U.S. World University Team: Member Bios

The U.S. Team to WUOC 2012

Follow the University Team as they compete in the World University Orienteering Championships (WUOC) in Alicante, Spain from 30 June to 7 July, 2012.


Alison Campbell, Delaware Valley Orienteering Association

School:  Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
What is your training routine? I do about 3-4 hours of running/orienteering a week. Generally, I try to have one be a “speed” session and two orienteering. Then fill out the rest of the week with cycling and strength training.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? My advice would be get on as many maps as possible and as different as possible. Also make sure you have a strong physical fitness base. Then it is all about consistency and process!
Goals for WUOC 2012: I’m going to make sure that I have clear plans for every leg, follow the processes I have been working on, and aim for solid runs. With that I should do well, but not focusing on placing this year. It’s all about the process!

McKenzie Hudgins, United States Military Academy Orienteering Club

School: US Military Academy, West Point, New York
What is your training routine? I practice with my team five days a week. Mondays are long runs, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are woods practices, Thursdays intervals, and Fridays are always a mix up.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? Do what you love and work hard at it.  It’s not always about being THE best, it’s about doing YOUR best and knowing that, in the end, that’s the important thing.  I’m never satisfied unless I know I did everything to prepare and could not have done any better… that’s winning for me.
Goals for WUOC 2012: Do everything I can to prepare and go all in.  This competition will be the biggest I’ve ever been to which is really intimidating. Having the confidence to go in knowing I’m a true competitor and leaving with the satisfaction that I did my best is what I really want from this.  Also, this should be a great experience so I want to get everything out of this trip that I can.


Keith Andersen, United States Military Academy Orienteering Club, West Point, NY

What is your training routine? West Point is strategically located on and near an abundance of ISOM standard mapped land.  We really have it good.  Our team has a training schedule that gets us in the woods and on a map twice a week, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Monday is cardio endurance, thus we are typically doing a long run, sometimes in the woods and sometimes up hills.  Thursday is our interval day.  The weekends are spent tending to all of the other demands of cadet life if not traveling to and running orienteering meets.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? Find enjoyment in what you are doing, so that the energy you put into your training only inspires you to continue improving.
Goals for WUOC 2012: At the last WUOC, I really enjoyed competing on the challenging courses. At that time, I had only run two blue courses so adjusting to the distance and level of difficulty was challenging.  As a result, I had two large errors on the long course which put me near last place. My goal is to keep my error times to a minimum by following the one hunch rule (only one “let me just check that cliff to see if I can figure out where I am” per leg).  If I can keep my concentration up and have a plan for each leg, my times will reflect it.

Charles Whitaker, US Military Academy, West Point, NY

What is your training routine? Although I have grown up in the woods throughout California, this is only my second year of orienteering. At the academy, our typical training routine is a mixture of workouts in preparation for orienteering and life in the army.  However, my favorite training occurs when my team conducts races against each other through the woods on a practice course. On these days I find it most beneficial to analyze and discuss different route choices and difficulties present for each point immediately after running that particular route. It’s always beneficial to discuss a course after completing it, but I find better analysis through the immediate debate of route choice while still in the woods.

John Hensley Williams, U.S. Military Academy Orienteering ClubJohn Hensley Williams, United States Military Academy Orienteering Club, West Point, NY

What is your training routine? Four days a week I take to the roads or forests to practice for 90 minutes or so. As I have become more familiar with the West Point terrain and maps I've begun to increase the speed of my navigation. I have also placed an increasing focus on the intensity of my forest sprint and hill ascension exercises.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? Get out there and Orienteer! The greatest aspect that I love about orienteering is its variability throughout the country and the world. To get better, experience is needed in those various terrains. Go out there, orienteer, and make mistakes, new and old, across those various terrains, but reflect on your mistakes and improve on them so that the next time you orienteer on that new map you know what works best for you.
Goals for WUOC 2012: WUOC 2012 is my first University competition, and as such I don't know entirely what to expect from the competition as a whole. I do know, though, that I want to speak with as many people as I can about their races, their routes, and why they chose the routes they did. On top of that, top 75 on the long wouldn't be so bad. ;)

Team Leader: Keith Andersen, U.S. Military Academy Orienteering Club