  • Thomas Laraia (automatic qualifier from Sprint Storrs)
  • Keegan Harkavy
  • Ricardo Schaniel
  • Alternate: Anthony (AJ) Riley

TeamUSA Announces 2024 WUOC Roster

The Selection Committee – Jon Torrance, Andrea Berger, Eric Bone, Ethan Childs, and Ioana Fleming – is pleased to announce the 2024 US Team to compete at the FISU World University Orienteering Championships in Bankso, Bulgaria from August 1st-5th, 2024. The WUOC competition is held every other year.

Congratulations to this year’s WUOC Team!!

WUOC Men

  • Keegan Harkavy
  • Thomas Laraia
  • Dylan Poe
  • Anthony (AJ) Riley
  • Danny Riley
  • Tyler Wilson
  • 1st Alternate: Shawn Mather
  • 2nd Alternate: Victor Frolenko

WUOC Women

  • Lily Addicott
  • Diana Aleksieva
  • Bridget Hall
  • Alex Merka
  • Oriana Riley
  • Grace Zoppi
  • 1st Alternate: Jessica Colleran
  • 2nd Alternate: Ava Suhocki
  • 3rd Alternate: Grace Suhocki

TeamUSA Announces 2024 JWOC Roster

The JWOC Selection Committee – Jon Torrance, Andrea Berger, Eric Bone, Ethan Childs, and Ioana Fleming – is pleased to announce the 2024 US Team to compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Pilsen, Czechia from June 30th-July7th, 2024.

Congratulations to this year’s JWOC Team!!

JWOC Women

  • Alex Merka
  • Astrid White
  • Danny Buchholz
  • Greta Leonard
  • Paige Suhocki
  • Zariah Zosel
  • 1st Alternate: Samantha Walker
  • 2nd Alternate: Ava Suhocki

JWOC Men

  • Ben Brady
  • Benjamin Conley
  • Ian Dunlap
  • Jackson Rupe
  • Ludvig Hagwall
  • Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck
  • 1st Alternate: Ben Cooper
  • 2nd Alternate: Collin Thompson

2024 WOC Selection Criteria Announced

The 2024 Sprint World Orienteering Championships (WOC) will be hosted in Edinburgh, Scotland, from July 12-16, 2024.

Orienteering USA’s WOC Review Panel (RP – Peggy Dickison, Tyra Christopherson, Jeff Saeger, Glen Tryson) will choose up to 3 (three) male and 3 (three) female athletes to represent the USA at WOC, in addition to the one male and one female already selected by winning the NAOC sprint in 2023. Using the same selection criteria, the WOC RP may also choose alternates who will step in, should the need arise.

There will be two official Team Trials.

  • Sprint Scotland will be held in Glenrothes, Scotland (north of Edinburgh), on May 4-5, 2024. This event consists of three sprint races, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. All three are individual start races.
  • Sprint Storrs will be held in Storrs, Connecticut (University of Connecticut) on Saturday, 11 May 2024. This event consists of two sprint races, an individual start race in the morning and a mass-start race in the afternoon.
  • Note to Petitioners: Petitioners who cannot attend either Team Trials events will be required to register for the Sprint Storrs Team Trials as Non-Compete and fill in the declaration page.

To be considered a candidate for 2024 WOC Team Selection, a WOC candidate must meet the WOC eligibility requirements and also declare their intent to seek selection to the team.

Candidates should refer to the Full WOC 2024 Selection Criteria document which can be found in the Orienteering USA Library.

Trail-O Standing Team Applications Now Open

Applications are now open for the TeamUSA Trail Orienteering Standing Team. The application link will stay active for another week until Monday, April 8th.

However, if you are interested in representing US in the trail orienteering European championships (ETOC) in Turku, Finland May 8th -May 12th please fill in your application for the standing team as soon as possible. Preferably this would be done by Monday Apr 1st, as the team size deadline for ETOC in Apr 8th.

Fill out the Team Application here.

Orienteering USA rules stipulate that all National team members must complete SafeSport training.  There is also a link to this training in the application form.

Here is the language in OUSA rules regarding the standing team:

  • G.4.4 The U.S. Trail Orienteering National Team shall be composed of a maximum of 10 applicants from each class who meet the following conditions:
    • a. Have full passport qualifying citizenship for the United States.
    • b. Regular member of Orienteering USA in good standing.
    • c. Agree to be an active part of the team.
    • d. Participate in Team discussions, elections, and fundraisers.
    • e. Agree to represent the USA in International Orienteering Events (if selected and available).
    • f. Subscribe to the Official Team communication channel.
  • G.4.5 The top five highest ranked applicants of each class from each of the PreO and TempO ranking lists shall be automatically selected to the team. Any remaining spots will be filled by the ESC using a combination of the PreO and TempO ranking lists.  In the event that fewer than 10 applicants for the team in a class have a valid ranking, the ESC may, at their discretion, name non-ranked applicants to the team.

As a member of the standing team you are eligible to wear US National team uniform in any US Trail-O event

Sincerely,
Mika Latva-Kokko
Trail-O ESC

Announcing the 2024 US National Orienteering Team

The Selection Committee (Peggy Dickison, Eric Weyman, and Matt Smith) is pleased to announce the 2024 US National Orienteering Team.

The committee carefully examined each of the many applications (57) to determine Team readiness and squad placement. Several 2023 Team members chose not to apply this year, a few narrowly missed making the Team, and some new faces have emerged.

Placements were based primarily on the Selection Criteria, weighing OUSA and IOF rankings highest, along with head-to-head competition and other known factors. In general, we were most flexible/inclusive with the Juniors, who we understand are still improving and have less-consistent results; less flexible/inclusive with the Performance Squad; and least flexible/inclusive with the Elite Squad.

With several athletes on the cusp of qualifying for the Team, we expect to add members after the spring season. We are excited to see our team continue to attract excellent athletes. Welcome to four new athletes to the Junior Squad! Be sure to check the full roster with athlete photos, bios and links on the Orienteering USA National Team web page

2024 US National Orienteering Team

  • Elite Squad
    • Greg Ahlswede – DVOA
    • Joseph Barrett – QOC
    • Tori Borish – RMOC
    • Evalin Brautigam – WCOC
    • Alison Campbell – DVOA, STAG (Scotland)
    • Alison Crocker – CROC
    • Thomas Curiger – OK Orion (Jämsjö, Sweden)
    • Sydney Fisher – EMPO
    • Bridget Hall – NEOC
    • Keegan Harkavy – NEOC
    • Anthony Riley – DVOA
    • Danny Riley – NEOC
    • Ricardo Schaniel – Bussola OK (Switzerland)
  • Performance Squad
    • Lily Addicott – GAOC
    • Diana Aleksieva – QOC
    • Eric Bone – COC
    • Julia Doubson – BAOC
    • Thomas Laraia – MNOC, Edinburgh University Orienteering Club
    • Shawn Mather – USMAOC
    • Kirsten Mayland – DVOA
    • Annika Mihata – COC
    • Oriana Riley – DVOA
  • Junior Squad
    • Ben Brady – COC / GrizO
    • Anna Campbell – NEOC
    • Ben Conley – New Member! – Cascade Orienteering Club / Grizzly Orienteering
    • Ben Cooper – COC
    • Ian Dunlap – OLOU
    • Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck – NEOC
    • Ludvig Hagwall – New Member! – Järla Orientering (Stockholm, Sweden)
    • Greta Leonard – COC
    • Alex Merka – QOC
    • Jackson Rupe – COC
    • Emilia Schmidt – QOC
    • Zoe Sibthorp – COC
    • Ava Suhocki – DVOA
    • Paige Suhocki – DVOA
    • Samantha Walker – New Member! – Quantico Orienteering Club
    • Astrid White – New Member! – Grizzly Orienteering / OK Linné (Uppsala, Sweden)
    • Zariah Zosel – COC / GrizO

TeamUSA Ski-O Competes in Austria

This press release was originally prepared by US Ski-O Team Coach Carl Fey with edits by Orienteering USA. Photos courtesy Carl Fey.

The 2024 World Ski Orienteering Championships (WSOC) are taking place in Ramsau, Austria from January 23-27. The Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships (JWSOC) and European Youth Ski Orienteering Championships (EYSOC) are being held concurrently on the same maps. The US National Team has skiers competing in all three events.

Ramsau is famous for its Dachstein glacier which is the most famous place in the world for summer skiing and is also a popular place for skiing in the winter with an extensive network of cross-country ski trails and beautiful mountain scenery. The weather conditions have been challenging with warm weather and rain resulting in melting and slow snow making it difficult for organizers and skiers alike. The organizers had to change some of courses less than 24 hours before the races.

US veteran ski orienteer Adrian Owens (GMOC) has had the best US result in the men’s World Championship races this week where he has had a friendly battle with fellow US team member Ari Ofsevit (CSU). To get to the start of the sprint race skiers took a chairlift resulting in fast conditions being mostly downhill through an extensive network of trials requiring quick decisions at high speed. In the sprint race, won by Jörgen Baklid (NOR), Adrian Owens placed 63rd with Ari Ofsevit close behind in 64th separated by a mere 21 seconds.

The grueling pursuit race was a a mass-start long race run as a one-man relay with three loops and Jörgen Baklid once again taking the win. Adrian was 54th and Ari was 55th. When asked about the race Adrian said, “I went and fought and fought on the course and finally made it to the end. There were really a lot of tough climbs today.” In the middle distance Adrian Owens was 59th place and Ari Ofsevit was 61st. When asked about the races in Ramsau US skier Ari Ofsevit replied, “Our hosts here in Ramsau have done an admiral job in somewhat adverse conditions. The long and middle distance races took us through many fields and forests with significant climb before an exhilarating downhill into the stadium”.

The US was represented by Alex Merka (QOC) in the Women’s Junior World Championships. This was Alex’s debut in international ski-o racing. She ended up 33rd in the sprint, 30th in the long race where she showed off great determination and stamina, and had her best race in the middle distance finishing 33rd. When asked about her races she said, “After the sprint race, which was skied in a blinding snowstorm, it was nice to have a sunny day for the long course, but that produce slow snow. I have discovered that long courses in ski-orienteering are really tough physically. I am happy that myself and my skis are durable.

The US was represented by Erik Fey (ROC) in the Boy’s European Youth Ski-Orienteering Championships. While not quite the results Erik had hoped for, he had impressive results for the US with a 14th in the sprint, a 16th in the long, and an 18th in the middle. Erik showed off his skiing speed staying near the front for the first five controls in the long mass-start race, however, he was not able to turn this into the results he had hoped for. Erik said, “This was my first time to race in the hilly Alps which was a good experience but created very different orienteering route choices from what I am used to. It inspires me to be here, and I will train even harder for next year.

The racing concludes with the relay races on January 27th. Races have been covered live on TV in several countries and can also be viewed on IOF TV (live or via replay). The team expressed their thanks to the great cooking by US Ski-O Team Cook and motivator Allison Van Akkeren who is the former US Biathlon Team cook and cooked healthy dinners for a hungry team all week. The team also expressed their thanks to US Team Coach Carl Fey for his long days of waxing, support at the races, attending team leaders meetings, and briefing team members in the evening. The US team has often not had a coach at international ski-o races and several team members mentioned this was much appreciated so that they could focus more on racing.

The US Ski-Orienteering Team would like to say a big thank you to Orienteering USA and other supporters this year. The US Ski-O Team hopes to field an even larger team at international races next year. This is only possible with financial support from Orienteering USA and others. Donations, which may be designated for the US Ski-O Team, can be made at: https://orienteeringusa.org/support/

For more information about the US Ski-Orienteering Team or how to qualify, please contact Adrian Owens, Chairperson of the US Ski-O Team Executive Committee at: aowens@nullsterlingcollege.edu

2024 JWOC & WUOC Team Selection Criteria Announced

In 2024 it will be possible for young athletes of Junior age and of College age to participate in one combined Team Trials event to qualify for two teams if eligible. The Team Trials event for the IOF 2024 Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) as well as for the FISU 2024 World University Championship Orienteering (WUOC) will be all races of the Flying Pig XXVI / 2024 OUSA Masters Nationals, held April 5 – 7 in Ohio and hosted by OCIN. The Team Trials races will be identified accordingly in the EventReg registration process.

At the November 13, 2023 Orienteering USA Board Meeting, the Rules Proposal from the National Team for WUOC / JWOC selections changes was approved, with the final wording of the new rules still to be published. These new rules allow for all FISU WUOC eligible athletes to participate in the races designated for team selection, while the old rules allowed only the athletes eligible to participate in the USA Intercollegiate races to be eligible for selection by races, forcing a significant number of other WUOC eligible athletes to have to rely on petitioning to be selected. Furthermore, the alignment of WUOC and JWOC selection rules to be based on IOF and FISU eligibility, with the courses for the trials being the same for an athlete (e.g. the same Red course for all Team Trials Male athletes, independent of age), makes it possible for athletes eligible for both teams to participate in one combined Team Trials event for WUOC and JWOC.

The 2024 Junior World Orienteering Championships will take place from June 30 – July 7, 2024 in Pilsen, Czechia. An official pre-JWOC training will be hosted the week prior to the championships, with the US Team intending to start training June 24, 2024. Orienteering USA’s combined JWOC/WUOC Selection Committee will choose up to six young male and six young female athletes to represent the USA at JWOC ’24.

The 2024 World University Championships Orienteering will take place from August 1 – 5, in Bansko, Bulgaria, with Team arrival no later than July 30. Orienteering USA’s combined JWOC/WUOC Selection Committee will choose up to six young male and six young female athletes to represent the USA at WUOC ’24.

The full 2024 JWOC Team Selection Criteria and 2024 WUOC Team Selection Criteria documents can be found in the Orienteering USA Library.

Note to Petitioners: Petitioners who can not attend the Team Trials will still be required to register for the Team Trials as Non-Compete and fill in the declaration page, whether for the JWOC team, the WUOC team or both teams. Petitioning information will be collected through EventReg during registration – whether competing in the trials races, or entering as Non-Compete.

Both events have races for accompanying supporters and other orienteers, the Czech O-Tour during JWOC, and the WUOC Tour during WUOC.

TrailO Goes Tech

New TempO software is introduced during the first World Ranking TrailO event in U.S.

By: Jennifer A. Sheffield

The 2023 Navy Yard TrailO World Ranking Event (WRE) started with a 20-station riverfront Sprint PreO held at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard and ended with an eclectic tour of 25 flagged locations that took competitors through a mix of soccer fields, cultural markets, and around two large lakes within South Philadelphia’s FDR Park over the weekend of August 18-20. But it was two TempO events (both public), which kept the combined fields of Open (O), Juniors (J), and Physically Challenged (P) competitors on the edge of their seats.

Competitors dealt with flags set on a course designed by Daniel Heimgartner among gravel paths dotted with public art pieces at Central Green Park, then navigated a series of controls placed among the architectural elements of buildings surrounding Crescent Park at The Yard.

“It was challenging,” said U.S. Air Force Lt Col (ret.) and 2023 World Championships OUSA team member, Anne Maker (P), after completing the TempO on Central Green at The Yard. “There were circles everywhere, so, I had to figure out which circle I needed to focus on, at each stop, because this park is a circle,” she said.

Marshals on the TempO courses were equally challenged with using one of the first applications of a new time and scoring software, called Toepunch, which was tested against the speed and accuracy of each athlete’s decision. The point is to match the data entered, to the reality of a competitors’ experience, at each station. The app means marshals don’t have to set down a pen after the athlete gives their fourth answer, hit the stopwatch at the same time, then write down their final answer.

Amy Latva-Kokko, whose husband Mika and children, Jarmo and Katja, competed in the 2023 Trail-O World Championships was a marshal for the event. “I enjoyed using the handheld mobile devices on the TempO. I found it user-friendly, and much quicker,” she said. “If there was an error, I was able to fix it,” Latva-Kokko, explained. “We had a second marshal as a back-up, but I like the mobile device, because if the second marshal had a time difference of one second we can add that information to the device and it gets submitted to the server.”

Libor Forst of the Czech Republic created of this software because connectivity for a sport like orienteering is important. The success of the rollout also gave him confidence the sport can serve athletes with disabilities better while making stations enjoyable, and exact, for everyone; whether they are a beginner or seasoned racer. “Considering it was the first time that an American team made an WRE it was a good competition,” Forst said. “Regarding the technology everything worked very well for us in Philadelphia.”

Retired Armed Forces member, Charles Bromly Gardner, is an ElitO competitor, who also competes in FootO, and SkiO for Great Britain. He reflected on 40 years of doing the sport abroad. “I’ve not been to America for trail orienteering before and that was the attraction,” he said. The last, high standard (non-WRE) event held in Britain, was the 2019 European Cup.

Even with new technology applied for its competition, Gardner still stated the model event held prior to the weekend was useful to see what the mapper is putting on the map and is not. “It’s a mental challenge and I’m better at precision rather than the timed events. I’m starting to take my time in TempO but the youngsters still make quicker decisions,” Gardner said.

Cruising Through Obstacles

The 2023 IOFTOC TrailO WRE was hosted by OUSA’s Capital Region Nordic Alliance (CNRA) based in Albany, N.Y. Director, Russ Meyer said compared to the 2021 OUSA Veteran Paralympic National Championships, shipyard courses were condensed, for specific areas.

Using electronic punch cards, wirelessly attached to electronic boxes placed at each station was a big change for athletes. “For para (P) athletes who have hand mobility challenges, or use a wheelchair, it can be difficult, but with patience they can manage it,” said Latva-Kokko. This is a reason P and O athletes get different times to finish problems.

Gardner added, “It reduces man hours, but, what the software does, that is what you do, so if you wish to change it, the software has to change.”

However, the system has increased flexibility in FootO and mappers can now design looped courses. Toepunch shows real-time results, but this also means the race host is putting more expense out into the forest.

Philadelphia’s FDR Park cartographic work was done by an experienced consortium of Ari Tertsunen, Richard H. Ebright and Bob Burg.

Orienteering USA President and TrailO competitor Clare Durand commented the sightlines across bodies of water made the course especially challenging. “I had some issues reading how they mapped some of the vegetation, which was not standard combined with problems that were vegetation based but I was happy with the difficult controls that made me think,” said Durand.

Forst added, “The WRE TempO course, specifically, could be a good competition for any country to use.”

“The PreO had problems because if you make a competition a public park, you have people there. The other thing was light conditions which was the reason for voiding some controls,” Forst explained.

U.S. National team member, Paige Suhocki (J; DVOA) marshaled at The Yard and did the long PreO. It was her first time trying TrailO. “It felt inclusive,” she said. “It is all about having good flow.”

Continuing to Connect

Overall, Durand acknowledged that it is not OUSA, but the work of clubs like CRNA that do the event work whose efforts lead the way to leveling the playing field, and bringing international competitors together.

CRNA is a Move United chapter that sponsors Paralympic athletes in cross-country skiing, biathlon, skeleton and bobsled year-round. It added orienteering to its Nordic menu after receiving a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adaptive sports grant.

U.S. Army Sergeant Major (ret.) Kevin Bittenbender competed in Philadelphia with his service dog, Kirby, and said, TrailO really requires the participants to get out of their comfort zones. “It provides those with disabilities, a chance to be involved, in something and it narrows that excuse not to get out, because it gets you outdoors,” he said.

Bittenbender learned land navigation in the Army, but he practiced for WRE, using online orienteering. He appreciates the focus that is necessary for TempO, and that the Toepunch system made it easy to navigate the course and stay organized along the route. “You don’t miss a station, or, accidently punch something,” he said. “You do have to make sure you have the right card in your hand, though.”

For veterans, the sport also creates camaraderie, whether the competitor lives with a disability, or not.

In 2021, at The Yard, Lee Kuxhaus had never competed in TrailO and this year spent her free time studying her mistakes and was awarded for that with the second place medal in the WRE PreO para (P) class. “It is fun to introduce any sport, to new people,” she said. “Because when you go to a competition know that you’re going to build memories.”

One thing that drives Bittenbender is a recipe he calls P-3, which stands for purpose, passion, and a part bigger than yourself. “In TrailO you’re pushing your abilities, and whether you get 100% or 10% on a problem, it provides you a level upon which you can improve.”

From a technology standpoint too, “Everything can be solved before the time clock is running,” said Forst. “I am glad we got a chance to try this technology over the ocean and it worked.”

Results at: top.yq.cz 
Photos at: Orienteering USA Facebook
Photos courtesy Orienteering USA and Jennifer Sheffield

Correction: The new ToePunch software, which was approved in January 2023, was used for the PreO events. The TempO events used existing ANT software, also developed by Libor Forst, that has been in approved usage since 2016.

JWOC ’23 Event Recap

July 2-9, 2023


July 2nd – Opening Ceremony (& pre-event)


July 3rd – Individual Sprint

https://youtu.be/v1x4Y9lyfBI
Livestream Replay – YouTube

July 4th – Sprint Relay

https://youtu.be/zh_ui50Svdc
Livestream Replay – YouTube

July 5th – Middle Distance

Livestream Replay – YouTube

July 7th – Long Distance


July 8th – Forest Relay

https://youtu.be/nL67Wger9XQ
Livestream Replay – YouTube