Team USA Brings Home BK and FC Cups from NAOC 2018

As many of you know, the North American Orienteering Championships recently took place in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. As part of the competition, elite junior and senior athletes from USA and Canada competed for the prestigious Bjorn Kjellstrom Cup (BK Cup; seniors) and Future Champions Cup (FC Cup; juniors).

Points for the cups are scored by each country's top three finishers in each individual race (Long, Middle, Sprint) in M/F21 (BK Cup) or M/F 18 and 20 (FC Cup) and by the top two teams in the relay.

Prior to 2010, Canada had won 14 out of the 15 BK Cups. Team USA responded with a streak of its own, winning back the Cup in 2010 and keeping it 2012 and 2014. Most recently, Canada won the Cup in New Hampshire in 2016. This summer, Team USA came to the Yukon in full force and won back the Cup in a tight battle with a score of 427-398! To give an idea of how close this was, the U.S. women's relay team won the relay over Canada by less than two minutes. Had that result been reversed, the BK Cup would have stayed up north.

Here are your Team USA competitors who contributed to winning back the BK Cup:

  •     Greg Ahlswede, DVOA
  •     Eric Bone, COC
  •     Tori Borish, COC
  •     Kelsey Breseman, COC
  •     Alison Campbell, DVOA
  •     Siri Christopherson, COC
  •     Tyra Christopherson, COC
  •     Alison Crocker, CROC
  •     Will Enger, COC
  •     Morten Jørgensen, USA
  •     Michael Laraia, MNOC
  •     Peteris Lēdiņš, COC
  •     Angelica Riley, DVOA
  •     Anton Salmenkylä, CSU
  •     Anna Shafer-Skelton, SLOC

Additionally, by winning the individual forest races, Morten Jørgensen (long), Alison Crocker (long), and Anton Salmenkylä (middle) have earned personal spots at next year's World Orienteering Championships in Norway. Congratulations to them and the rest of Team USA for this hard-fought victory!

But.... that's not all! The juniors, not to be outdone by the seniors, won the Future Champions Cup in another close battle that came down to the final day, with a score of 406-382. Under the leadership of coaches Erin Schirm and Greg Ahlswede, U.S. juniors have never lost the cup since its inception in 2012 (U.S. and Canada tied in 2012, and the U.S. won in 2014, 2016, and 2018).

Congratulations to Team USA juniors who contributed to the win, as well as to their coaches, parents, and chaperones who did a lot of hard work to make sure a strong U.S. contingent made it to the Yukon.

Team USA juniors who contributed to the win:

  •     Diana Aleksieva, QOC
  •     Anna Campbell, COC
  •     Siri Christopherson, COC
  •     Tyra Christopherson, COC
  •     Jessica Colleran, COC
  •     Nathan Collinsworth, ROC
  •     Julia Doubson, BAOC
  •     Zachary Kuder, QOC
  •     Thomas Laraia, MNOC
  •     Kai Mihata, COC
  •     Anthony Riley, DVOA
  •     Oriana Riley, DVOA
  •     Peter Zakrevski, HVO

To conclude, a couple of notes and observations:

  • Juniors are allowed to score in the senior cup when they run the same courses as the seniors. Thus, Siri and Tyra Christopherson contributed to the scoring in both cups.
  • Eric Bone, Alison Crocker, and Angelica Riley are the only U.S. competitors to have contributed to all four U.S. BK Cup wins since 2012. (The previous U.S. win prior to 2012 took place way back in 1982, courtesy of Sharon Crawford, Peter Gagarin, Steve Tarry, et al!).
  • While it's impossible to pick out a single turning point for the win, a clear highlight was Tori Borish's performance in the sprint. After Team USA's established star Alison Crocker had to leave early due to canceled flights, Tori stepped up to win her first individual NAOC gold when the pressure was highest. Well done!

--Boris Granovskiy

posted 11 September 2018