2019 U.S. Junior World Orienteering Championship Team

> Previous JWOC Teams

The following orienteers will represent the U.S. at the Junior World Orienteering Championships 6–12 July 2019, in Aarhus and Silkeborg, Denmark.

Profiles of the athletes are available below. Photos of the other National Junior Program athletes (maybe future JWOC Team members?) are also shown.

Please support the Team, either by participating in the Control Challenge (tba), or by making a donation and designating it for the Junior Team.

WomenMen

Siri Christopherson, COC
Julia Doubson, BAOC
Bridget Hall, NEOC
Caroline Sandbo, COC
Diana Aleksieva, QOC
Kirsten Mayland, DVOA

***

Jessica Colleran, COC (1st Alternate)
Alexis Merka, QOC (2nd Alternate)

Team Leader:
Erin Schirm

Aidan Minto, ICO
Thomas Laraia, MNOC
Adrian Vartia,OK Löftan (Sweden)
David Runde, MNOC/Kristiansand
Peter Zakrevski, HVO
Anthony Riley, DVOA

***

Kai Mihata, (1st Alternate)
Keegan Harkavy, (2nd Alternate)


 


Left to right:
Back row: 
Coach Greg Ahlswede, Aidan Minto, Thomas Laraia, Adrian Vartia, David Runde, Peter Zakrevski, Anthony Riley,
Kai Mihata, Keegan Harkavy, 
Coach Erin Schirm
Front row: 
Siri Christopherson, Julia Doubson, Bridget Hall, Caroline Sandbo, Diana Aleksieva, Kirsten Mayland,
Jessica Colleran, Alexis Merka

(at the Junior Team Trials in Virginia. Photo credit: Dave Yee)     

Useful links:

JWOC Program

  • July 6 - Opening Ceremonies, Model Event
  • July 7 - Sprint Distance Final
  • July 8 - Long Distance Final
  • July 9 - Rest day
  • July 10 - Middle Distance Qualifier
  • July 11 - Middle Distance Final
  • July 12 - Relay


Women


Siri Christopherson
Cascade Orienteering Club

Year born:  1999
School/College/other:  Montana State University (freshman)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My family went to a few local meets when I was little, but it didn’t really get serious until freshman year of high school.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I'm most proud of my race in the relay at JWOC. It wasn't completely clean, but I stuck with the pack, and I was able to mentally dial myself into the terrain and maintain focus without getting distracted by other people.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I love open woods as much as the next orienteer, but there's a special place in my heart for the rocky scablands of eastern WA. As for races, gotta love the long. There's more time to think, ya know?

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? Physical ability for sure. I've been a runner for years, so as long as I can find that mental drive to dig deep towards the end of the race, I can keep myself moving fast even when it's exhausting.

Name one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? IDK why but the moon sounds like a really dope place to orienteer right now. Craters would make for some weird topography. But maybe they would be too big...

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? Figure out what I'm majoring in! I also want to learn to backcountry ski, learn to lead belay for outdoor climbing, and walk on to the MSU cross country team.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself, for example: Favorite song or musician/group? I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Julia Doubson
Bay Area Orienteering Club

Year born — 2000
School/College/other — Amherst College (freshman)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I started orienteering when I was 5 with my family.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I'm most proud of my Team Trials forest races because both my middle and long races had clean navigation at a higher speed than most terrains allow for.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? My preferred events are urban sprints; longs with good runability.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset is my strength as a runner.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? Italy

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? Learn to drive.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. Favorite song: Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens

Bridget Hall
New England Orienteering Club

Year born — 2002
School/College/other — Arlington High School (junior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My parents both orienteer so I was brought up in the sport doing weekend meets.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my results at Junior Nationals because I had pretty good races both days and I did well racing against people I hadn't raced before.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I don't really have any preferred races; as long as I'm out on a map I'm happy. As for terrain, open woods are always nice.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I would say that my strongest asset as an orienteer is my perseverance. Even when things go wrong, I keep pushing and make it through the race.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? After looking at the maps and videos that [Coach] Greg has sent us, I really want to orienteer in Spain.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? Honestly, make it through the end of junior year and beginning of senior year. Also, just survive college applications.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I really love to bake when I have free time after training and school work.

Caroline Sandbo
Cascade Orienteering Club

Year born — 1999
School/College/other — University of Washington (sophomore)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I got involved in orienteering through my older brother, who competed in high school. I would go with him to meets and run my own course, and I continued after he graduated. My Seattle Coach, Mike Schuh, has been a big catalyst in my orienteering career because he has been helping me improve for years. It was through him that I learned about the national team.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my 2018 results in Cascade Orienteering Club's WIOL league because I've been able to prove my navigaitonal skill and my consistency at these meets.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? My absolute favorite terrain is the Hungarian terrain used for JWOC 2018. I love the openness of the forests and the intricacy of contours and vegetation. Easy to run and hard to navigate? Perfect!

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset as an orienteer is my excitement to explore new places and learn to navigate new terrain.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I've heard they have orienteering in Brazil! I would love to go there and navigate in the rain forest. I hope I get the chance to someday.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? Outside of orienteering, I aim to make new friends at college, earn at least a 3.5 GPA, and go on a backpacking trip to some place I've never been before.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. If I could dye my hair sparkly, metallic gold, I would!

Diana Aleksieva
Quantico Orienteering Club

Year born — 2001
School/College/other — Albemarle High School (senior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My dad introduced me to orienteering 7 years ago. He used to do orienteering as a junior. Then seven years ago he started it again and since then we do orienteering together.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my long and sprint results for the 2018 U.S. Championships because during those races I was able to be focused on my orienteering. I was also able to run at a good pace and keep contact with the map.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? My preferred races are relays. I like the excitement and team spirit of the relays. My favorite terrain is technical terrain with depressions, similar to the one in Yukon during NAOC.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset as an orienter is that I don't give up even if I have made a mistake.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? One place that I would want to orienter is in Norway. I like the terrains of Scandinavian countries and I think that the terrains are perfect for getting better at navigating. I think because the terrains are technical it's what makes them interesting and something that I would like to be able to master.

What goals do you have for 2018, outside of orienteering? My goal for 2019 is to get good grades at school. I would also want to get into college. And finally I would want to improve my running.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. My favorite musical group is Queen.

Kirsten Mayland
Delaware Valley Orienteering Association

Year born — 2003
School/College/other — North Penn High School (sophomore)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My mother (Corinne Mayland) grew up an orienteer and introduced me to the sport.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? My favorite result was when I won the Green course at DVOA's Hickory Run Sand Spring meet in September. I'm the most proud of it because it's the only time I've won a green course. I don't know if it was a national meet, however, so the race I would be most proud of behind that one is the Green B Long at USA Nationals in October. While I didn't place amazingly, I completed the first half of the course without any errors. It was only when I started to get tired, I got sloppy and made three larger errors, one which was quite bad. It was quite technical (for me at least) so I am proud of how I handled myself.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer shorter races (4-5km), but technical, which make you rely more on your navigational skill than your athletic prowess.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I feel that I have a good sense of direction and am on track to become a very good navigator.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I would love to orienteer pretty much anywhere in Europe, but I haven't had an opportunity to yet.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? I want to end my Sophomore year with good grades and have a good beginning of Junior year. Also, it would be nice to go to district championships in Track and support my team if they make it to states. Over the summer, I really want to do some environmental program and get a job.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. The last series I read for fun was the Stormlight Archive (what's been written at least) by Brandon Sanderson.

Jessica Colleran
Cascade Orienteering Club

Year born — 2001
School/College/other — Overlake School (junior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I began orienteering in elementary school. My school had just began a team and I was one of the first to try it. We competed in the WIOL school league competitions, which is part of Cascade Orienteering Club. I have loved the sport ever since my first meet.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my results in my NAOC races because that was my first competitive International Event and I ended up doing well in all of my races and in new terrain. 

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer Middle races that lean toward the longer side so I focus on navigation instead of sprinting through the forest. I really enjoy long legs that need to be split, especially since I find them great to make time up on. My favorite type of terrain is white forest with rocky features.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I am really good at dividing legs up into different chunks and focusing on certain parts of the navigation instead of trying to take long legs all at one time.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I really want to orienteer in Spain because all of our training maps that [coach] Greg gives us are from Spain and the variety of terrain looks amazing!

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? My goal is to continue my track record of being a three-sport varsity athlete at my school for basketball, cross country, and ultimate frisbee.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I have a pet bunny.

Alexis Merka
Quantico Orienteering Club

Year born — 2004
School/College/other — Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (freshman)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My parents introduced me to it when I was two years old.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my U.S. Nationals first sprint result because usually, sprints do not turn out very good for me. However, this sprint went extremely well.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer long races in terrain with prominent contour features, but not so prominent as to have a ton of climb. And, preferably clear woods.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset is my determination to finish any and all courses I do. Over my almost 13 years as an orienteer, I have only quit on one course, and that was because I was sick. I always refuse to not finish a course, because I would be too frustrated with myself if I did that.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? Canada and practically anywhere in Europe, but mostly Prachovske Skaly in Czech Republic.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? My goal is to train consistently and get my PR for a 5k under 25 minutes.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare's works and of Abney Park's songs.


Men


Aidan Minto
Indiana Crossroads Orienteers

Year born — 2002
School/College/other — North Central High School (senior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I went orienteering with my parents about 10 years ago, then started doing courses on my own about 8 years ago.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my team trials results in California because they were very clean races in beautiful terrain that was new to me.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer longer events in hilly, ridge and re-entrant terrain.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset as an orienteer is my physical fitness for longer distances.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I want to orienteer in southern France’s incredibly detailed terrain. I would also like to go to O-Ringen.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? My goals for 2019 are to get into a college of my choice and successfully adjust/transition.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. Race day breakfast? I used to eat peanut butter toast but now I eat cereal. Recovery drink? Chocolate milk

Thomas Laraia
Minnesota Orienteering Club

Year born — 2000
School/College/other — University of Edinburgh (freshman)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I've been orienteering all of my life. My mom introduced my brothers and I to the sport. I only did it for fun, though, until I came back to the US in 2012 and started enjoying it more.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I'm incredibly proud of my JWOC Long performance. My focus was the long and I wanted to get within the top 70. I missed the target and ended up 77th, but that's still a good result and it shows great improvement from last year. Everything came together and the result showed for it. However, I'd rather look forward to next year and smash my positions again.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain?  I like long races because there's more navigation and the pace is slightly slower. I don't have a problem with endurance as much as speed, so this suits me, and I have confidence in my navigation over a long time.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I can adapt well to new terrains and techniques, and I believe that I can learn and improve over time. As a result, I tend to not lose faith in what takes time to accomplish. I'm here to play the long game.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I would love to orienteer on the maps in France with massive rocks that seem pretty indistinguishable. Seems like a good challenge to ignore features that are so blatantly available.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? I want to remain free of stress during my studies so that I can focus on whatever I need to at the time.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I'm knees deep in Money Heist right now and it's a fantastic show that I recommend.

Adrian (Tommy Fraxinus) Vartia
OK Löftan (Sweden)

Year born — 2001
School/College/other — Hvitfeldska Gymnasium (H.S. junior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My friend's dad came and presented the sport at my preschool, then I started training in the sport.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my general improvement as an orienteer. The individual result for which I am most proud is when I surprisingly won the first leg on the "Tjoget" relay that I ran with my club.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? The ultimate race is a middle distance in Gothenburg (Sweden) with lots of controls and with a lot of smaller hills.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? Following the contours, running high speed in the forest for a long time, sprint at the end of a race, and running downhill.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I would love to visit New Zealand and orienteer there. Their nature seems amazing.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? To get a job and finish the school year with good grades.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. My favorite artist is J. Cole. Other artists I like are Asap Rocky, Eminem, Nas, and Tupac.

David Runde
Minnesota Orienteering Club / Kristiansand OK (Norway)

Year born — 2001
School/College/other — Kristiansand Katedralskole Gimle (H.S. senior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I was in a period of my life where I wasn't doing very much at all. My mother heard about it from a college, and after that I didn't have much choice in the matter. It turned out well though.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? Easily my result at the EYOC Sprint race. A really fun race, a solid result and an awesome terrain for a sprint race!

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer middle distance races with technical legs. My favorite kind of terrain is hilly, quite draining to run through, and a good amount of detail on the map. I want the terrain to play to my strengths.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I can navigate through detailed areas quite well, and I have a good amount of strength to push through tougher terrain.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I've heard good things about Portugal from my clubmates, so I want to see it for myself someday.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? I want to do well at my exams. 

Tell a fun fact about yourself. My favorite band is Sabaton.

Peter Zakrevski
Hudson Valley Orienteering

Year born — 1999
School/College/other — Rutgers University (sophomore)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I got thrown into the woods as a 3 year and was told to find my way out. After I finished I was told this sport was called orienteering.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my result in the Harriman O-fest Billy Goat. In fact I like these mass-start type of races as I don't really have to think much since I just latch on to another orienteer and follow them for the rest of the course. This year this worked really well and I ended up in 3rd place overall.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I don't really have preferred terrain, but I do dislike some terrain. I generally don't like hills because my legs hurt from them and this year I have a new-found hate of juniper bushes and dark green in general.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? I am very good at channeling my focus in orienteering. If I ever make a mistake all I ever have to do is to sit down and do mediation, and then I am good to go.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I want to orienteer in Antarctica. I would love to see what the maps look like in such a place and if anything it would be cool to be a penguin.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? To be adopted by a rich family so I can live the rest of my life doing nothing.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. There is still nothing fun about me.

Anthony Riley
Delaware Valley Orienteering Association

Year born — 2001
School/College/other — Conestoga High School (senior)

How did you get involved in orienteering? My parents got me into orienteering at a very young age and I've loved it ever since.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? The results I am most proud of in 2018 are the U.S. Nationals Sprint races. It was the first time I got an M21 medal and I even beat Greg on one of the sprints.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? My favorite types of races are mass start and relay races because it is a lot of fun to see how effective my micro route choices are compared to other runners in the race and the overall speed of the mass start races is really fun to see. My favorite type of terrain is very technical, but with high visibility. I like to be able to see features that I can read and orienteer from, but I also like a level of difficulty where I can out-navigate other runners.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? Over the last year I've become a much more consistent orienteer. I feel pretty comfortable with making very little mistakes on almost every course I do nowadays so I think that is my strongest asset. I've also seen some improvement in my running speed over this summer and fall.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I want to orienteer in Russia.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? I'll be going to college so I hope to have a smooth transition into Freshman year and I hope to start college on a positive note.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I make my own music.

Kai Mihata
Cascade Orienteering Club

Year born — 2000
School/College/other — University of Washington (freshman)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I chose to do orienteering as an elective when I was in 7th grade and in 8th grade I started going to my local orienteering meets.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I'm most proud of my results from the USA Nationals Long, the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships and my performance at Jukola.,

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? I prefer sprint races, specifically urban sprints.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset is my ability to not get discouraged after failure, which I have built up after a lot of failure.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? I want to run an urban sprint in a town in Europe, since the maps there are much different from the urban sprints on college campuses in the U.S.

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? I want to find a research position at UW and/or a software development internship and to pass all of my classes.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. I like to do graphic design in my free time.

Keegan Harkavy
New England Orienteering Club

Year born — 2003
School/College/other — Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (sophomore)

How did you get involved in orienteering? I got involved with orienteering when I was in the sixth grade. My next door neighbor put on an event in my school, and I fell in love almost immediately. I was training fairly regularly within the year.

Which of your 2018 result(s) are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of my results at the JWOC team trials. Even though I did not make the team I ran great races and had a lot of fun. I put a lot of time and training in to those races and all of that training paid off. Those two races were some of my best of the year and I had so much fun running through California.

What are your preferred types of races and terrain? My favorite race is the Long format. I personally love running in the forest and whatever can give me the most time running in the forest makes me happy. On top of that I really love the long route choice legs of the Long. My favorite terrain is open forest. The open forest makes it very easy to run and see the contours, while the tree cover makes it so there is still some difficulty.

What is your strongest asset as an orienteer? My strongest asset as a orienteer is my speed. I have gotten very good at running quickly through the forest and on trails.

What is one place that you want to orienteer in, but haven’t had a chance to yet? Switzerland

What goals do you have for 2019, outside of orienteering? My biggest goal for 2019 is to become less of a procrastinator.

Tell a fun fact about yourself. The last book I read for fun was The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. A great fantasy book filled with twists and amazing world building.

posted 19 April 2019


Other 2019 Junior Team Members

                     

Itzel Barbiere, SOAR | Jolie Barga, COC | Anna Campbell, COC / NEOC | Nathan Collinsworth, ROC


                     

Corey Cutshall, QOC  |  Amalie Ertmann, BAOC  |  Christiane Fletcher, GAOC  |  Isaac Freirman, Cambridge Rindge Latin School


           

Victor Frolenko, DVOA  |  Jacob Hook, LAOC  |  Wyatt Isaac, OCIN  |  Maxwell Janke, QOC  |  Zachary Kuder, QOC


                        

Nathan Linardi, GAOC  |  Sam Loustaunau, QOC/NMOC  |  Annika Mihata, COC  |  Salinda MIller, OCIN


        

John Phillips, LAOC  |  Ethan Powers, OCIN  |  Oriana Riley, DVOA  |  Alex Suarez, QOC  |  Robert Weller, SOAR