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.

The World Games ’22 – Request for Athlete Intentions

Team USA will be sending a 4-person team (2 men + 2 women) to compete at The World Games this July in Birmingham AL. The event program will include Sprint, Middle and Sprint Relay disciplines pitting some of the best orienteers in the world against each other on American soil.

Athletes that would like to be considered for The World Games team should email their intentions to the Committee by March 1st.

  • Applicants for the team must compete in at least one of the following qualifying events:
    • Jan 14 – Georgia Navigator Cup Sprint WRE
    • Jan 15 – Georgia Navigator Cup Middle WRE
    • Jan 16 – Georgia Navigator Cup Long WRE
    • Feb 19 – COC Winter League Championship Middle NRE (M-21+/F-21+)
    • Feb 19 – TSN Southwest Spring Week Classic @ Catalina SP (Long course)
    • Mar 19 – DVOA Big Woods Classic NRE Day 1 (M-21+/F-21+)
    • Mar 20 – DVOA Big Woods Classic NRE Day 2 (M-21+/F-21+)
    • *Europe-based athletes may attend a national-level event in Europe
      • specify event with your intention

To recap: If you want to be considered for the US World Games Team, send Peggy (pdickison@nullcomcast.net) an intention email by March 1st, stating what qualifier race(s) you plan to run. Run at least one NRE day or European national-level event. Send us the results!

National Team Applications for 2022 now being accepted.

Starting in 2022, the National Team will consist of three tiers: the Elite Squad, the Performance Squad, and the Junior Squad. The Elite and Performance squads will reflect what the Selection Committee feels is the potential of an athlete making a WOC or WG team and the Junior Squad will be for all athletes born after 2001. Juniors are eligible to compete for and be a member of the WOC, World Cup, and/or World Game teams and to participate fully in all Team activities. Four of the nine members of our 2021 WOC Team were also Junior National Team members. If you normally run M/F 20 or M/F 21 then you are encouraged to apply to the National Team.

If you intend to apply to be a National Team member, please fill out the 2022 National Team Application Form as well as the 2022 Athlete Agreement Form and submit no later than January 8th, 2022.

WUOC ’22 Team Applications now open

The 2022 World University Orienteering Championships will be held August 16-21 in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland with the event center at Magglingen, the Swiss Federal Institute for Sport..

Selection of the 2022 WUOC Team will be by petition and applications are now being accepted. Please review the 2022 WUOC Team Selection Criteria document in the OUSA Library.

Important: Athletes interested in applying for the team should note that participation in at least two races from the following list* of events is required: 

The team selection petitions will be reviewed & decided by the WUOC Selection Committee. Anyone who wishes to apply to be part of the 2022 WUOC Team needs to fill out and submit the WUOC 2022 Petition no later than March 17, 2022.

Any questions should be directed to Linda Kohn: wornerkohn at gmail.

JWOC ’22 Team Applications now open

The 2022 Junior World Orienteering Championships will be held July 10 – 16, 2022 in Aguiar da Beira, in the center of Portugal.

Selection of the 2022 JWOC Team will be by petition and applications are now being accepted. Please review the 2022 JWOC Team Selection Criteria document in the OUSA Library.

Important: Athletes interested in applying for the team should note that participation in at least two races from the following list* of events is required: 

The team selection petitions will be reviewed & decided by the JWOC Selection Committee. Anyone who wishes to apply to be part of the 2022 JWOC Team needs to fill out and submit the JWOC 2022 Petition no later than March 17, 2022.

Any questions should be directed to Andrea: andrea.schneider@nullorienteeringusa.org.

2022 World University Orienteering Championships

The 2022 World University Orienteering Championships are scheduled for August 15-22 in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. It is not too early to start thinking about competition in 2022. The main criteria for eligibility are as follows:

  • Athletes must be a citizen of the country they represent;
  • Athletes must be at least 18 and less than 25 years of age on January 1st in the year of the event; for 2022, athletes must be born between 01/01/1997 and 12/31/2004.
  • Athletes must be students who are currently officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute whose status is recognized by the appropriate national academic authority of their country;
  • Athletes may be former students of the institutions mentioned above, who have obtained their academic degree or diploma in the year preceding the event.

If you are interested in going you should contact Linda Kohn as soon as you have checked your calendar! The team selection will take place by petition. Performance at past events and rankings will be considered.

Please let Linda know of your interest by emailing wornerkohn at gmail dot com.

Link to Bulletin 1 & 2

2021 Junior World Orienteering Championships

September 5-10, 2021


From Left to Right:

  • Jessica Colleran, COC, JNT
  • Ben Brady, COC, JDT
  • David Runde, MNOC and KristiansandOK (NOR), JNT
  • Anthony Riley, DVOA, JNT
  • Diana Aleksieva, QOC, JNT

Go Team USA!!

Follow TeamUSA through their personal training logs over on AttackPoint!


August 28-Sept 1 (Sat-Wed): Training


Friday, September 3: Arrival & Accreditation


Saturday, September 4: Opening Ceremony


Sunday, September 5: Sprint

Sprint Results

Men – Map71st – Anthony Riley18:21 (+2:42)
Men – Map119th – Benjamin Brady22:09 (+6:30)
Men – Map123rd – David Runde22:31 (+6:52)
Women – Map111th – Jessica Colleran24:16 (+9:19)
Women – Map112th – Diana Aleksieva24:28 (+9:31)

Monday, September 6: Middle Qualification

Middle Qualifier Results

Men A – Map31st – Anthony Riley27:27 (+6:59)
Men B – Map36th – David Runde26:57 (+6:22)
Men C – Map40th – Benjamin Brady32:32 (+12:00)
Women B – Map36th – Jessica Colleran31:11 (+11:39)
Women C – Map36th – Diana Aleksieva36:25 (+17:01)

Tuesday, September 7: Middle Final

Middle Final Results:

Men’s B Final – Map37th – David Runde30:40 (+6:44)
Men’s B Final55th – Benjamin Brady42:11 (+18:15)
Men’s B FinalAnthony RileyMSP
Women’s B Final – Map38th – Jessica Colleran47:51 (+19:56)
Women’s B Final40th – Diana Aleksieva49:03 (+21:08)

Wednesday, September 8: Rest Day


Thursday, September 9: Long Distance

Long Distance Results:

Men Long – Map68th – Anthony Riley1:25:26 (+16:29)
Men Long111th – David Runde1:43:36 (+34:39)
Men Long122nd – Benjamin Brady1:58:22 (+49:25)
Women Long – Map101st – Diana Aleksieva1:30:21 (+37:22)
Women Long104th – Jessica Colleran1:36:23 (+43:24)
https://youtu.be/JR3kGP5tUD4

Friday, September 10: Relay & Closing Ceremony

Relay Results:

Note: Diana & Jessica ran on a mixed team with Kristina Pashchenko from Ukraine. Because this was an ‘unofficial’ team, their results were not published in the official JWOC results.

PlaceNameLeg
Time
Leg
Place
Total
Time
Team
Place
Time
Diff
34United States Mens 1 – Map2:34:19+50:05
1. Anthony Riley42:203342:2033
2. Benjamin Brady1:00:24411:42:4438
3. David Runde51:35332:34:1934+50:05

WOC ’21 Recap

2021 was an odd year for international orienteering competition. With no World Championships in 2020 due to the pandemic, the organizers for 2021 scrambled to incorporate additional sprint disciplines into what was originally scheduled to be a ‘Forest’ program. With the pandemic still raging around the globe, many countries outside Europe elected not to send teams to WOC at all this year.

Due to issues related to family and coronavirus concerns, many of the standing US Team members elected to sit this year out as well. Veteran member Eric Bone (COC) is no stranger to WOC, making his 19th WOC appearance this year but teammates Sydney Fisher (WPOC) and Will Enger (COC) have each been to WOC once before this year. Three of the six WOC novices on this years team are currently members of the Orienteering USA Junior National Team as well (AJ, Diana & Alexis with Thomas Laraia from MNOC having recently aged out). So this year was looking to be a great experience building year and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Leading up to WOC2021, team member AJ Riley (DVOA) got a head start by competing at the WOC Selection races and training in Europe beginning in early June. Joe Barrett (QOC) arrived in the Czech Republic a few weeks later and put in some solid training time well in advance of WOC. Diana Aleksieva (QOC) and Alexis Merka (QOC) did some training at Kost and the mother/son duo of Angelica Riley (DVOA) and AJ did a final tuneup race at Bukovel in Ukraine.

TeamUSA officially came together July 1st for their official COVID tests, registration and check-in followed by some easy explorations of the surrounding areas and sprint venue. AJ was selected by the IOF to take over their Instagram feed for the day – detailing some of his training, taking questions and more. You can catch most of the 40+ posts over on our Facebook page – Part A & Part B.

More Media: Official Site | Diana & Alex Training at Kost | Team Riley at Bukovel


July 3rd – Sprint at Terezín

First up in the competition schedule was the individual sprint at Terezín, a former military fortress composed of citadel and adjacent walled garrison town. Organized as a series of 6 qualification heats in the morning and a final in the afternoon, the racing was fast and furious. Unfortunately none of our TeamUSA athletes qualified for the finals, but AJ did give a nice post-race interview for the IOF.

Men A26th – Will Enger17:19 (+4:15)
Men B26th – Thomas Laraia15:35 (+2:41)
Men C25th – AJ Riley15:46 (+2:48)
Women A24th – Diana Aleksieva22:31 (+10:01)
Women B– Angelica Rileymsp
Women C22nd – Alexis Merka25:01 (+11:11)
Sprint Qualifier Results

Alexis – “Everyone seemed so fast I felt like I had to push that fast too, slightly forgetting that I’m nowhere near being in such good shape as them… But running down the finish chute was an amazing feeling..

Thomas – “Annoyed about losing focus to 9 and missing where I was exiting the track and generally not taking enough time to look at all the options. Too many legs where that hurt.”

More Media: Official Site | Sprint Q Photos | Will Enger – Sprint Q Video | Thomas Laraia – Sprint Q Video | More Sprint Q Photos


July 4th – Sprint Relay at Doksy

Day 2 took us to the town centre of Doksy with its irregular street network. The terrain consisted of urban areas with paved streets and parkland with grass surfaces. Artificial barriers added navigational challenges to the course. The US Team for the sprint relay was composed entirely of WOC novices with Angelica taking the leadoff leg.

She started into town on the heels of some of the fastest women in the orienteering world including the likes of Tove Alexandersson(SWE) and Simona Aebersold (SUI). A clean run, but well behind the leaders, she handed off to son AJ for the second leg. Though largely running a solo race at this point, AJ ran strong and clean and was caught up by some of the 3rd leg leaders, being pulled through the spectator control hot on the heels of race leader Gustav Bergman from Sweden. AJ handed off to Joe Barrett who admitted sprints weren’t his strong suit, but he had a clean run nonetheless handing off to anchor leg Alexis Merka to round out the race. Unfortunately the team was over the official time limit, but all indicated that they enjoyed the racing regardless.

AJ – “Apparently I was on TV with my homie Gustav so that’s cool.”

Joe“Mostly running solo, just a few of the leg 4 women at the very end of the course. No major misses. Just hesitant in some circles, and felt I was reading really slow around all the fake fences at 9 and 10… It was a good low pressure way to start.”

Alexis – “It was a super fun race, I enjoyed the course and I’m definitely satisfied with it… So we got pretty much completely lapped, but that’s okay. I think that definitely helped me focus a lot more on my own race and on pacing myself better than I did yesterday. It was really fun.”

More Media: Official Site | Alternate Sprint Relay Movie | Sprint Relay Photos | Sprint Relay Map (pdf)


July 6th – Middle Distance at Smržovka

After a Rest Day, the action moved on to the Middle Distance races which took place in some challenging mountain terrain. Physically demanding steep slopes with granite boulders, cliffs with broken ground and some marshy areas were prominent features on this map. Morning qualification heats – top 15 in each heat plus additional spots for under-represented countries advancing to the final.

Men’s A29 – Eric Bone43:31 (+12:45)
Men’s B21 – Thomas Laraia38:26 (+10:14)
Men’s C29 – Joe Barrett44:06 (+15:22)
Women’s A26 – Diana Aleksieva1:15:38 (+45:43)
Women’s B– Angelica Rileymsp
Women’s C27 – Sydney Fisher44:11 (+13:39)
Middle Distance Qualification Race Results

Thomas started out with a great run in his heat, pretty much matching pace with the eventual heat winners through the first 4 controls, then hit a patch of green which slowed him down more than the stronger Euro runners who moved right through it. He finished only 10 minutes back which earned him a spot in the final. Team mate Eric Bone filmed a nice interview with Thomas after his run. Sydney was also happy with her race, losing a little time to small bobbles, but otherwise running cleanly to secure her spot in the women’s final.

Thomas: “Felt a bit of pressure and heart racing but it calmed down a lot through warming up and didn’t feel it anymore on the start, so good to see.Strength lacking, will prioritize being faster and stronger next time. Goals for future are qualifying for the final on merit alone”

Sydney: “Pretty satisfied with this race. Small bobble on 1. A lot of hesitation to 5. Overall pretty clean though. Legs didn’t feel too energetic, but no one (around me anyway) was moving that quickly up the hills.”

Moving on to the afternoon’s Middle Final:

Sydney: “Disappointed in this race. I had no flow – lots of time lost in the circle and a couple of big mistakes. I started too fast and was tired from running earlier. Good experience though! So many cameramen/drones out in the woods.

Thomas: “Mostly a pretty good race. Things I remember, fat mistake to 22 being too high and seeing some random crags…. Big pack going to 15, absolutely running on fumes there, wish I could’ve passed and kept attempting to catch people but I was pretty ruined. Nice to work as a group on 15-18 with Paul and somewhat Tomas.”

Men’s Final49 – Thomas Laraia1:02:54 (+23:23)
Women’s Final52 – Sydney Fisher1:18:21 (+40:09)
Middle Distance Final Results

More Media: Official Site | Middle Q Photos | Extra Middle Q Photos | Women’s Final Map (pdf) | Men’s Final Map (pdf)


July 8th – Forest Relay at Kokořínsko

After another rest day that saw much of the team getting more training done, the competition then moved to the continental sandstone terrain of Kokořínsko with its intricate morphology consisting of valleys and reentrants crowned by massive sandstone rock formations. This venue would host both the relay and Friday’s long competition. Running the women’s race were Sydney > Angelica > Alexis. Sydney got in a clean run before the rains began, but the day would only get darker and damper as it progressed.

Sydney – “In a normal year I would not run first, but I was excited for the experience. Goal was to stay with the pack through the arena, plan a route to 1, and then run my own race.The terrain was amazing and I felt good physically…Hopefully next time I’ll have the speed to stay with a pack.”

Alexis – “…worst race of my life. Not because of the rain or the dark, i liked that. Just the hills were seriously way over my ability and I was completely dying. The cameras gave me a few anxiety attacks, which really didn’t help… I’m still glad I have this experience. Everyone has to have their worst race someday, and frankly I’m kind of honored mine is a WOC race.”

By the time the Men’s Relay started the rain was coming down pretty good, but AJ navigated well and hung with the pack for quite a while, making an appearance on the first couple TV controls. Eric, concerned about increasingly dark conditions, switched places with Will and ran second wearing a headlamp in order to read the map in the dark woods with the intention of handing it off to Will at the exchange. Things didn’t exactly go to plan though…. The photo of Eric below isn’t a poorly exposed shot – it was just that dark out there…

AJ – “I love relays and honestly had a great time. Good to see that I can be competitive with the top guys if I was a bit more fit.”

Will – “This was enjoyable and the terrain was awesome – but the experience was clouded somewhat by me not being able to orienteer normally due to the impending darkness. … [Eric] ran the second leg with a headlamp, and was going to pass it to me, but then they made us mass start just after Eric passed through the arena, so I never got itStill a fun experience, but would’ve been a lot better under reasonable circumstances.

More Media: Official Site | Forest Relay Photos | Maps (pdf)


July 9th – Long Distance at Kokořínsko

Back at Kokořínsko on Friday for the Long Distance race utilizing the same arena as Thursday’s relay, and used a larger version of the long narrow relay map with the latter portion of each course coming back through the terrain used on Thursday. Long legs frequently offered up long trail runs to avoid the steep, intricate cliff areas and many runners took full advantage of them but some options were clearly better than others.

Men’s Long56 – Joe Barrett2:17:32 (+41:37)
Women’s Long54 – Sydney Fisher2:15:24 (+58:13)
Women’s Long55 – Diana Aleksieva3:07:10 (+1:49:59)
Long Distance Results

Joe – “Definitely the best race of the week for me. Read the cliffs in the circle pretty well. Only going down the wrong gap to #4, and then left #5 in the wrong direction without map aligned, and got blocked by an unexpected cliff... the cliffs did create route options to gain/lose time

Sydney“Time wasn’t great, but the course was a lot of fun. I just didn’t have the speed on the trails around, or the endurance… the course used a lot of rock passages, which was really neat… I like longs”

More Media: Official Site | Long Distance Photos | Women’s Map (pdf) | Men’s Map (pdf)

Summary of WOC ’21

Sydney – “It was a great experience and I am glad I got to race. The sandstone terrain was fantastic. I haven’t (yet) traveled many places to orienteer, but it was definitely one of my favorites… I had a couple of good races and a couple not so good. I was a lot closer (% time wise) to the leaders than I was in Norway so I’m moving in the right direction… Goals for next time are to be more fit (I have 2 years to get faster…seems like plenty of time) and to hopefully spend some time in relevant terrain more than a few days in advance.

Will – “I never thought I’d get a second opportunity to finally run a forest race at WOC, and it took a funky, unique year with a lot of our best guys injured or declining, so I’m thankful for the memorable experience in any case.

Joe – “Super fun time for my first WOC… Sprint Relay was alright, not a whole lot of expectations going in, clean race, no major misses… Long definitely my best race of the week, felt strong, good pace (for me) through most of it… could have looked ahead more on short legs, not just the long ones

Kevin Fisher (TeamUSA Official) – “I think things went pretty well considering my complete lack of training or expertise in this area. Everyone got to their races on time and to and from the airport, which was honestly my main goal… it was inspiring to spend time with all of these athletes, and really fun to watch them compete, hear their experiences in the woods, and talk about routes… I would highly recommend the WOC experience to anyone (wait for a normal year though!)”

So that wraps it up for this year. 2022 will feature a Sprint WOC on June 26-30 in Denmark and sprinting will also feature prominently when the world’s best come to Alabama two weeks later on July 7-17 for The World Games 2022. Mark your calendars and plan to come to Birmingham to be a part of the action as the US hosts the world’s best orienteers for what is sure to be some great competition!

Photos courtesy: Kevin Fisher, Dasa Merkova, Angelica Riley, Tomáš Bubela, Lukáš Budínský, Jiří Čech, Petr Kadeřávek & Petr Háp plus screenshots from official IOF & WOC2021 video feeds.

2021 JWOC Team Announced

The JWOC Selection Committee (Erin Schirm, Anton Salmenkylä and Jon Torrance) is pleased to announce the 2021 US Team selected to compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) to be held September 5-10 in Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey, about 50km from Istanbul.

From Left to Right:

  • Jessica Colleran, COC, JNT
  • Ben Brady, COC, JDT
  • David Runde, MNOC and KristiansandOK (NOR), JNT
  • Anthony Riley, DVOA, JNT
  • Diana Aleksieva, QOC, JNT

Go Team USA!!

Accompanying the team as JWOC coaches will be Anton Salmenkylä, JNT Coach and National Team member, and Tyra Christopherson, National Team member.

2021 US WOC Team Announced

The US Senior Team Review Panel, consisting of Peggy Dickison, Glen Tryson & Jeff Saeger, are pleased to announce this year’s team to compete at the World Orienteering Championships to be held in early July in the Czech Republic.

AJ Riley (pictured here competing in the middle distance race in Czechia on Saturday) earned an automatic spot at last month’s team trials. Since he was the only TeamUSA athlete competing at the Team Selection races this past weekend in Czechia that event became a non-factor in the selection, but the Review Panel elected to wait until after the Selection Races for other results.

The US Team Trials 2-day scoring list was used as the primary selection tool, but the panel also used the Team Trial Sprint results as well as 2019-2020 rankings and other race results. The Team Trials had some very strong results and some close scoring made the selection process interesting.

Men

  • AJ Riley – automatic selection
  • Joe Barrett – automatic selection
  • Eric Bone
  • Sergei Rhyzkov
  • Greg Ahlswede – declined
  • Will Enger
  • 1st alternate – Michael Laraia
  • 2nd alternate – Thomas Laraia

Women

  • Angelica Riley – automatic selection
  • Sydney Fisher – automatic selection
  • Diana Aleksieva
  • Alexis Merka
  • (no alternates)

Four TeamUSA athletes had previously earned personal starts for this year’s WOC. Unfortunately, all four have declined: Ali Crocker and Tori Borish for family reasons, and Morten Jorgensen and Anton Salmenkyla because of injuries. We wish them all the best and hope to see them back next year.

The ESC would also like to announce that Dasa Merka, a Czech native and Alex’s mom, has agreed to act as the Team Administrator. Congratulation to all the athletes that will represent the USA at the World Champs next month!!

Photo Credit: Petr Kadeřávek