U.S. Team at 2017 World Orienteering Championships

June 30–July 6, 2017
Tartu, Estonia

The United States sent a talented team of orienteers (profiles below) to Estonia for the 2017 World Orienteering Championships. Race assignments, results and links to maps and photos are below.

Support the Team by making a donation and designating it for the National Senior Team. Next year's World Orienteering Championships will take place in Riga and Sigulda, Latvia, August 4-11, 2018.

Useful links -

editor's note: I'd love to post a WOC 2017 US Team picture here
Does anyone have one or know where I can find one online?
Thanks! --OUSA web content manager


The U.S. was represented at WOC 2017 by (listed alphabetically): Greg Ahlswede, Giacomo Barbone, Eric Bone, Evalin Brautigam, Alison Campbell, Tyra Christopherson, Julia Doubson, Morten Jorgensen, and Cristina Luis. This was the first WOC for Evalin, Tyra, Julia, and Morten. Athletes were assigned to the following races following the Team Trails held in April in Minnesota.

  • Sprint: Morten, Giacomo, Greg; Julia, Tyra, Alison
  • Sprint Relay: Morten, Giacomo, Julia, Tyra
  • Long: Eric, Greg; Evalin
  • Middle: Morten, Alison
  • Relay: Morten, Eric, Greg; Alison, Evalin, Cristina

Program

June 30 — Opening Ceremony, Sprint Qualification
July 1
Sprint Final
July 2 Sprint Relay
July 3 rest day
July 4 Long Distance
July 5
rest day
July 6Middle Distance
July 7 — Relay, Closing Ceremony

Former Team Member Boris Granovskiy's comments (posted on the USOFClubnet) are interspersed with the results, below.


Results

Sprint Qualifications and Finals

No US Team members qualified for the Sprint Finals but there were some very good runs by our athletes. Julia Doubson, a junior running at her first WOC race, placed an admirable 19th place in her heat, was only 29 seconds away from qualification. For Canada, Damian Konotopetz qualified, and finished 44th in the Final.

  • Official Results - qualification heats (top 15 move on to final)
    • Men's: A—Morten Jorgensen, 29th; B—Giacomo Barbone, 29th; C—Greg Ahlswede, 28th (58 seconds out of 15th)
    • Womens: A—Evalin Brautigam, 27th; B—Julia Doubson, 19th (only 29 seconds out of 15th place); C—Tyra Christopherson, 20th
  • Official Results - final

From Boris:

About the Sprint Qualifier: Team USA will have a young and speedy lineup on the start line, with four of the six sprint competitors making their WOC debuts. Women's courses are about 2.8km with 14 controls, and men's are 3.2km with 18 controls. Top 15 runners in each heat will advance to Saturday's final. Last year, Giacomo Barbone had the top US placing for the men, finishing 30th in his heat, 1:57 away from qualifying. On the women's side, Alex Jospe was 18th in her heat, just 15 seconds from qualifying.

On the Sprint Qualifier results: While none of our runners made it to the finals, we saw some promising performances, especially from our women's team. WOC rookies (and still juniors) Julia Doubson and Tyra Christopherson placed 19th and 20th in their heats, finishing 29 and 37 seconds from qualifying from the finals, respectively. Evalin Brautigam finished 27th in her heat, 2:07 from qualifying.

On the men's side, Greg Ahlswede finished 28th (0:58 from qualifying), and Giacomo Barbone and Morten Jorgensen were each 29th (1:12 and 1:47 from qualifying, respectively).

WOC continues tomorrow with the Sprint Final. While there will be no U.S. athletes to cheer for, North America will be represented by Candian Damian Konotopetz, who qualified 14th in his heat, 45 seconds behind winner Matthias Kyburz of Switzerland.

Mixed Sprint Relay

Team USA finished in 24th place, matching their 24th place finish of last year (and bettering their 26th place in the previous two years; 2014 was the first year for the mixed sprint relay event at WOC). What's remarkable is that two of this year's athletes are still juniors, running at their first World Orienteering Championships. This certainly bodes well for improvement in future years as these young athletes get stronger and more experienced.

Julia, running the first leg, tagged off in 27th place out of 33 starting teams. Giacomo, Greg, and Tyra ran strong legs as well, with each runner moving the team up a place. Greg had a strong run and was in 22nd position after the third leg.

1. Sweden (L. Strand, J. Lysell, J. Leandersson, H. Jansson), 1:03:35
2. Denmark (C. Klysner, A. Boesen, T. Lassen, M. Alm), 1:04:05
3. Switzerland (E. Roos, F. Howald, M. Hubmann, S. Hauswirth), 1:04:29
24. USA (Julia Doubson, Giacomo Barbone, Greg Ahlswede, Tyra Christopherson), 1:23:23

Long

Greg Ahlswede, Eric Bone, and Evalin Brautigam ran in the Long Distance race.

Men — 1. Olav Lundanes (NOR), 1:45:25; 2. Leonid Novikov (RUS), 1:47:15; 3. William Lind (SWE), 1:47:38; ... 47. Greg Ahlswede (USA), 2:27:45; 57. Eric Bone (USA), 2:47:38

Women — 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 1:19:10; 2. Maja Alm (DEN), 1:20:42: 3. Natalia Gemperle (RUS), 1:24:46; ... 23. Emily Kemp (CAN), 1:35:28; 60. Evalin Brautigam (USA), 2:51:19

From Boris:

Yesterday the World Orienteering Championships in Tartu, Estonia brought a very exciting and grueling long distance race. Team USA was represented by Evalin Brautigam for the women, and Eric Bone and Greg Ahlswede for the men.

After a long, tough day in the forest, Evalin finished 60th and Eric 57th. Greg had an excellent race, finishing in a fantastic 47th place in the world! To put that in perspective, the last time a US man had a top-50 result in the long distance was back in 1989, before the breakup of the Soviet Union created a whole lot of top orienteering nations. Well done Greg!

There is also a great write-up of the men's long distance race at World Of O, and make sure to check out a fascinating animation of the great variety of route choices taken on the very long 2nd leg.

Middle

MortenJorgensen and Alison Campbell represented Team USA in the Middle Race. Morten finished in 68th place and Alison in 58th.

Men — 1. Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA), 33:12; 2. Fabian Hertner (SUI), 33:37; 3. Oleksandr Kratov (UKR), 33:42; ... 47. Damian Konotopetz (CAN), 42:19; 59. Eric Kemp (CAN), 52:32; 68. Morten Jorgensen USA), 57:59

Women — 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 32:34; 2. Marianne Andersen (NOR), 34:44; 3. Venla Harju (FIN), 36:44; 4. Svetlana Mironova (RUS), 36:57; 5. Emily Kemp (CAN), 37:32 ... 58. Alison Campbell (USA), 1:02:38

From Boris:

On the men's side, the King of Middle Distance, Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou finished his individual international career in style and reclaimed his throne, winning his 8th gold medal in the discipline - and his first since 2011! American Morten Jorgensen finished 68th in the very technical middle distance race, just under 25 minutes behind the winner.

The women's race was won by Sweden's Tove Alexandersson, who defended her gold from a year ago in dominant fashion, winning by over two minutes. The U.S. was represented by Alison Campbell, who finished 58th. Canadian star Emily Kemp earned a 5th place, following up on her 4th place in the middle distance a year ago.

Relay

The 2017 World Orienteering Champs wrapped up with the exciting forest relay. The men (Greg, Eric, and Giacomo) came in 24th, an improvement of four places over 2016. The women (Evalin, Alison and Cristina) came in 25th.

Men — 1. Norway (E. Kinneberg, O. Lundanes, M. Daehli), 1:34:50; 2. France (F. Tranchand, L. Basset, T. Gueorgiou), 1:36:06; 3. Sweden (J. Runesson, W. Lind, G. Bergman), 1:36:53; ... 20. CAN (Damian Konotopetz, Eric Kemp, Emily(!) Kemp), 2:03:40; 24. USA (Greg Ahlswede, Eric Bone, Giacomo Barbone), 2:12:14

Women — 1. Sweden (E. Johansson, H. Jansson, T. Alexandersson), 1:41:12; 2. Russia (A. Rudnaya, S. Mironova, N. Gemperle), 1:43:53; 3. Finland (V. Harju, M. Teini, M. Rantanen), 1:45:35; ... 25. USA (Evalin Brautigam, Alison Campbell, Cristina Luis)

From Boris:

The U.S. men's and women's teams competed in the relay, finishing 24th and 25th, respectively.

For the men, this was their best relay placement since 2009*. The winners were Norway for the men and Sweden for the women.

This concludes the 2017 WOC program. Thanks to everyone who cheered for Team USA and thanks a lot to our athletes, who work hard year-round to get to represent our country internationally. It has been a pleasure following all of you this week!

* - the 2009 men's relay at WOC featured an incident in which three of the top teams had to stop and help an injured competitor, thus taking four top teams out of contention. So this may actually be our best men's relay result since 2005, when the US men came 22nd.

Special note: After WOC, Tyra and Julia went on to represent the U.S. at the Junior World Orienteering Championships! Read about their results and those of their teammates here.

Thanks to all of our athletes for representing the U.S., and to our supporters for cheering along!


Related links:


2017 U.S. Team to WOC

Women

Men

Women


Evalin Brautigam 

Home: Bethel, Connecticut; Grenoble, France until the end of April
Year of birth: 1996
Occupation: Student
Club: Western Connecticut Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2014-16; WUOC 2016


What is your training focus this year? I am in Grenoble, France for three months; February–April, and since I have been lacking in training the past couple months, my goal is to take advantage of the orienteering abroad and go to local training and races that are available to me. Other than orienteering, I want to be in good running shape here, as well as when I am back in the United states. I want to have a good senior year of cross country in the fall. My focus is also to bring myself to the senior level both physically and mentally. For now, there are only a few high level competitions that I am planning on going to, but I look forward to running in the W21 category.

What is the best part of being part of the National Team? I'm happy to be on the National team because I have people with similar goals and who are training for the same reason around me. It's nice to have someone who I can ask for help and learn things from. It's also helpful since I'm moving up to the elite category and having teammates and friends at the same level will make things easier.


Alison Campbell

Home: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Dufftown, Scotland
Year of birth: 1991
Occupation: Graduate Project Engineer
Club: Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, BASOC
International experience: JWOC 2009-2011; WUOC 2010, 2012, 2014; WOC 2013, 2015


What do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success? Having moved to Scotland, I have been able to join a few very active clubs (EUOC, INT, BASOC) and therefore have had access to more training opportunities than I might otherwise have had. This is especially the case this last year when BASOC holds a weekly training on a Tuesday focusing each month on a different orienteering skill/Technic. Also from being in the UK, I have been able to get on many maps of varying terrain, not only in daylight but also as part of Night-O which really challenges you. This has really made me think about my orienteering.

That reflection has really boosted my confidence and I have been able to focus on my weaknesses. Over the last year or so I have also focused strongly on my physical fitness, which was found to be one of my key weaknesses. So I have added in a lot of strength and conditioning, watching my nutrition, and trying to just get some consistency and quality training in. But mostly I have learned that I enjoy orienteering, I enjoy being out in the woods challenging myself and that my best runs are when I go out and just enjoy doing what I love.

Who are your orienteering idols? I don't really have one idol. I have many and all for different reasons. But mostly the people I'm about to list are my idols for the fact that despite being from smaller countries they have all excelled while also studying or working. They have also spent time talking to me and sharing their experiences. So my idols are: Emily Kemp, Tessa Hill, Jessica Tullie, Niamh O'Boyle, Murray Strain, and Scott Fraser.

What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? My advice would be get on as many maps as possible and as different as possible. If you have limited maps you can get to start night orienteering as well, it totally changes your perception of the terrain around you. Also make sure you have a strong physical fitness base. Then it is all about consistency and process!


Tyra Christopherson

Hometown: Renton, WA
Year of birth: 1998
Occupation: Student (Northeastern University)
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2015-6

JWOC 2016 Results:  Sprint – 79th; Long – 96th; Middle B Final – 45th; Relay USA2 – 37th
Race Day Breakfast Food:  oatmeal with dried cranberries.
Goals for 2017 Orienteering:  To rank in the top 40 of the JWOC sprint and in the top half of the Middle B final.
Academic Goals:  To graduate from college with honors.


Julia Doubson

Hometown:  Palo Alto, CA
Year of birth:  2000
Occupation:  Student
Club:  Bay Area Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2015-6

JWOC 2016 Results:  Sprint – 42nd; Long 98th; Middle B Final – 8th; Relay USA1 – 14th (15th on leg)
Race Day Breakfast Food:  scrambled eggs and toast
Goals for 2017 Orienteering:  To improve JWOC results, to become better at navigation and to compete with focus.
Academic Goals:  To graduate from high school.
 


Cristina Luis

Home: Sudbury, Massachusetts / Oslo, Norway
Year of birth: 1979
Occupation: Programmer, MKonline.com
Club: Nydalens SK, Tucson Orienteering Club
International experience: World Cup 2007, WOC 2009


How did you get into orienteering? I’ve always been really into maps, but unfortunately I didn’t get out to a real orienteering course until my senior year of college. The Rochester Orienteering Club dropped a stack of brochures off for the Outdoors Club, and I went with a small group to a local meet. I was hooked, though it took a few years before I realized how much was out there and how much I could do with the sport.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? One physical ritual that I like to do is to run 1cm pickups or strides. That is, if the map for the competition is printed at a scale of 1:10,000 then I run 100m strides several times during the warmup (I usually use paces to estimate). Similarly, if it's 1:4000, 40m pickups are in order. This means I have quicker/shorter pickups for the larger scales (which are usually sprints), and slower/longer pickups for the smaller scales. I will also try and pick up a target in the distance that I think is "1cm" away and see how close I am. These pickups add structure to my warmup, help calibrate my eyes, brain, and legs to the scale, and get my focus in the right place.

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful? Over the past year I've adjusted my training to fit in with having a small bundle of awesomeness at home. It means that most of my training is commute running, a big change from before. This in turn means a lot more running on pavement and a lot less in the woods. This was a contributor to deciding to focus more on sprints, too.


Men

Greg Ahlswede

Home: Philadelphia, PA. Currently Madrid, Spain
Year of birth: 1990
Occupation: Translator
Club: Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, Escondite
International experience: Jukola 2007; JWOC 2008-09; WOC 2015; World Cup Spain 2014, Poland 2016. Five years of training and racing in Spain and Europe
 

What do you currently do in your training that is key to your success? Lots of kilometers, lots of intervals, lots of maps, and lots of error analysis.

What is your training focus this year? The 2017 WOC Long Distance

What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? Enjoy the sport before taking it seriously. Motivation is key to succeed both in and out of competition.


Giacomo Barbone

Home: Munich, Germany
Year of birth: 1991
Occupation: PhD Student in Medical Physics
Clubs: Cambridge Sports Union; O'Jura (France); Agrosso (Italy)
International experience: JWOC 2011; WUOC 2014 and '16; WOC 2012, 2014-16

 

What is the best part of being part of the National Team? Having friends all over the US, and all over the world, who are training toward a common goal, and who are sharing your love and commitment to this team. Also, Linda’s [ESC chair] patience with my late responses to emails is great. And so is hanging out at least once a year at Team Trials with inspiring teammates and our fearlessly dedicated and faithful team supporters.

What terrain suits you the best? I enjoy flat Scandinavian forests as well as technical rocky mountain slopes, and I’m very comfortable in karst terrain. My performances, however, usually depend more on the type of course than on the terrain itself.

What race format do you like the most? High-stake mass start relays, for sure. The higher the environmental pressure, the more I am able to focus on doing my best and forget how tired I am. I really like when that happens.

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you? O-Ringen 2008 in Dalarna was the first time I made it to a Scandinavian O-race, and it was an incredible experience. More than 24,000 runners were signed up to run in one of the most wonderful forest areas of the country, and it made me so happy to find out for the first time that so many other people in the world love the same sport I love. I haven't been back to O-Ringen since then, but this experience always stays with me and positively influences my daily trainings.


Eric Bone

Home: Seattle, Washington
Year of birth: 1974
Occupation: Owner, MerGeo
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 1994; WOC 1995, '97, '99, '01, '03, '05-'10, '12-16; WMOC 2016; World Games 2013
 

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful? I'm aiming at the WOC Long Distance race again, so I'll be doing a lot of long runs.  I had a very strong competitive year in 2016, but toward the end of the year, I noticed some ways that my body was not performing at its best that I attributed to insufficient strength.  So this winter, I've renewed a focus on strength training, using some of the suggested exercises for developing strength and power from coach Erin Schirm.

What is your training focus this year? As a complement to preparing to run the Long Distance race at WOC (if I am fortunate enough to be selected), I am planning to train and compete in what will be my first marathon in September.


Morten Jorgensen

Home: Kristiansand, Norway
Year of birth: 1995
Occupation: Student
Club: KOK (Kristiansand orienteringsklubb)
International experience: JWOC 2015; 10Mila and Jukola relays,ORingen



What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful? I have increased the workload in hours.

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you? The most fun races last year probably were the American [U.S.] Championship, Jukola, and the middle qualification in JWOC. Even though my shape in the American Championship was just OK, the technical part was on point, and I felt like I was in charge the whole time. It was the same in Jukola. I ran second leg and started running in 250th position, but by just running safe without mistakes, I changed over in 140th position. The middle qualification in JWOC was a bit different. I started running high speed and was in the lead at the second control, but I was too crazy, and ran faster than I could orienteer. I ended up barely making the A-final, and that was a really good feeling.

What terrain suits you the best? Terrain similar to Kristiansand. A lot of change in direction and quite demanding terrain. Probably the type of terrain that most orienteers dislike. It is very similar to Strømstad where WOC is held this year.

What is the best part of being part of the National Team? It is a really good motivation to train hard because you want to perform for your teammates in relays.

Who is your "O" idol? I have a teammate in KOK, Gaute Friestad, who is really good in sprint, but also a fast runner in the woods. That is always my goal to improve in both these diciplines.

posted 20 July 2017