Friday, April 24, 2009

A-Meet Update: West Point

Samantha Saeger at the sprint

The most recent A-Meet on the US orienteering calendar was the West Point A-Meet, organized annually for thirty years now by the cadets of the United States Military Academy Orienteering Club in West Point, New York. Our guest reporter this week is the eminent Peter Gagarin.

This was advertised as the 30th year of A meets at West Point, and it was a most worthy celebration, though I must point out that I was at an A meet at West Point in 1975, before there were any orienteering maps there. We used the old 1:25,000 military map and I remember that at the time it seemed just fine. Orienteering was different then.

This was a noteworthy weekend for West Point, and for the USA team, for several reasons. The first was that it was the visit of our new coach, Mike Waddington from Hamilton, Ontario. He spent time training with Eddie Bergeron and Clem McGrath and spent time on Saturday afternoon talking to the JWOC team, and a lot of time over the weekend talking to individual Team members. There is an opportunity here — Mike (aka Hammer) has a wealth of experience and we’ll see if Team members can take advantage of it.

Second was the presence of USOF’s new Executive Director Glen Schorr. Glen sat in on part of the meeting of the team’s Executive Steering Committee (before hustling off to meet with the JWOC team) and it was clear that he has both a strong interest in our national teams, plus experience at USA Lacrosse in helping to make such a team a lot stronger and better funded. The vibes were very positive. Any feelings that one might have had that he would have no interest in our national teams should quickly be forgotten about.

Third was the fact that this was the Interscholastic Championships, and the weekend felt much more like you were at a European meet than one in the USA, because there were a lot more young people around, with all sorts of colorful uniforms and excitement. How do we get this to happen at every A meet?

Fourth was the use of what I think for most people were two entirely new venues, the area around Trophy Point for the sprint Saturday morning (the only time I’d been there before was for the opening ceremony for WOC-93), and then for the Middle on Saturday Afternoon the nearby area that includes the ski slopes, which I remember being used only once before at an A meet, perhaps 15 years ago. Sunday was based at Camp Buckner, using the terrain north and east of there, though it had been remapped in a much improved fashion. For each one of these venues the finish areas were out in the open, convenient, and full of excitement, not some remote area off in the forest. Each event was better for it.

Ross Smith at the sprint

And fifth was just the overall excellence of the organization. Under the leadership of Mike Hendricks and Jon and Viktoria Campbell, the cadets did a first-class job. Good courses, good logistics, good information, good karma. And they got the most important thing right too — good weather.

The results are here. I will just point out that among the Senior Team it seemed that Pavlina Brautigam had clearly been doing some training (husband Joe confirms that), that Ross Smith continues to make great progress (and will make a lot more if he can add a little mental discipline instead of just winging it from time to time), and Samantha Saeger ventured onto the M21 course on Sunday (only to find out that the distance wasn’t the problem, she too having been doing some serious training recently, but perhaps her skills at spiking controls needed a little improvement). Hammer is apparently already on the case.

Eddie Bergeron at the long distance


Sprint, 2.6km, 105m, 20c
1 Erik Nystrom WCOC 90 15:27
2 Nathaniel Lyons ROC 92 15:41
3 Ross Smith CSU 83 15:52

1 Emily Kemp OOC 92 18:55
2 Samantha Saeger NEOC 82 18:58
3 Katarina Smith Falcons 71 20:49

Men 4.9km, 175m, 15c
1 Ross Smith CSU 83 37:23
2 Erik Nystrom WCOC 90 38:54
3 Mike Waddington GHO 67 39:51

Women 4.2km, 155m, 13c
1 Pavlina Brautigam WCOC 61 47:36
2 Kseniya Popova HVO 86 47:44
3 Hillary Saeger NEOC 84 49:45

Men 10.4km, 435m, 22c
1 Hans Fransson GHO 72 81:27
2 Wil Smith Falcons 73 83:58
3 Eddie Bergeron SVO 69 86:14

Women 7.3km, 310m, 19c
1 Pavlina Brautigam WCOC 61 74:14
2 Hillary Saeger NEOC 84 81:23
3 Angelica Riley DVOA 70 82:51

Varsity High School Women
1 Alison Campbell DVOA 84:13
2 Taylor Daughtry La Porte High 95:46
3 Kelsey Breseman COC 98:26

Varsity High School Men
1 Huw Stradling COC 74:19
2 Nathaniel Lyons ROC 84:07
3 Dominick Hernandez HOC 96:37

1 Channelview Varsity
2 LaPorte High School
3 Inglemoor High School

Full Results are here.
RouteGadget Sprint
RouteGadget Middle
RouteGadget Long

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