2014 U.S. Junior World Championship Team

> Previous JWOC Teams

The following orienteers represented the U.S. at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Bulgaria, 21-28 July, 2014. Team member profiles are available below the JWOC writeups.

Women

Men

Isabel Bryant, CSU / NEOC
Katrina Weinmann, COC
Evalin Brautigam, WCOC
Anne Wilkinson, COC
Elina Breton, HVO
Melanie Sergiev, GMOC
Matej Sebo, BAOC
Ethan Childs, GMOC
Will Hubsch, LAOC
Michael Laraia, MNOC
Austin Fowler, GAOC
Connor Frost, GAOC

Useful links:

Program

  • July 21 - Sprint Model event, Opening Ceremony
  • July 22 - Sprint Final
  • July 23 - Long Final
  • July 24 - Model event, Middle and Relay
  • July 25 - Middle Qualification races
  • July 26 - Middle Final
  • July 27 - Relay, Closing Ceremony

Results

Captured from the IOF Results page

SPRINT FINAL WOMEN

    1. Sara  Hagstrom SWE, 13:15
    2. Heidi  Martensson NOR, 13:20
    3. Miri Thrane  Odum DEN, 13:32
  69. Isabel Bryant, 15:49
  75. Katrina Weinmann, 16:02
103. Evalin Brautigam, 17:08
115. Elina Breton, 18:22
119. Melanie Sergiev, 18:48
121. Anne Wilkinson, 19:21

SPRINT FINAL MEN

   1. Tim  Robertson NZL 14:41
   2. Piotr  Parfianowicz POL 14:47
   3. Anton  Johansson SWE 14:51
  57. Will Hubsch, 16:11
  65. Ethan Childs, 16:22
122. Austin Fowler, 18:06
126. Matej Sebo, 18:33
132. Michael Laraia, 18:41

dsq. Connor Frost

LONG FINAL WOMEN

   1. Gunvor  Hov Hoydal NOR 1:08:15
   2. Sara  Hagstrom SWE 1:08:18
   3. Emmi  Jokela FIN 1:09:15
 67. Isabel Bryant, 1:37:25
 80. Evalin Brautigam, 1:43:51
 83. Katrina Weinmann, 1:45:17
113. Anne Wilkinson, 2:40:22

dsq. Melanie Sergiev

LONG FINAL MEN

    1. Anton  Johansson SWE 1:15:17
    2. Assar  Hellstrom SWE 1:16:18
    3. Marek  Minar CZE 1:18:45
  64. Ethan Childs, 1:34:33
106. Michael Laraia, 1:50:21
122. Will Hubsch, 1:58:32
135. Matej Sebo, 2:08:04
143. Austin Fowler, 2:20:15
145. Connor Frost, 2:23:53

MIDDLE FINAL WOMEN

(No U.S. starters in the A category)

MIDDLE FINAL MEN

 1. Miika Kirmula FIN, 28:58
  2. Riccardo Scalet ITL, 30:19
  3. Olli Ojanaho FIN, 30:29
25. Alexander Bergstrom CAN, 36:18
57. Ethan Childs, 54:28

RELAY MEN (results, PDF)

  1. Sweden 1 (A. Hellstrom, S. Hector, A. Johansson), 1:;36:30
  2. Czech Rep 1 (O. Semik, J. Hubacek, M. Minar), 1:36:40
  3. Switzerland 1 (J. Egger, T. Pezzati, S. Hellmueller), 1:36:43
36. USA 1 (E. Childs, W. Hubsch, M. Sebo), 2:03:34
39. CAN 1 (A. Woods, M. Svoboda, A. Bergstrom), 2:12:52
40. USA 2 (M. Laraia, A. Fowler, C. Frost), 2:18:28
42. CAN 2 (R. Graham, P. Blake, T. Bray), 2:28:51

RELAY WOMEN (results, PDF)

  1. Sweden 1 (T. Johansson, F. Sandberg, S. Hagstrom), 1:38:18
  2. Norway 1 (H. Martensson, G. Hoydal, M. Rundhaug), 1:38:27
  3. Switzerland 2 (P. Gross, S. Tommer, L. Schubnell), 1:44:24
27. USA 1 (I. Bryant, E. Brautigam, K. Weinmann), 2:16:01
34. USA 2 (E. Breton, A. Wilkinson, M. Sergiev), 2:57:14


U.S. Team to JWOC 2014

 

WomenMen

Isabel Bryant, CSU and NEOC
Katrina Weinmann, COC
Evalin Brautigam, WCOC
Anne Wilkinson, COC
Elina Breton, HVO
Melanie Sergiev, GMOC

***

Anna Breton, HVO (1st Alternate)
Addie Nolan, QOC (2nd Alternate)

Matej Sebo, BAOC
Ethan Childs, GMOC
Will Hubsch, LAOC
Michael Laraia, MNOC
Austin Fowler, GAOC
Connor Frost, GAOC

***

Matt Stout, GAOC (1st Alternate)
Zac Barker, DVOA (2nd Alternate)

Others on the JST profiled below: Brigitte Bordelon, Sholonda Snell, Julia Zielcynska, Addison Bosley, Hans Sitarz


 

Women

Isabel Bryant, Cambridge Sports Union and New England Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Attackpoint name: Izzy B
How have you been training for orienteering? I have gone to local and national meets basically every weekend since August. During the fall and spring I have been cross-training by playing soccer and lacrosse.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strengths in orienteering are my navigation skills. I am working on improving my physical state. Once I become stronger and faster, I will have to match my navigation to my new speed.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I’ve made a lot of progress throughout the year with the help of Erin [junior coach] and my teammates. It is hard to identify one specific moment or race that was a breakthrough for me. I would say this whole year (and last summer especially) has made me to realize my goals, and has given me a better sense of how to achieve them.
What are your goals? My short term goals are to keep up my training, perform well at JWOC this summer, and support my teammates so that they can achieve their goals. My long term goals are to encourage the growth of the Junior program, and make American orienteering a serious, competitive sport.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? The younger juniors are very enthusiastic. I think having a close group of older juniors has inspired the younger kids to keep orienteering, and has encouraged them to become competitive with their peers. Having course reviews at national and local meets is a great way to engage younger juniors and help them become better orienteers.
What advice do you have for them? Surround yourself with friends who have similar goals to you. Be inspired by your peers and older orienteers, and strive to inspire younger generations. Don’t be afraid to set goals that seem nearly unattainable. Train hard; it will pay off.

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Katrina Weinmann, Cascade Orienteering Club

Year of birth:1995
Hometown: Poulsbo, WA
Attackpoint name: kweinmann
How have you been training for orienteering?  I run distance for my high school track team for physical training. In the off-season I also run consistently, along with core and agility training. I go to as many local orienteering meets as I can to train on a map. During the winter season, I ran 2 courses at every meet to get in some extra training. I also do armchair training with the maps that Coach Erin sends out each week, and sometimes just bring a map along on a run for practice.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving?  I think my biggest strength is my running ability. Through my training for cross country and track, I have developed a strong physical base. I am working on improving my technical navigation skills, and being able to simplify detailed terrain. Also, I am trying to improve my overall concentration throughout the entire length of a race.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I went to the Vancouver Sprint Camp in February of this year. The 3 days of training and racing really brought up my level of orienteering in terms of reading the map on the run and making quick decisions. These skills necessary for sprint orienteering have translated into all kinds of orienteering, really improving my overall flow through a course.
What are your goals?  My main goal right now is to represent the USA the best that I can at JWOC this summer. My other goals include continuing to orienteer in college, and improving my technical navigating abilities.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I am lucky enough to be in a club with one of the largest junior leagues in the country. I love to see so many juniors at our winter meets, especially seeing them doing course review after a race, and coming to junior training sessions that are offered. It is this enthusiasm for the sport that I really think will lead to some great new orienteers in the U.S.
What advice do you have for them? Go to as many orienteering events as you can, commit to training, and try to find a training buddy. Even if you have a friend who doesn’t take orienteering as seriously as you, a training partner for running can be a great motivator. Most importantly though, remember to have fun, and enjoy yourself!
Address how you feel more ready this year. I have spent a lot more time training for orienteering this past year, and gained a lot of experience. Going to A-meets, local meets, and training camps has really helped me to improve in all facets of my orienteering and gain a lot more confidence in my abilities. This past year I have been able to race against some of the best orienteers in the country, which has motivated me to train so that I can compete at the international level.
Anything else you’d like to say? I would just like to thank all of my coaches for the amazing support and advice they have given me. Also, a big thank you to my awesome parents for making all of this possible, from going to orienteering meets with me in the pouring rain, to encouraging me after a bad race. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

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Evalin Brautigam, Western Connecticut Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown: Bethel, CT
Attackpoint name: Evalin B
How have you been training for orienteering? I have been running with the track team for my school to keep up my physical training, and doing armchair orienteering at home. I also go to any orienteering meets nearby, and some local meets from my club.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strength is usually being able to make the best route choice, and I am good at staying in contact with the map. Something I want to improve on is being able to navigate quickly through tough terrain, and mostly having the physical strength to move quickly through tough terrain.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I had a breakthrough when I was competing in the open races at the World Masters in Italy last summer. The races I had were great and I moved so quickly through the woods and had very fast clean races compared to any other orienteering races I had ever had. It made me realize that I can have clean races and run fast like that.
What are your goals? My goal is to become a better orienteer and be able to run clean races at a high level. I also want to work with the other juniors so that we can become stronger as a team.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? The younger juniors have more training now at this age than we did before and it's really helping them and I can tell they are excited and ready to improve and will be prepared when they age up in their categories.
What advice do you have for them? My advice is to stay focused and to want to improve, and always have fun when you're orienteering.

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Anne Wilkinson, Cascade Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1994
Hometown: Bellevue, WA; currently at Olin College, Needham, MA
Attackpoint name: awilkinson
How have you been training for orienteering? I try to go to as many A-meets and training camps as I can. With some help I’ve developed a progressive season plan with an emphasis on running fitness, specifically over long distances to train for endurance. I’ve also incorporated intervals as a way of increasing speed. Additionally, I try to do some map study to improve navigational ability.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strengths are in longer, ‘classic’ orienteering races. I’m working on improving my ability to navigate at high speeds during sprints, as well as my agility in the woods.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I decided that I would make an effort to pace-count to the first control of every course. This was after a couple of bad races where I messed up on the first control. The problem was that my internal distance estimation didn't always kick in until later in the course. I tried pace-counting, and found that it helped me focus on the course as well as establish better distance estimation.
What are your goals? I would like to do better at JWOC than I did last year. Specifically I would like to make the A or B final for the middle, and be in the top 75 in the long.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I’ve seen younger juniors that really just love orienteering. To me, that’s more important than anything else.
What advice do you have for them? When going over a race afterwards, don’t just focus on the mistakes but also the parts of the course that went well. There is just as much to be learned from what went well. Try to identify the skills and logic you used that led to success on those controls.

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Elina Breton, Hudson Valley Orienteering

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: Suffern, NY
Attackpoint name. Elina B
How have you been training for orienteering? I do a lot of physical training for orienteering through track and xc at school. I have also been doing more agility training that Erin has been sending us. Armchair training is also a good way I have been training for orienteering by looking and analyzing more maps and different terrain.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strengths are on the physical aspect of orienteering since that is where I get most of my training, my compass work has also strengthened a lot in the past year and I feel much more confident in that area.I am still working on narrowing down the features I use to the really important ones which form a smooth route choice.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I have definitely improved in my navigation in the past year and have found that even though I moved up in courses quickly I feel comfortable getting out and racing harder ones.  
What are your goals? My goals are to get out more and do more training and to become a strong competitor among my peers.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I have seen a lot of younger juniors starting to follow the same training techniques that we are being taught and use now. It's also great to see younger juniors get out and enjoy themselves while orienteering.
What advice do you have for them? Some advice I have for younger juniors would be to get involved and get out. The more you speak to others and learn from them the faster you will improve. Experience is an important aspect of orienteering.  
Anything else you’d like to say? Go USA!

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Melanie Sergiev, Green Mountain Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown: Craftsbury, VT
Attackpoint name. M. Serguiev
How have you been training for orienteering? The way that I typically train for orienteering depends on the season. For example, in the winter I go skiing all days of the week along with two or three runs a week, whereas in the summer I go for long bike rides, short runs, and work out in a gym. Either way, I incorporate running, strength, and map reading.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My biggest strength is definitely finding a good route choice and sticking to it. What I need to be working on is keeping a constant speed in the woods.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? My biggest breakthrough for orienteering had to be finding a constant pace for running in the woods. Literally I had to think of a song with an upbeat tempo and run to it. aka, making me go faster.
What are your goals? My goals are to do well for the Sprint course at JWOC along with not coming in last.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I’ve been noticing that the younger juniors are feeling more and more enthusiastic about doing their best along with learning from their mistakes.
What advice do you have for them? Keep with the sport! Useful life skills are discovered!
Anything else you’d like to say. Can’t wait to see what the terrain is like!!

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Alternates

Anna Breton, Hudson Valley Orienteering

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: Suffern, NY
Attackpoint name. Anna B

How have you been training for orienteering? For training I've been running nearly everyday, doing core, lifting, doing armchair training and of course orienteering training.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strength is speed and I need to continue to work on my navigation.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? A breakthrough I've had in the past year was at the WOC spectator races when I came in fourth; I was able to balance both speed and navigation and I was very satisfied with my performance.
What are your goals? My goal is to continue to improve my navigation and to work on being able to navigate at a speed that works with how fast I can run.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I think that there are a lot of new, young juniors who have a lot of potential especially since they've been showing up to things like meets and training camps.
What advice do you have for them? My best advice to them is to keep on training and to really enjoy what they're doing because they're the future of the junior team.

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Addie Nolan, Quantico Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1995
Hometown: Kensington, Maryland
Attackpoint name: neon
How have you been training for orienteering? My dad used to take me out on walks in the woods when I was a little kid, and sometimes we’d walk a course together, so orienteering has always been a part of my life. But I didn’t start orienteering by myself until much later. I started consistently going to local club meets around 8th grade, and I became more competitive (so actually running and training orienteering technique) around maybe 10th grade. I’m currently a freshman in college.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? I think my strengths in orienteering have been pretty variable. When I was just walking or jogging the orange course, back in 10th grade, I would say my strength was navigation, because it definitely wasn’t my running speed. But in this past year, since I’ve gotten faster at running, I’ve started to push the limits of my navigational ability. Comparatively, since I can run faster, I feel like I’ve gotten slower at navigating. So it’s all relative, and how I feel about my strengths and weaknesses all depends on where I am with one skill compared to another. I can say, though, that I feel really comfortable orienteering in ridge-and-reentrant terrain (thanks QOC!)—that’s definitely a strength.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? This past year I’ve orienteered in so many new places—Harriman, NY, various parks in Arizona, and the San Francisco Bay Area, to name a few. Experiencing such a diversity of terrain has been a really good experience for me, because it’s forced me to work with and navigate using features I’m not as comfortable with. So that’s been a mental breakthrough for me.
What are your goals? My goals? I’d like to be better at everything! But if I had to pick something specific… I’d like to be more consistent with my running training. I play ultimate frisbee with my college’s club team, and with practice four times a week it’s so easy to slack off on the other days and not go running. But I know to really get faster I’ve got to be getting in my long runs and running workouts when there’s no practice.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I think the younger juniors are where it’s at! Talking to some of them at West Point this past April, I feel like they’re really going to get good, if they keep at it. Oriana Riley, for example, had a really fast run on Sunday’s white course (she lost to an M-10, but only just) and going over their courses with them it’s easy to see how comfortable they are with navigating and that they’re sure of what they’re doing. So that’s very encouraging to see. Also, if younger just means younger than me, then that includes most of the juniors on the JST and JDT—and I think they’re all orienteering really well, too. They’ve been fantastic, actually.
What advice would you give them? My only advice for them is to just keep doing what they’re doing. The best way to get better at orienteering is to orienteer.
Anything else you’d like to say. I'm really glad to be going to Europe this year--not because of the experience, which by itself is a great thing. I think the junior team is a super fun, exciting group of people, and racing in the European terrain alongside them is going to be the best!

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Men

Matej Sebo, Bay Area Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown: Redwood City, CA
Attackpoint name: Matej
How did you get into orienteering? Jan Urban, my dad's colleague, first introduced my family to the sport when I was eight years old. I still vividly remember my first ever orienteering course: a Yellow at Mt. Laguna that I navigated with my dad. I was hooked. Jan set up many trainings and courses for our small San Diego club; I learned most of my basic orienteering technique from him. At some of my earliest meets, Donna and Edwin Gookin did course reviews with me, and their enthusiasm and love of orienteering were infectious.
How have you been training for orienteering? Ever since I began training specifically for orienteering, hill sprints and long trail runs have been the staple of my weekly routine. Swimming workouts twice a week help me build core and upper body strength. Local meets organized by BAOC have given me the chance to orienteer on many weekends, and my parents and brother have set some amazing training courses. I've recently begun doing weekly interval workouts on a track, with some very encouraging results.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? Long, steep, brutal courses with long legs and route choice are what I'm best at. I really enjoy solving route choice problems (ideally involving complex contour features) on the run. Score-O strategy—choosing the most effective route that maximizes points earned—is also my specialty. Running speed, especially on flat areas, is something I need to work on. Fine compass headings, pace counting, and navigation through dense, vague, or featureless areas are also skills that I have yet to master. I also have an annoying habit of running into trees that I'd like to get rid of....
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? At the Slovak Karst Cup last summer, I ran three of my most embarrassing races ever, bungling compass headings, hideously misreading contours, failing to pace myself, and getting senselessly stuck in thickets. Interestingly enough, I learned more from that four-day event than any "successful" meet up until that point. I began to practice pace counting, precise compass work, and the strategy of successfully approaching a technical control. Two months later, I ran one of my best races of the year at similar terrain in Boggs Mountain. Seeing my failures as valuable learning experiences has helped me move forward and improve.

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Ethan Childs, Green Mountain Orienteering ClubEthan Childs, Green Mountain Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1994
Hometown: Williston, Vermont; currently living at University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
Attackpoint name: EChild
How have you been training for orienteering? Running. Lots of running, and lots of core. I also look at maps fairly frequently, deciding my own routes and then comparing them to the decisions other people made, and if there are actual routes people ran then comparing them to their fastest times. I also do orienteering training when I can, but I'm fairly limited in that regard.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My greatest strength lies in experience, which translates to a fairly good balance between speed and navigation as well as a lot of variety. Currently I'm working on improving my navigation decisions such that I'll be able to increase my running speed in the forest.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? Actually quite recently I've gotten a lot more into the idea of "Full speed. No Mistake." I used to think it was mostly just something humorous Thierry [Gueorgiou] said, but after reading one of his write-ups I realized that was his actual strategy. Pick a route that you can run at full speed without making mistakes. The added confidence and smoothness will allow you to run much better and will be far less mentally taxing, so it's easier to go faster for longer.
What are your goals? My goals, like anyone's I imagine, are to win all the championship races. My primary goal, though, is to qualify for the Sprint final at WOC and the A Final at JWOC. It's my last year for the latter, so I'm getting pretty excited about it.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? The most promising thing I've noticed is that we have younger juniors. There are more of them. There are more of the older juniors, too. I feel like one of the greatest weaknesses we have in North America is poor depth, and while our good runners are really good, having more competition only means they'll have to be better. I'm really excited to see what orienteering in the U.S. looks like twenty years from now.
What advice do you have for them? Two pieces of advice I'd give to anybody: First, learn what pace you can orienteer at and get comfortable with it. Trying to run fast and making mistakes over and over will make it very difficult to improve, and slowing it down just a little can be enormously beneficial in both the short and long-term. Secondly, when you go to race take at least the first two controls carefully, the third as well if they're short legs. Establishing a flow early on and getting a feel for the terrain will only make you faster for the rest of the course.
Anything else you’d like to say. This is my last year of JWOC, and I really quickly want to thank everyone who has helped at any point to get me to this point. I love orienteering, I live and breathe it, and I wouldn't have these opportunities if it weren't for the entire North American orienteering community, and some European ones as well. Pretty much, if you know me then you've probably made at least a tiny difference in my orienteering career, and I thank you for it.

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Will Hubsch, Los Angeles Orienteering ClubWill Hubsch, Los Angeles Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown: Pasadena, California
Attackpoint name: whubsch
How have you been training for orienteering? I’ve been training for orienteering by participating in the track program at my school, focusing on the 400m and 800m. I’m also going to tweak my running after the track season is over to be able to compete at sprint/middle distances.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strengths are my speed and my quick thinking with the map. I like to think I’m pretty good at finding the fastest route on a sprint map. Endurance is not a strength of mine, so it’s hard for me to keep up with the older athletes in the long event.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? This year I was the 1st American in the sprint at the Team Trials in Concord, CA, including the senior and junior teams. I think this really validated the progress I’ve made in the sprint discipline, and gives me hope that I can excel in it this summer.
What are your goals? My main goal this year is for the sprint, because that’s where most of my training focus has been this year. I want to do better than I did last year, and learn a lot about the discipline from the trainings we do before the main competitions.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I think our group this year has lots of new faces, but is bolstered by the veterans. The younger kids (me being one of them) have a lot of potential that hopefully can be unlocked with the great support system that is in place for the juniors now. The older juniors have also done a great job of passing on their skills and wisdom down the chain, and that will benefit the orienteers coming down the line.
What advice do you have for them? My advice to them would be get to know the juniors around them. A huge part of the orienteering experience for me has been the friends I’ve made, and that’s also what makes me so excited to travel huge distances to meets. With their support, training and racing have become much more fun, and I’m looking forward to training with them in Europe this summer.

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Michael Laraia, Minnesota Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown:  Houlton, WI
Attackpoint name. Taiwan Mike
How have you been training for orienteering? This year has been pretty good for me in terms of training. Rolling into fall I attended some of the few non-conflicting meets held by my local park, and I attended a few major races across the country. I was even able to hold a little training session at Willow River State park, a major park in my area, and convinced some of my cross country teammates to try it out.
The winter season was a little bit tougher to manage. Our snow depth in Minnesota peaked at 24 inches, so the forest was definitely a no-no. I love the forest and all, but I don’t think swimming through three feet of snow would have been good for training. So I had to find other ways to keep my body in shape, principally skiing, and by extension ski-orienteering.
In February I spent a week in Arizona completely immersed in orienteering. I must say it was awesome spending that time with my teammates, honing our skills and stretching our body’s physical capacities to the max over the week. After returning home from this experience I began to try and dedicate a ski session every once in a while to skiing with a map, be it the most dreadful park map available or a quality orienteering map, I wanted to train my mental map reading skills.
Coming out of the depths of winter, I spent almost 4 weekends straight away from home specifically orienteering. Started with the Ski-O champs in Vermont, then the U.S. team trials in California, a training camp in New York, and then the interscholastic championships in Indiana. It was mentally taxing and my grades started sagging a little bit, but I rebounded in those respects and the experiences I gained were invaluable.
In this spring season my physical training is primarily reliant on my school’s track team. We do intervals on Tuesday and Thursday, a long run on Monday, and easy days on Wednesday, and Friday. I usually try to take one of the weekend days to go with [exchange student] Eero and run a course on a nearby map. Just recently we drove an hour north and practiced on an almost-Scandinavian map in an area still blanketed with snow. We met some bears, but that’s a story for another time.
My plan for the immediate future is to avoid injury at all costs, given my history of stress injury over the fall, and to try and build up my physical abilities leading up to the summer trip. I am also going to help the Minnesota club out in any way I can, setting, vetting, and designing courses. Hopefully I might also be able to host a little meet in a park near my school to try and introduce orienteering to my peers, and maybe drum up a little excitement. The last one I hosted was a pretty good success even with the freezing temperatures and bitter wind. I am excited for what the future holds.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving?
A strength of mine is definitely my perseverance. Over the cross country season this year, I wound up with an unfortunate stress fracture, putting me out for three weeks. Over these three weeks, I was very diligent in preventing detraining, even improving my performance. I went to the pool, to the weight room, biked, ran on the elliptical, whatever I was cleared for by the school’s trainer. I recovered in time to run in the sectional race at the end of the season, and managed to PR there. Even with a stress fracture, I endured and worked as hard as my body would let me, dedicated to improving myself. In my opinion, this is the perfect example of perseverance.
Specifically in orienteering, I think a strength would be reading contours. Wisconsin is relatively flat, and Minnesota even more so. Most of the maps around here have 2.5 meter contours, and even then the lines are sparse and subtle. With very little other features to go off of, this has made me fairly efficient at reading and matching contours with the lay of the land.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? Before the Arizona camp, I had very little orienteering available to me. We still had multiple feet of snow at home, so I wasn’t really able to get out much and just run. I left the training camp with a revitalized sense of purpose. I just wanted to orienteer more. I had a craving that could only be satisfied with a map. I had forgotten for a time why I enjoy orienteering, and the time I spent in Arizona helped refuel me in my quest to make it onto the Europe team.
What are your goals? In track my goal is to get below 2:05 in the 800m race. In school I want to succeed academically despite all the time I’ve spent away orienteering. And up until recently my goal in orienteering was to make it onto the JWOC team. Now that I have made it that far, I have revised my goal to make it into the top 100 in a race at JWOC. I know that this might be completely impossible this year, but just how it took my dream of making the team 2 years to accomplish, so too might this one.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? They seem to be actively engaging into the course reviews we’ve been doing with them. I specifically remember the DVOA meet in November where we rounded up all the younglings in the finish area and talked to them about their courses, and they all seemed to be doing the things they should be doing. I also noticed how the group of juniors from OCIN have been very involved in their club, and put together their own sprint event at their middle school at the banquet of the Flying Pig/Interscholastic Champs. Very impressive in my opinion
What advice do you have for them? Keep at it and run hard.
Anything else you’d like to say.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took neither one,
Running off-road,
Toward the setting sun.
— Duncan Miller [2013 U.S. JWOC Team member]

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Austin Fowler, Georgia Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1996
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Attackpoint name: Superfast23
How have you been training for orienteering? I’ve been training for orienteering by training for cross country and track; they help me improve physically. For navigational training I have been using Catching Features a lot and also doing the armchair exercises that Erin sends out. For the actual orienteering I’ve been running Brown at local meets as a warm up and then running the Green hard and fast. I’ve also been stretching, doing core work, and going to Unlocked Fitness for performance training.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? I think when it comes to orienteering my main strength is running. Navigation and sticking to your route choice have always been my downfall. To improve this I’ve been studying the features on the map more closely, knowing where I’m going before I punch a control, and trying to stick to the route that I originally chose.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering—what was it and how did it happen? My breakthrough in orienteering in the past year came on day one of the French Creek O Festival in November. I was running through the woods and came to the conclusion that I may have gone too far. So, while looking at the re-entrants, I flipped over my compass, and actually used it. It was beautiful. Since then I’ve learned to hard compass and it has been useful.
What are your goals? My goals for orienteering are just to improve. I’d like to stop making as many mistakes, even the little ones, and visualize where the point is going to be before I get there. For running I’d like to get my 5k from 17:58 to sub 16:45 in the next year, and since I’m running in college I’d like to go sub 28 in the 8k.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? I haven’t met a lot of the younger juniors myself, but the ones I have met are on the fast track to stardom. One kid at the Flying Pig isn’t even in high school yet and he’s broken 5 minutes in the mile; I’m jealous of his speed.
What advice do you have for them? For the younger juniors I’ll just say that like any other sport, you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. If you like orienteering a lot and want to be really good you just have to make the decision to train hard. We are here to help you along the way, you just have to decide.
Anything else you’d like to say. I’d like to thank Coach Dehnke, Coach Erin, Amy Williams, and Rick Shane for helping me train and I’d like to thank Barb for coordinating everything for the juniors this year.

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Connor Frost, Georgia Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1994
Hometown: Woodstock, Georgia; currently living in Athens, Georgia
Attackpoint name: connorf
How have you been training for orienteering? Primarily through local meets; GAOC about once a week. Run, make my own core workouts. I work with Erin’s training regimen most of the time, and use his techniques when out orienteering.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? When out on a course, strengths intrepreting contours, especially smaller, minute details. It’s a Georgia-terrain type thing. When going along, I can pick out a reentrant. In Northeast, the terrain is harder to read; you can’t navigate off the contours as easily; have to navigate off of vegetation and rock features more. What I'm working on: versaitility—being able to adapt to the situation. In the Southeast, we don’t have varied terrain, it’s pretty similar and it's easy to get stuck in one mindset.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? Slow one: My breakthrough was realizing what Erin was teaching about “slow”. I had always focused on increasing speed and efficient route chocies. but as I was racing in Europe and when got back here too, realized I was losing time because I wasn’t maintaining a constant speed. Running fast, stopping, running fast, stopping. The more I smoothed that off, the better times I had in my races. One of the things I notice running alongside Ethan is that he doesn’t stop. I think that’s what makes him one of our best guys. We’ll be going pretty much the same speed, but I’ll have to slow down to make sure I know where I am.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? They’re a lot more committed, and getting committed a lot earlier. There are more younger juniors than when I got into it. Then, there were a couple people, all spread out, doing their own thing. Now there are a lot of people meeting; it’s more of a team. Before it was just a group of people. Now you can definitely tell. I think I know everyone on the standing or development team. I’ve met them all, know everyone on a first name basis; I think that’s how it is for everyone else on the team. It might be that I’ve been in it for a long time, but I didn’t know everyone. We're a lot more tight-knit now. That tight knittedness means everybody is pushing each other. More dedication. Not training in a bubble.
What advice do you have for the younger juniors? Train hard. Competition might look fierce, but they’re a lot better in Europe. There will always be somebody better than you. It’s a little discouraging. Every rung I climb, I always realize there is another one above it. Don’t stop training, don’t let up. There’s always a way to improve on what you’re doing.

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Alternates

Matt Stout, Georgia Orienteering Club

Matt Stout, Georgia Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1995
Hometown: Lilburn, GA (outside of Atlanta)
Attackpoint name: Stout
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? My strengths include reentrant terrain, and map simplification  and I am working on improving on reading technical maps with small contour changes.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? My biggest break through happened after having an asthma attack at a track meet. I am finally now able to push my body much further without having to slow due to breathing issue danger.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? The Georgia JROTC orienteering program is constantly bring new juniors in including Noah and Sholonda.
What advice do you have for them? Keep training and orienteer as often as you can

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Zachary (Zac) Barker, Delaware Valley Orienteering Association

Year of birth: 1994
Hometown: Turnersville, NJ
Attackpoint name: Zacleipyr
 

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Other 2014 JST Members

Brigitte Bordelon, Austin Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1998
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Attackpoint name:
 

 


Sholonda Snell, Georgia Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: McDonough, Georgia
Attackpoint name:
How have you been training for orienteering? I was first introduced to orienteering as an 8th grader while attending an informational assembly held by some of the NJROTC cadets of the high school I would be enrolled in the following year. At the time, I still didn't fully understand what it was and did not join my NJROTC program's orienteering team until my sophomore year of high school. As a member of the team for almost 2 years now, I typically train for about 3 to 5 hours a week with the team. This training includes physical exercise and running as well as map analysis. Along with this training there are also my local club meets, GAOC, and the physical training and map reviews that I do on my own.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? Orienteering was definitely not something that came easily to me, it was a great struggle for me to finally understand what I was doing and what made it right or wrong. My greatest "orienteering revelation," came while attending the Texas Junior Orienteering Camp last summer. I made it my goal and sort of forced myself to leave the camp a better orienteer than when I had come. As the time went on, I found that I was navigating to the controls much easier and with much more confidence. I am now running Brown, Green, and Red level courses and improving on my times and techniques. I went from not being able to complete my courses in the ISVF category at Georgia's Navigator Cup last year to being the first place finisher in the same category this year.
What are your goals? My orienteering goals include eventually making the JWOC and WOC teams. I would also like to make the JST for as long as I am age qualified. Another thing would be to attend more A meets and getting my family more involved in not only supporting me, but participating in the sport as well. A main goal of mine include making sure my NJROTC orienteering team is even more successful, trained, and stronger as a unit. Lastly, I would like to introduce orienteering to the student body here at my high school as one of many sports offered.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? The juniors that I have been in the company of and witnessed great orienteering improvements from, would have to be my own NJROTC orienteering team. I have seen some of them advance from Yellow all the way to Green level competitors and they continue to strive and do better.
What advice do you have for them? The advice that I would like to give to anyone interested in orienteering or who is already involved in the sport is to simply finish the race and learn from it. You may be on the same course as the next person but you are an individual and you will never know YOUR potential until you finish.


Julia Zielcynska, Hudson Valley Orienteering

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: Lawrenceville, NJ
Attackpoint name: Julzie
Orienteering has been my passion since the very beginning. From the age of eight, I cherished every moment that I spent with a compass and a map in my hands. I experience an orienteering lifestyle since I am a member of a three-generation family of orienteers, as my grandparents continue to orienteer on a weekly basis at ages 84 and 87. I would like to thank Erin and Barb for providing me the opportunity to grow as an orienteer on the Junior Standing Team. As a member of the team, I have solidified my navigational strengths and I have continued to improve my speed and agility. Throughout the year, I have trained through JST training camps, DVOA and HVO meets, and practices at the local Washington Crossing State Park. My breakthrough this year was when I created an orienteering map of The Lawrenceville School’s campus using the OCAD software. By mapping my school’s terrain, I was able to spread my passion of orienteering to a greater community. I wish all the best to the young juniors as they portray a similar devotion to the sport by their willingness to train and compete. Through determination and motivation, they are bound to succeed.


Addison Bosley, Orienteering Cincinnati

Year of birth: 1997
Hometown: Florence, KY
Attackpoint name: AddisonB
How have you been training for orienteering? Over the past year I have been training as hard as I can. The minimum that we should be training per week is 5 hours. Due to track and cross country the training time has been well exceeded. Also every week an email is sent out full of different types of training ideas, anywhere from orienteering, running or armchair, and it’s all really helpful. So I try to incorporate all those in my log weekly.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? Since I have been doing all this training with Erin and my teammates, my orienteering has improved drastically. I feel like there are no specifics to work on. Just keep working and training as hard as I can.                     
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your own orienteering. What was it and how did it happen? When was my breakthrough…. I don’t think I have hit a “breakthrough” yet. When it’s my turn to hit a breakthrough and be really good my goals would be reached. Make the JWOC team, and place in the A or B races.
What are your goals? My goals are just to become a better navigator, and an all-around athlete. Another goal is to make the JWOC team, and place in the A or B races.
What promising signs have you seen from younger juniors? The most promising thing that I have seen from the juniors is they all travel to out of state A-meets. This gets them the experience they need to move up to the next level.
What advice do you have for them? The only thing I’d have to say is keep up the good work, and make sure you guys are training/logging your runs.
Anything else you’d like to say? I can’t wait for Europe this year. There will be lots of amazing training opportunities, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again. GO USA!


Hans Sitarz, U.S. Military Academy Orienteering Club

Year of birth: 1994
Hometown: West Point, NY
Attackpoint name:
How have you been training for orienteering? Long-distance running, hill intervals, practice courses, armchair orienteering and CrossFit are the most common elements in my training regimen.  I also enjoy challenging myself with road and trail races ranging from half marathons to a North Face trail 50k.
What are your strengths? What are you working on improving? I’m an avid runner. With 4 years of high school cross-country and track under my belt, I know the sport of long-distance racing.  Thankfully, USMAOC practices have maintained this strength in addition to encouraging personal fitness, which I now pursue simultaneously through CrossFit.  However, my central focus for improvement remains to achieve fluidity in orienteering. Although exposed to orienteering in Scouts and Army basic training, I’m an 8-month-old novice. So, really, both fluidity and experience are what I strive to improve and gain, respectively. Thanks to the Junior Standing Team, I have an additional avenue to get better.
Tell us about a breakthrough you’ve had in the past year in your orienteering - what was it and how did it happen? I ran my first Blue close to 10 minutes per k at DVOA’s Batsto meet in March. Having previously only run Green, I was planning to run my first Red until Nick Ives convinced me—on the spot—to upgrade to Blue. I did and it worked out alright. It was my first real taste of the running–navigating fluidity that veteran orienteerers master.
What are your goals? To break 9 minutes per k on a Blue middle course for starters. It’s a challenge for me because this goal demands a high level of navigational skill, but I will reach it. Beyond specific race goals, I aim to join and travel with the WUOC team within my next 3 years at West Point.
What promising signs have you seen from the younger juniors? Younger juniors have shown an exceptional ability to stay focused and perform under pressure.  The juniors I got to know at Team Trials know the sport very well and are not shy to demonstrate that.  This grounded confidence will be particularly exciting to see as they compete in Europe against the world’s best at JWOC.
What advice do you have for them? To younger juniors, I have two pieces of advice: train hard every day and stay humble. There is no such thing as a day 2 in a 60 day training program—only day 1 out of 59. So, treat each day as an opportunity to get better and remain humble throughout the process.
Anything else you’d like to say. I would like to thank Cadet Andrew Mitchell aka “Tank” for everything he has done for West Point, the Plebes, and will do in the Army. GO ARMY! GO USA!

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