2013 Ski Orienteering World Championships

Team USA skied at the 2013 World Ski Orienteering Championships in Kazakhstan March 3-10. It was a strong field, and a strong showing for Team USA who have improved on previous results by narrowing the gaps between themselves and the podium.

A biennial event, the next World Ski Orienteering championships will take place in 2015 in Hedmark, Norway.

Commentary from Peter Gagarin appears below the results

Alison Crocker*, CSU, Toledo, OHGreg Walker, CSU, Truckee, CA
Alex Jospe*, CSU, Newton, MAAdrian Owens, GMOC, Craftsbury, VT
Anna Voegele, BAOC, Truckee, CAScott Pleban, QOC, Colonial Beach, VA

*Ali and Alex have also been on the foot orienteering Senior team for several years as part of
Team USA at the World Orienteering Championships in 2011 and 2012
(Ali also competed at WOC in 2010).

Left to right:
Scott Pleban, Adrian Owens, Greg Walker, Anna Voegele, Alison Crocker, Alex Jospe

Photo credit: Eddie Bergeron
(click photo for a larger image)


Official Ski-WOC 2013 site
IOF website -- News and reports
World Rankings in Ski-O -- which shows Ali ranked 13th woman ski orienteer in the world going into this event
World of O
Team USA Blog

Training logs on Attackpoint:

More Photos

On Facebook (Ski Orienteering World group)

In particular, see:



Tuesday, 5 March - Sprint

1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 15:08
2. Mervi Pesu (FIN), 15:14
3. Tatiana Koslova (RUS), 15:17;
21. Alison Crocker, 17:00
29. Alex Jospe, 19:31
32. Anna Voegele, 22:59

(34 entrants)
1. Peter Arnesson (SWE), 15:51
2. Andrei Lamov (RUS), 16:06
3. Kiril Veselov (RUS), 16:17
37. Greg Walker, 21:20
41. Scott Pleban, 23:08
45. Adrian Owens, 25:55

(47 entrants)

Wednesday, 6 March - Middle

1. Anastasia Kravchenko (RUS), 53:37
2. Tatiana Koslova (RUS), 54:57
3. Josefine Engström (SWE), 55:25
12. Alison Crocker, 59:27
24. Alex Jospe, 70:31
32. Anna Voegele, 82:49
(34 entrants)
1. Peter Arnesson (SWE), 56:51
2. Andrei Lamov (RUS), 58:52
3. Kiril Veselov (RUS), 59:06
38. Scott Pleban, 88:61
39. Greg Walker, 91:39
40. Adrian Owens, 91:54

(48 entrants)

Thursday, 7 March - Sprint Relay

  1. Sweden: Tove Alexandersson and Peter Arnesson
  2. Finland: Mervi Pesu and Staffan Tunis
  3. Bulgaria: Antoniya Grigorova- and Stanomir Belomazhev

Team USA has a missed punch on one leg and disqualified.

Saturday, 9 March - Relay

  • Women: 1. Russia (93:08), 2. Sweden (95:36), 3. Finland (98:25), ... 8. USA (114:05)
  • Men: 1. Russia (86:29), 2. Sweden (86:54), 3. Finland (86:55), ... 11. USA (117:49)

Sunday, 10 March - Long (mass start)

1. Mervi Pesu (FIN), 88:19
2. Tatiana Koslova (RUS), 88:57
3. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 88:58
17. Alison Crocker, 94:21
21. Alex Jospe, 100:19
31. Anna Voegele, 122:53

(32 entrants)
1. Peter Arnesson (SWE), 89:11
2. Janne Häkkinen (FIN), 89:13
3. Staffan Tunis (FIN), 89:55
33. Greg Walker, 117:29
38. Scott Pleban, 129:01
41. Adrian Owens, 136:31

(46 entrants)


From Peter Gagarin, 4 March

I'd guess most Americans wouldn't know where Kazakhstan is, but it's a huge country, 9th largest in the world, on the southern border of Russia, covers maybe 3 or 4 time zones.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakhstan

And over in the northeast corner, not very far from China and Mongolia, the 2013 Ski-O World Championships are starting this Monday, with the first race on Tuesday. And the USA has a full team there: Alex Jospe, Ali Crocker, and Anna Voegele for the women, and Adrian Owens, Greg Walker, and Scott Pleban for the men.

Just getting to the event is not easy, about 40 hours of travel time. For a sense of what was involved, take a look at two great stories and a bunch of photos from Alex about the trip and the first day in Kaz, the travel not made easier by packing 6 pair of skis.

To keep up with things, here are some useful links --

So what can we expect from our team this week? Well, of course it's orienteering, so you never know, you need the usual mixture of skill and coolness under pressure, awesome fitness, and luck. But they have trained hard — for example, Alex claims to be in the best shape of her life, and Greg is skiing faster than he ever has -- so let's just hope that luck is on their side.

And all of us need to do our part by sending lots of good vibes in their direction.


PS. I think I should add that our Ski-O Team, definitely doing well, is joined in recent success by the Senior Team, winners of the Björn Kjellström Cup last fall and qualifying for the World Games in July in Columbia, and by the energized Junior Team under the leadership of coach Erin Schirm. Thanks are due the OUSA Board of Directors for their strong support of the Teams. We are making progress.

5 March

Easiest place to see results from the sprint: http://iof.6prog.org/WR_Event.aspx?EID=2293
Best was Ali in 21st, says she had a clean run but not sure if the best routes, and maybe didn't push hard enough — always the question, how fast can you go and still avoid any mistakes?

In case you can't tell, the competition is the best in the world. All the good ones are there.

Results from last night's middle: http://iof.6prog.org/WR_Event.aspx?EID=2294
... which show a 12th place for Ali. Awesome. Conditions were extreme — heavy rain and strong winds — plus a course with lots of difficult route choices.

7 March

Last night (Wednesday, meaning it was already Thursday morning in Kazakhstan) was the mixed sprint relay, one team per country, with Ali and Scott skiing for the USA. They did fine, but Ali punched the wrong control on her second of three sprints, so they were DQ'd. Miserable conditions again.

            Ali's log comments
No event Thursday. Next up is the regularly relay (3-person teams, one race for the men, one for the women) on Friday night, and then the Long to finish things off on Saturday. Hopefully the conditions will improve.

Keep sending them good thoughts!

9-10 March

The final two events of the 2013 WSOC were held over the weekend -- the relay on Saturday and the Long on Sunday.

I will start with the relay, and in particular the first leg of the woman's relay, where Alex was skiing for the USA. In a nutshell, she was skiing really well, up until partway to #6 when she broke a ski! Well, let her tell the rest of the story:


What I really like, and admire, is the passion. When *stuff* happens, and sometimes it does at the worst possible moment, it's how you respond that counts. There is clearly no quit in Alex. And while the top placing recently may go more often (but not always) to Ali, you could not hope for a tougher and feistier and better teammate than Alex. Along with the others, they really represent us well.

Relay results

Note that looking quickly at where we finished, the women were last out of 8 teams and the men 11th out of 12, you can easily draw a misleading conclusion. But pretty much the only countries that made it to Kazakhstan were the ones with the best teams, and they were all there. If you look at how competitive we were in all the events, how far behind the best, then there is a whole lot of positive to take away from the event. And the team is asking themselves the question that you want to hear them asking — what do we need to do to get better. And already making plans to do that. The next WSOC is in Norway in 2015.

The men's team had three solid legs from Scott, Adrian, and Greg, and ended up just behind Japan and just ahead of Germany in what Greg calls the battle of the third-world ski-orienteering countries. That light-hearted comment notwithstanding, three good legs in a relay is something for the team to be proud of.


Sunday was the Long. Mass start, several loops, all sorts of forking. Again, some very good performances, just not quite what was hoped, for Aliespecially as she has the staying power to excel in the long events. 17th this year, but just 6 minutes behind on a 90-minute course, and that was with three mistakes, maybe 2 or 3 minutes lost. She was 8th two years ago inSweden, 5 minutes behind on an 80-minute course, but the times here were much tighter at the top.

Alex also skied well despite various ailing body parts and Greg was the best of the men. I think this was his best race ever. He certainly had his best world ranking points ever for a race outside the USA. By way of comparison, in Sweden two years ago he was 48% behind the winner. This time it was 32%. That a lot of improvement.

Actually, the long was Alex's best ranking points ever for a race outside of the USA too.

Long results