2013 Orienteering USA Competitive Award Winners announced

The Orienteering Awards are given for performance in orienteering. A committee comprised of Boris Granovskiy, Patrick Nuss, Linda Worner, Peter Gagarin and Peter Goodwin collected nominations and then chose the winners. The individuals receiving these awards get a $500 travel grant to orienteering events. This is the third year for these awards.

(view announcement with photographs as a printable PDF)

Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2013, based on results at national and international events.

Alison Crocker, CSU/SMOC

It is hard to beat someone who is fast on skis as well as on foot. Alison’s 18th place in the long distance in Finland was the best-ever U.S. placing at the World Orienteering Championships (WOC).  Her 25th place in the sprint and 29th in the middle distance were also some of the best WOC performances in U.S. history. Ali’s perhaps-most-impressive accomplishment of the Foot-O season was her 5th place at the Sprint in the World Games in Cali, Colombia – the closest thing that orienteering has to Olympics. She followed that up by anchoring Team USA to a 9th place in the mixed sprint relay, the best result for a U.S. relay team at a major international championship. This spectacular foot-O season was a follow-up to a winter where Ali truly established herself as one of the biggest names on the World Ski Orienteering scene. She had a series of top finishes at World Cup and World Ski-O Championships races, including several podium finishes at the prestigious Ski-O Tour against world-class competition.

Honorable MentionSharon Crawford, RMOC and Pavlina Brautigam, WCOC for their gold medals at the World Masters Orienteering Championships. Pavlina won the Long Distance in Women’s 50A category in staggering fashion, with a margin of nearly 4 minutes to the silver medalist. Sharon just missed out on a medal in the Long Distance, finishing 4th, but made up for that by becoming a Sprint World Champion in the Women’s 65A category, winning by 45 seconds — a huge margin in the sprint.


Junior Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer no older than 20 in 2013, based on results at national and international events.

Ethan Childs, GMOC

Ethan was the best U.S. male junior in every single race at the Junior Orienteering World Championships (JWOC), including a 96th place in the sprint distance and a 21st place in the middle distance B final (equivalent to 82nd overall). He also made a successful foray into domestic senior-level competition, winning a silver medal at the U.S. Sprint Championships and being named to the U.S. Team for the World Orienteering Championships.

Honorable MentionIsabel Bryant, CSU. Isabel was the best U.S. female in every individual race at JWOC, except the Long where Meg Parson was 30 seconds ahead, with the highlight being a 15th place in the Middle distance B final (equivalent to 75th overall). Like Ethan, she made a great transition into senior-level racing domestically and was named as an alternate to the U.S. WOC Team.





Comet of the Year

Awarded to the most improved U.S. orienteer in 2013, based on results at national and international events.

Tom Puzak , MNOC

As a member of the Team USA MTBO Team, Tom was the epitome of a fast learner. At the beginning of the MTBO World Championships, he felt that his orienteering skills at the speeds required when mountain biking were going to be sorely challenged. Yet after the week of World Cup races, as the U.S. Team needed to select the single individual to represent the Team in the Long Distance race (the Championship’s marquee event). Tom was chosen and his results, based upon a percentage of time behind the leaders, already mark him as one of the top U.S. male orienteers across all orienteering disciplines.



Orienteering Team of the Year

Awarded to the best USA national or club orienteering team in 2013, based on results at national and international events.

U.S. Team to the World Games — Eric Bone, COC; Alison Crocker, CSU; Samantha Saeger, NEOC; Ross Smith, CSU

Qualifying for the World Games in Cali, Colombia for the first time ever was already a great accomplishment of Team USA, but it was their performance at the Games that earned these four athletes the Team of the Year award. Team USA had a series of consistent performances, with a top-30 result from every member of the team and an amazing 5th place from Alison in the sprint. The World Games week culminated in the mixed relay, where Team USA avoided mis-punching and outsprinted New Zealand to a fantastic 9th place finish.

Competition awards eligibility:

To be awarded any of the individual awards a nominee has to be a USA citizen, and must be a member of Orienteering USA in good standing during the current calendar year. Additionally, for the Junior Orienteer of the Year award, the nominee has to be no older than 20 at the end of the calendar year. To be selected for the Orienteering Team of the Year award, all team members have to be Orienteering USA members and represent the U.S. or an OUSA chartered club in competition.

Competitors in any forms of orienteering are eligible, including Foot O, Ski O, Mountain Bike O, Trail O, and Rogaining.

The award winners were selected by a committee appointed by Orienteering USA from a list of candidates nominated by members of the U.S. and international orienteering communities.

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1 Feb 2014