The United States sent a talented team of orienteers to Sweden for the 2016 World Orienteering Championships. [The 2016 World Trail Orienteering Championships ran concurrently.] Race assignments, results and links to maps and photos are below.
Front row (l-r): Cristina Luis (team leader), Ross Smith, Will Enger, Giacomo Barbone, Eric Bone
Back row: Hillary Saeger, Samantha Saeger, Hannah Culberg, Alex Jospe, Kseniya Popova
Photo of Team USA 2016 by Ken Walker Jr
Alternates: Cristina Luis (TSN / Nydalens SK), Greg Ahlswede (DVOA / Escondite (Spain))
Saturday, August 20 — Opening Ceremony, Sprint Distance Qualification and Final
Sunday, August 21 — Mixed Sprint Relay (Samantha Saeger, Giacomo Barbone, Will Enger, Hillary Saeger)
Monday, August 22 — rest day
Tuesday, August 23 — Middle Distance
Wednesday, August 24 — rest day
Thursday, August 25 — Long Distance
Friday, August 26 — rest day
Saturday, August 27 — Relay
No US Team members qualified for the Sprint Finals but there were some very good runs by our athletes. Alex Jospe, 18th place in her heat, was only 15 seconds away from qualification!
Team USA finished in 24th place, improving on their previous 26th place finishes the past two years (2014 was the first year for the mixed sprint relay event at WOC). Samantha tagged off in 16th place out of 31 starting teams! Giacomo, Will (in his first WOC), and Hillary all ran great legs as well, despite losing a few places to stronger runners on subsequent legs. [Canada's team of Emily Kemp, Will Critchley, Damian Konotopetz, and Emma Waddington ran the sprint in 59:43 to USA's 64:10, finishing 19th.]
1. Denmark (C. Klysner, T. Lassen, S. Bobach, M. Alm), 52:35
2. Switzerland (R. Friederich, F. Howald, M. Hubmann, J. Wyder), 52:51
3. Sweden (L. Strand, G. Bergman, J. Leandersson, H. Jansson), 53:36
24. USA (S. Saeger, G. Barbone, W. Enger, H. Saeger), 64:10
Ross Smith, Samantha Saeger, and Kseniya Popova represented Team USA in the Middle Race held in Tanum. Ross finished in 62nd place; Sam in 46th and Kseniya in 55th.
Men — 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI), 37:09; 2. Olav Lundanes (NOR), 37:23; 3. Daniel Hubmann (SUI), 37:32; 4. Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA), 37:44 ... 61. Eric Kemp (CAN), 52:32; 62. Ross Smith (USA), 52:57.
Women — 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 33:57; 2. Heidi Bagstevold (NOR), 34:32; 3. Natalia Gemperle (RUS), 34:35; 4. Emily Kemp (CAN), 34:50 ... 46. Samantha Saeger (USA), 45:03; 55. Kseniya Popova (USA), 53:48.
Samantha Saeger, Alex Jospe, and Eric Bone ran in the Long Distance race. Alex is looking forward to running the Relay on Saturday with Sam and Hannah. Eric will be joined in the Men's Relay by Ross and Will.
Women — 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 1:26:24; 2. Natalia Gemperle (RUS), 1:29:50; 3. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg (NOR), 1:28:25; 8. Emily Kemp (CAN), 1:34:54; 34. Louise Oram (CAN), 1:50:23; 41. Samantha Saeger (USA), 1:57:09; 56. Alex Jospe (USA), 2:32:46
Men — 1. Olav Lundanes (NOR), 1:33:27; 2. Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA), 1:35:13; 3. Daniel Hubmann (SUI), 1:35:32; 56. Eric Bone (USA), 2:16:48; 57. Damien Konotopetz (CAN), 2:16:58
The 2016 World Orienteering Champs wrapped up with the exciting forest relay. The men (Eric Bone, Ross Smith, Giacomo Barbone) came in 28th, the same placing as in 2015. The women (Samantha Saeger, Alex Jospe, Hannah Culberg) came in 22nd (vs. last year's 20th). Sam, who loves mass starts, had a stellar first leg and tagged off in 14th place. Will Enger was scheduled to run the anchor leg for Team USA in his first WOC but was ill and replaced by Giacomo.
Thanks to all of our athletes for representing the U.S., and to our supporters for cheering along! We hope you're looking forward to U.S. Classic Champs and North American Champs in September.