1980 North American Orienteering Champs review

From Orienteering USA, December 1980 (p. 28), written by Gene Wee

November 1-2, 1980

Canadians again garnered the top awards at the 5th Biennial North American O' Championships held Nov. 1-2, at the Brecksville Reservation near Cleveland, Ohio. Ted de St. Croix became the men's elite champion by beating fellow countryman Ron Lowry by nearly 3 minutes over the two-day meet. Megan Piercy was the women's North American Champ.

Top U.S. men's elite finisher was the newly acclaimed national champ, Eric Weyman (Hudson Valley Assoc./Ramapo OC).

NEOC's Sharon Crawford was only 1:40 down from Megan Piercy in the women's elite red course. Geoff Peck, Great Britain's top orienteer for years, ran a respectable 4th on the blue course.

In all 400+ people attended this meet hosted by the North East Ohio Orienteering Club ... their first Class A meet, and a successful one at that.

The Brecksville Reservation terrain was a ridge and valley system with very steep (but short) slopes and many narrow ridges, resulting in some slow times when coursesetters sometimes gave no options other than going up and down, up and down. Check the times in the results from one day to the other and you can quickly guess which was the tough day.

Pat Dunlavey's maps are a joy to run on and it's been often, as a majority of the class A meets this fall were fieldchecked and/or drafted by Pat. In every sense of the word, Pat has become a "pro" in O'cartography.

Peter Gagarin (New England OC), our long-time men's elite national champ, moved to the H35- category and handily claimed the North American title. His chances of making another national team to the World Championships next year are still as good as ever.

New Englanders and Canadians dominated the results. The season's sensation, Tom Hollowell (NEOC, after several years in Norway) won the H19-20 race in similar fashion as at the Cuivre River Nationals two weeks earlier. Likewise, teammate Hans Bengtsson copped two major titles winning the H43- category beating Larry Berman (Cambridge Sports Union) on day 2 at Brecksville. Berman, known for his furious come-from-behind day 2 charges, actually had the lead on day 1. One major error was enough to lower him in the standings as Hans had a near-perfect run.

The Silva Team Award is given to the top team from one of the two countries by combining the total times of the top two men's and women's elite finishers. Canada's de St. Croix, Lowry, Piercy and Susan Budge took the award over the combined efforts of Weyman, Steve Tarry, Crawford, and Heather Williams.

The weekend wasn't all "business" as a dinner and Goblin Gathering were held Saturday evening. The best-costume award easily went to St. Louis' Liz Sorensen who came as a walking 3-dimensional map with contour lines appropriate drawn all over her body and a control bag for a mask. Control points were also included on the map. Liz received a standing ovation the moment she walked into the dining hall.

In similar fashion as the Silva Team Award, St. Louis OC's Al Smith presented the "Prime of Life" award to the American team (top two in D35, H35, D43 and H43). The awards were bottles of after-dinner liqueurs.

Results (scanned from Orienteering USA, Dec 1980)