U.S. Orienteers at 2018 World Masters

The 2018 World Masters Orienteering Championships (WMOC 2018) took place July 6-13 in and around Copenhagen on the island of Zealand in Denmark.

We were very happy with the organization, details, and courses at all venues. After traffic backups on the highway to the small dirt road leading into Tisvilde Hegn for the forest qualifiers, the organizers devised a new entry plan into the park for the Middle Final using multiple dirt road accesses, and communicated it to the attendees via email and on their website. Vending at the events (except for the Sprint Final where space was limited and other city dining options were close by), went beyond the typical orienteering supplies to include full luncheon opportunities in a single tent as workers prepared typical Danish open sandwiches, sausages, sandwiches, and other options.


Qualifiers were held in DTU Science Park, a mixed campus and park setting near Hørscholm north of Copenhagen. U.S. competitors who qualified for the A finals in the sprint were: Francois Leonard (M45), Sergey Velichko and Tom Hollowell (M55), Jeff Saeger (M65), Chuck Spalding (M70), Samantha Saeger and Cristina Luis (W35), Antonina Kuzmis and Marie Jose Parayre (W40), Janet Tryson (W65), and Sharon Crawford and Nancy Neuburger (W70).

The Sprint, held around Christiansborg Palace in central Copenhagen, saw Samantha Saeger, W35—starting from a second-place position based on qualification—tied for the Gold medal! Sharon was pushed out of 5th place in her W70 category by one second.

Middle and Long

One forest qualifier was used to determine seeding for the Middle and Long Finals this year, as the Middle race was newly added to the program. There was some discussion among competitors about the seeding methodology for the Long, based partly on the Middle race performances, which may be revisited and/or refined in future years. The Forest Qualifiers were held at Tisvilde Hegn in northern Zealand near the coast. Middle Finals were in the southwestern portion of the Tisvilde Hegn preserve, with some of the longer courses approaching the high dunes close to the shore. Long Finals were held in Gribskov, a forest preserve to the east of Tisvilde Hegn with similar topography but slightly thicker woodland areas and more marshes.

In the Middle Final, Sharon Crawford earned a Silver medal and another piece of history. No other U.S. medals were achieved in the Long Final.

Gregory Balter, Samantha Saeger, and Sharon Crawford are the only U.S. runners who made all three A Finals in the three disciplines.


The following athletes represented the United States in age groups from 35+ to 70+

Final - Place
Final - Place
Final - Place


Maricel OlaruM40Chicago Orienteering ClubB - 19A - 32A - 23
Yves NagerM40Rocky Mountain O Club B - 17 
Francois LeonardM45Bay Area Orienteering ClubA - 46B - 61B - 23
Vladimir GusiatnikovM45Orienteering CincinnatiB - 27A - 65B - 7
Jeremy ColganM45Hudson Valley OrienteeringB - 51B - 63B - 46
Sergiy GnatioukM50Hudson Valley Orienteering C - 9 
Sergey VelichkoM55City of Trees O ClubA - 22A - 62B - 30
Tom HollowellM55OK TyrA - 42B - 14A - 48
Gregory BalterM55Delaware Valley Orienteering AsnA - 47A - 47A - 26
JP LandeM55Rocky Mountain OClubB - 6B - 72C - 35
Tapio KarrasM55Bay Area Orienteering ClubB - 34C - 19C - 13
Stefan SlutskyM55Hudson Valley OrienteeringB - 55C - 38C - 9
Ben HartM55Orienteering CincinnatiB - 68D - 2C - 37
Kim JepsenM55Quantico Orienteering Club C - 49C - 62
Jim HodgeM60Rocky Mountain O ClubC - 36D - 71D - 49
Jeff SaegerM65New England Orienteering ClubA - 56A - 66B - 2
Glen TrysonM65Empire Orienteering ClubB - 29B - 8A - 72
Sverre FroyenM65Rocky Mountain O ClubB - 42C - 59C - 63
Tom NolanM65Quantico Orienteering ClubB - 74C - 47C - 32
Charlie ShahbazianM65Chicago Area Orienteering ClubD - 7C - 70D - 3
Chuck SpaldingM70Bay Area Orienteering ClubA - 62B - 43B - 76
Dave CadyM70Buffalo Orienteering ClubB - 6B - 79C - 36
Richard NeuburgerM70Possum Trot Orienteering ClubD - 49E - 28E - 35
Richard GaylordM70Chicago Area Orienteering ClubE - 37E - 41E - 39


Samantha SaegerW35OK LinneA - 1 TA - 8A - 5
Cristina LuisW35Nydalens SKA - 12A - 25B - 2
Antonina KuzmisW40Chicago Area Orienteering ClubA - 33B - 5A - 32
Marie-Josee ParayreW40Bay Area Orienteering ClubA - 41A - 41B - 21
Stephanie RossW45Orienteering CincinnatiB - 20B - 32B - 17
B Brooke MannW45Rocky Mountain O ClubB - 26B - 38B - 16
Anne JepsenW50Quantico Orienteering Club C - 3B - 51
Olga KraghtW50Bay Area Orienteering ClubB - 79MPC - 10
Dorina NimigeanW60New England Orienteering ClubC - 35C - 26C - 18
Janet TrysonW65Empire Orienteering ClubA - 43B - 46B - 38
Judy KarpinskiW65New England Orienteering ClubB - 60C - 39C - 12
Sharon CrawfordW70Rocky Mountain OCA - 6A - 2A - 7
Nancy NeuburgerW70Possum Trot Orienteering ClubA - 42C - 16C - 31

At the event, running for their "home" countries were Takahashi Sugiyama (JPN, of BAOC) and Natalia Deconescu (RUM, of CAOC). Also seen was Tatiana Svistun of Russia, formerly with Houston O Club.

posted 15 July 2018