United States Wins Björn Kjellström Cup at North American Championships

The North American Championships is held every two years, alternating between the USA and Canada; this year it was in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Part of the event is a competition between the U.S. and Canadian teams for the Björn Kjellström Cup. Our record in this has been a very long series of second places, as the last time we won was in 1982, 28 years ago, when our winning team was Steve Tarry, John Rogers, Sharon Crawford, and Gail Gagarin.

Today we finally broke this long losing streak and the cup is coming back south of the border, safely in the hands of Orienteering USA President Clare Durand.

Why the success? Partly continued hard work and improvement by members of the U.S. team, partly a concerted team effort to get our best orienteers there ready to race.

Among the stars were Ross Smith, now the North American champion in middle distance, Samantha Saeger, now the North American sprint champion, and in general a very strong performance by our women’s team.

Now it’s time for the juniors to take the spotlight as the Junior World Championships start tomorrow morning in Denmark. Good luck to all of them!

And thanks to all of you who have have supported the teams in the past and continue to do so. It makes a difference.

Peter Gagarin
July 4, 2010

Orienteering USA president Clare Durand holds the BK cup, July 2010

Orienteering USA President Clare Durand
holds Björn Kjellström Cup
US orienteering team with the BK Cup, July 2010

The U.S. Team with the hard-earned trophy
(click to enlarge)

Team members pictured with Clare Durand (L-R):
Front row: Eddie Bergeron, Samantha Saeger, Katerina Orekhova, Ross Smith, Sandra Zürcher, Eric Bone, Angelica Riley
Back row:
Suzanne Armstrong, Boris Granovskiy, Wyatt Riley


The Björn Kjellström Cup Competition

Named for one of the people responsible for bringing the sport of orienteering to the United States in the mid-1960's, the Björn Kjellström Cup is awarded to either the U.S. or Canada, based on results in M and W 20 at the North American Orienteering Championships which are held every two years.

Specifically, the Cup is awarded to the country with the highest point total after the sprint, middle and long distance races. Points are awarded to the top 15 finishers in each of M and W 20-34 according the following point system: 1st - 25, 2nd- 22, 3rd -19, 4th -16, 5th -13, 6th -10, 7th -9, 8th - 8, 9th - 7, 10th -6, 11th -5, 12th -4, 13th -3, 14th -2, and 15th -1. The top 3 finishers for each country in M and W 20-34 in each of the three races are used to determine the overall points total. (Reference)