U.S. retains Björn Kjellström Cup at 2012 North American Championships, ties Canada for Future Champions Cup

The North American Championships were held October 19-21, 2012, at the Delaware Water Gap, organized in a truly superlative fashion by the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association. More information:

Part of the NAOC is a team competition between the USA and Canada. This competition has been conducted for the SeniorTeams since 1980, with the winner awarded the Björn Kjellström Cup. This year for the first time there was also a competition between the Junior Teams for a new award, the Future Champions Cup.

For the BK Cup, our long-term record is not good, having won only 2 of 16 times in the past, though we had won last time in 2010 when the NAOC competitions were in British Columbia. Eager to retain the Cup, which we had won so seldomly, our Senior Team came well prepared, taking the lead on the first day and never looking back. They won all six individual titles — Ali Crocker and Eric Bone in the Middle, Ali Crocker and Ross Smith in the Long, and Samantha Saeger and Ross Smith in the Sprint — and then also won the women's relay, with a team composed of Alex Jospe, Samantha Saeger, and Ali Crocker. The final score was a solid win, 456 points to 370.5.

For the FC Cup, it was a close competition all the way, with Canada narrowly winning the Middle and the USA narrowly winning the Long and Sprint. In the relay it was Canada's turn for a narrow win, and when all the figuring was done the result was an exact tie, 402 to 402. What a way to start a new competition. So the U.S. will keep the cup for a year and then Canada will keep it for a year. And what was especially cool was the skills and the enthusiasm shown by the juniors, and the appreciation and support for them shown by everyone else. This is just one of many good things that are starting to happen with the junior program under the leadership of their new coach, Erin Schirm.

Congratulations to both our teams, and many thanks to DVOA for all their efforts to make the event the great success it was.

Peter Gagarin

L-R: Eric Bone, Ken Walker, Wyatt Riley, Boris Granovskiy, Orienteering USA President Peter Goodwin,
Samantha Saeger, Ross Smith, Alison Campbell, Ali Crocker, Alex Jospe, Angelica Riley,
Kseniya Popova, Sergei Zhyk, Cristina Luis, Andrew Childs