2023 JWOC Team Selection Criteria Announced

The 2023 Junior World Orienteering Championships will take place from July 1-9, 2023 in Baia Mare, Romania. An official pre-JWOC training will be hosted the week prior to the championships, with the US Team intending to participate for at least a portion of it. Orienteering USA’s JWOC Selection Committee will choose up to six young male and six young female athletes to represent the USA at JWOC ’23.

As we return to more normal post-pandemic customs, this year will see a return to a full Team Trials selection event for the 2023 team. The 2023 JWOC Selection committee has coordinated with the organizers of the 2023 Orienteering USA Nationals / Flying Pig XXV to include the 2023 JWOC Team Trials. The event will take place the weekend of March 24-26, 2023 in Kentucky/Ohio and will consist of three races: Sprint, Middle & Long. The latter two are scheduled to be at Carter Caves in Kentucky and the sprint venue has not yet been announced but will be located nearby.

The full JWOC Team Selection Criteria document has now been uploaded to 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. Petitioning information will be collected through EventReg during registration – whether competing in the trials races, or entering as Non-Compete.

Interested athletes can view Bulletin 2.1 from the JWOC ’23 organizers for more information.

JWOC ’22 Part B Event Recap

November 4-6, 2022

The Forest races scheduled for JWOC ’22 back in July were cancelled when forest access throughout the entire country of Portugal was shut-down due to extreme fire danger. Event organizers pivoted and put together a great Sprint JWOC in its place and elected to defer the forest races until November.

Unfortunately, due to school and other commitments, many members of the originally selected squad from July were unable to return to Portugal a second time to complete the JWOC competition but TeamUSA was still able to send a 7-person contingent this time around.

Returning members from the July squad included Alexis Merka, Anna Campbell, Bridget Hall, Lily Addicott and Holden Sopoti as the lone representative for the men. Oriana Riley, originally an alternate selection for the July team was added to the squad. Rounding out the TeamUSA squad was Emilia Schmidt who was selected for the 2020 JWOC Team but was unable to compete due to cancellation of the event in 2020 by the pandemic.

Be sure to check out the post-JWOC blog post by TeamUSA member Lily Addicott to find out more about our team’s adventures in Portugal.

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Fri Nov 4, 2022 – Middle @ Quinta das Lameiras

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Sat Nov 5, 2022 – Relay @ Quinta das Lameiras

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Sun Nov 6, 2022 – Long @ Carapito & Eirado

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Photo credits: Michael Schmidt, Angelica Riley, Lily Addicott, Kell Sønnichsen, Susana Luzir, Carlos Viana Rodrigues, Município Aguiar da Beira

JWOC ’22 – Part Deux – Return to the Forest

Back in July, Orienteering USA sent a strong team to Portugal to compete in the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). Most of the 10-person squad arrived early and got in a week of quality training under very hot conditions. Unfortunately, conditions were so extreme that Portugual closed all forest access across the country, forcing the organizers to pivot and essentially create a ‘sprint-JWOC’ for all the athletes who trained so hard. At that time, the decision was made not to hold formal closing ceremonies, but to postpone the forest races until later in the fall after the danger of fires was gone.

The TeamUSA Executive Steering Committee is now excited to announce the team that will return to Portugal this November to finish what they started. Due to school commitments, many of the team members from July can not attend the forest races. Of the original 10 athletes, four will be returning: Lily Addicott (GAOC), Anna Campbell (NEOC), Alex Merka (QOC) and Holden Sopoti (USMAOC). Joining them will be Oriana Riley (DVOA) who was originally selected as an alternate for the original team, and Emilia Schmidt (QOC) who was selected to compete on the 2020 JWOC Team, but due to the cancellation of JWOC ’20 to the pandemic was unable to compete.

Emilia also brings along her personal coach, Kari Jussila,, who has agreed to be the coach for the US Team. Jussila is the general manager of the elite team for Tampereen Pyrintö – a well-known & regarded Finnish multi-sport club – and has about 50 years of experience in orienteering. Coaches Evalin Brautigam and Thomas Laraia, who coached the team in July, will remain as backup coaches and assist the team remotely, but are unable to attend the competition. Also accompanying the team will be parents Tuija Schmidt and Angelica Riley.

Links to the Original JWOC Team Announcement and the JWOC ’22 (Part One) Event Recap.