2018 U.S. National Team Members

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> Announcement of 2018 U.S. National Orienteering Team

Members of the 2018 National Orienteering Team

Women

Men

Elite Team

 Gregory Ahlswede
 Giacomo Barbone
 Eric Bone
 William Enger
 Morten Jorgensen
 Jordan Laughlin
 Anton Salmenkyla

Performance Team

Tori Borish 
Alison Campbell 
Amanda Johansson 

Development Team

Evalin Brautigam 
Tyra Christopherson 
Sydney Fisher 

posted 3 March 2018
 


Women

Tori Borish

Home: Stanford, California
Year of birth: 1989
Occupation: PhD student / Applied Physics
Club: Bay Area Orienteering Club / Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2008-2009, WUOC 2010, 2014 and 2016, WOC 2014-15


What terrain suits you the best?  For sprints, I tend to do best in tricky urban environments. I have the most experience with university campuses. Even though it's my rival school, I really enjoy running at UC Berkeley! In the woods, I prefer terrain with good visibility and runnability despite growing up in the Pacific Northwest.

What is your training focus this year?  I started working with a new running coach last fall, so one goal is to focus on physical fitness this year, both getting in faster sections in runs several times a week as well as increasing the mileage. I started out 2018 with a bunch of training runs in karst terrain in Slovenia.

Evalin Brautigam 

Home: Bethel, Connecticut
Year of birth: 1996
Occupation: Student
Club: Western Connecticut Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2014-16; WUOC 2016; WOC 2017

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  Events that I have been to that were special to me were competitions I went to while I was in France. I got the chance to run for a club there and compete in the French Relay Champs which was really fun. Being in Europe also gave me the chance to go to Portugal O' Meeting and I absolutely loved it. The terrain was so different than anything I am used to here and I would like to go to that event more in the future.

What terrain suits you the best?  I think the open terrain in Portugal and the southern parts of France is what suits me pretty well because I felt like I could navigate a lot better. It was open but still detailed and I was able to have some good races.

What is your training focus this year?  My training focus this year is to learn to motivate myself and train on my own because I will no longer have a team to practice with the way I have the past years during the school year. It is already something I have to work on because I am unable to practice with my team due to class scheduling. I want to be able to have the drive and focus to improve and stay in shape while figuring out what it is I'll be doing post-graduation.

Alison Campbell

Home: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / 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, 2017


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. 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.

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.

What is you’re training focus this year?  I have decided to take a two-year build up for WOC and so goal is WOC 2019!  Everything is focused on placing well in the first new forest WOC. So the focus is on WRE events up until then such as the JK/NAOC/WC in Norway. We will see how a longer training build up helps me out.

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

Home: Renton, Washington
Year of birth: 1998
Occupation: Student
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: NAOC 2016, JWOC 2015-17, WOC 2017


What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  My first JWOC in Norway, 2015, was very special to me. I had only started taking orienteering seriously a year and a half before that JWOC, so it felt like a bit of a whirlwind leading up to it, but once in Norway everything fell into place. Becoming close with my teammates, meeting athletes from other countries, and developing my orienteering skills on that first international trip created many memories.

What is your training focus this year?  My training focus this year is on consistency, with orienteering training as well as physical training. One of the mantras of the Junior National Team is, "It starts at home." I find this simple phrase very empowering because it serves as a reminder that greatness can be achieved here in the U.S.,  if only the effort is put forth.


Sydney Fisher

Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Year of birth: 1991
Occupation: Chemical engineer
Club: Southern Michigan O Club, Western Pennsylvania O Club
International experience: 2017 New Zealand O' Champs


How/when did you start orienteering?  I started orienteering in the spring of 2015. My husband saw a flyer for an introduction to adventure racing seminar at REI and thought it looked interesting. He dragged me along and after listening to the presentation we thought it sounded awesome. We started attending local orienteering meets (hosted by SMOC) to practice navigating for adventure racing and immediately I was hooked!

What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful?  I have increased the amount of time I spend in the woods. I aim to get out orienteering once a week. In general, I have focused on improving my running fitness. I have been training for multi-sport races over the past few years and I recently shifted my training to primarily running so I can focus more on orienteering.

What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  Last year I attended the New Zealand Orienteering Championships while on vacation. It was a great experience and I loved the unique terrain. I’m looking forward to further expanding my international orienteering experience!


Amanda Johansson 

Home: Karlskrona, Sweden
Year of birth: 1996
Occupation: Student, Biotechnical engineering
Club: OK Orion (Sweden)
International experience: JWOC 2015 and 2016


What event/s have you been to that were really special for you?  My last JWOC in Switzerland 2016 was very special to me. I had trained hard and came well prepared to the competitions, but then realized it was really difficult to perform under that kind of pressure! In the middle quali I could finally put all the pieces together and had a fast, relatively clean race. It was great to see that on a good day I could be up there competing with the best. But the best thing with JWOC 2016 was definitely to see the whole American team consistently performing on a very high level, and of course all the fun we had together! Both as a team and with all the awesome people we met ;)

What terrain suits you the best?  I prefer forests like the ones I grew up in on the south-east coast of Sweden:  flat, fast, and difficult.

What is your training focus this year?  My focus for 2018 is WUOC, and especially the middle distance which is going to be flat, fast and difficult!


Men

Greg Ahlswede

Home: Philadelphia, PA
Year of birth: 1990
Occupation: Junior Development Coach, Translator
Club: Delaware Valley Orienteering Association, Escondite
International experience: JWOC 2009-10; World Cup Spain 2014, Finland 2017; WOC 2015, 2017
 


What changes to your training have you made over the past year to make you more successful?  I've significantly increased the volume of technical training I perform weekly. However, it's not been focused solely on increasing the volume but also on giving each session a specific goal. These goals are based on my errors determined in the error analysis I carry out after every race and training session.

What is your training focus this year?  I have two: learn to navigate accurately through thick green and perfect my visionary map contact.

What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?  Your primary goal, before any competitive ambitions, should be to enjoy the sport at all times. There are a lot of dark points on the path to the top; enjoying the sport can provide the motivation you need to keep coming back for more.

Giacomo Barbone

Home: Munich, Germany
Year of birth: 1991
Occupation: PhD Student
Clubs: Cambridge Sports Union; O'Jura (France); Agrosso (Italy)
International experience: JWOC 2011; WUOC 2014 and '16; WOC 2012, 2014-17

 

What is the best part of being part of the National Team?  Representing the United States at international events gives me the extra motivation I need to get out and train at night after work on cold rainy days, to embrace a healthy lifestyle and to prioritize my training year-round. Being on the National Team also makes me part of a special community of like-minded athletes with common goals, a community to which I can turn to for advice, help and great company too.

What is your training focus this year?  After years training to run both in and out of the forest, I decided to focus mainly on individual Sprint events in 2018. I am thus devoting more time to prepare the physical aspect of my performances, I will run several 3-5k-type cross-country and road races, and will be attending as many Sprint WRE events as I can fit in my calendar.


Eric Bone

Home: Seattle, Washington
Year of birth: 1974
Occupation: Owner, MerGeo
Club: Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 1994; WMOC 2016; World Games 2013; WOC 1995, '97, '99, '01, '03, '05-'10, '12-17
 

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.


William Enger

Home: Seattle, Washington
Year of birth: 1986
Occupation: Sales (Fluid Power)
Club: Sammamish (SAMM) / Cascade Orienteering Club
International experience: JWOC 2005, WOC 2016


What event/s have you been to that were really special for you? Two highlights of 2014 were relays—first, the U.S. Relay Champs, where I contributed to Cascade's first-ever victory in the elite/lowest-point category, after many years of trying; second, the NAOC sprint relay, where I helped my team (Alison, Erin, Tori, and myself) take second place, behind only one other American foursome and ahead of each Canadian team. I always enjoy the pomp and circumstance, as it were, of a relay, and find it much more fun and memorable to race as part of a team than merely for oneself; for whatever reason, I also seem to perform to the best of my ability in relays.

What is the best part of being part of the National Team? Though the team may be spread thin geographically, it's great to be a part of the cohesive whole, experience the team atmosphere, and have the spoken or unspoken connection, even with those team members you might not know well, of working with a group of intelligent, motivated people toward common goals.


Morten Jorgensen

Home: Kristiansand, Norway
Year of birth: 1995
Occupation: Student, Mechanical Engineering
Club: KOK (Kristiansand orienteringsklubb, NOR)
International experience: 10Mila and Jukola relays; O'R'ingen; JWOC 2015



What is your training focus this year?  Increasing my running speed by being consistent and avoiding long breaks caused by illness and injury.

What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?  To be patient and see the bigger picture. It is easy to lose motivation if ups and downs along the way break the morale.


Jordan Laughlin

Home: Watertown, New York (hometown: Palmer, Alaska)
Year of birth: 1989
Occupation: Officer in U.S. Army
Club: Central New York Orienteering
International experience: JWOC 2008; WUOC 2008, '10; O'ringen 2010; WOC 2011; various Swiss O Weeks and other events in and around Germany and Norway 2012-14


What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?   Hard work and dedication is the lead but not the only piece. You often must receive guidance and direction from others to assist you along the way.  Above all never lose the enjoyment and thrill of the race.

Anton Salmenkyla

Home: Helsinki, Finland
Year of birth: 1997
Occupation: Finnish military
Club: Cambridge Sports Union / Helsingin Suunnistajat (FIN)
International experience: Jukola 2012-2017; JWOC 2016, 2017

What event have you been to that was really special for you?  Jukola has always been such a special race for me. During the night with all the lights and so many other runners in the forest, the atmosphere is just magical.  I always get an adrenaline rush from the cold night air and it really keeps me going!

What is the best part of being part of the National Team?  Representing a club is like working everyday, doing what you love on a regular basis.  Representing a country, being in the National Team means so much more to me.  It's a pride you can only relate to if you have been in the National Team too.

Who is your "O" idol?  This is an easy one, Olli Ojanaho. I've raced with him since I was 10. Now that he is in my club, I can see him do his thing from close.  I'm trying to learn from him as much as possible but I've noticed we already have a lot of things in common.  Can't wait to race him and all the other elites this year!


updated 18 June 2018