Thursday, May 7, 2009

A-Meet Update: Return to Boggs Mountain and US Team Trials

The 2oo9 US WOC Team and alternates

This past weekend was the US team trials in Santa Rosa and Cobb, CA. There were about 24 men and 10 women signed up to compete for the 5 spots on the WOC team. Team members arrived in Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa on Friday afternoon and were welcomed by a steady drizzle. Luckily the new Trimtex uniforms had arrived, brought over from Sweden by Kat Orekhova, and everyone was looking snazzy in the new blue warmup jackets. The sprint terrain was typical park terrain, with a network of trails and roads and point features such as picnic tables and boulders. Although it appeared to be a straight forward sprint, many competitors were tripped up by being able to run at high speed through the terrain. The last control in particular was tricky, as there was a white control further towards the finish line that was more visible than the correct last control. Many competitors, in their haste to reach that line, ran to the wrong last control. Both Viktoria Brautigam and Ross Smith (as the first starter!) crushed their competition by almost a minute in both cases. One result that stood out was from junior Holly Kuestner, who bested current team member Pavlina Brautigam by one second.

After the team trials sprints went out, the rest of the A-meet competitors got a chance to run the same courses. Some very impressive times were run by a strong foreign contingent. Below are the team trial results from Friday. For complete course results from the sprint check here:
Routes can be found at:

Sprint stars Viktoria Brautigam and Samantha Saeger, after the long distance

1 Viktoria Brautigam 14:13
2 Samantha Saeger 15:08
3 Cristina Luis 15:38
4 Holly Kuestner 15:41
5 Pavlina Brautigam 15:42
6 Corinne Porter 18:11
7 Ekaterina Orekhova 18:36
8 Angelica Riley 19:21
9 Karin Gookin Didisse 22:06
10 Sharon Crawford 25:30

1 Ross Smith 14:37
2 Eric Bone 15:21
3 Thomas Carr 15:30
4 Wyatt Riley 15:33
5 Nikolay Nachev 15:45
6 Boris Granovskiy 15:47
7 Eddie Bergeron 15:54
8 James Scarborough 15:59
9 Clem McGrath 16:16
10 Leif Anderson 16:33

The rainy weather following the sprint race encouraged people to disperse quickly, and everyone made their way up to Cobb, CA an hour drive on some scenic and seriously winding roads. For those brave souls willing to venture into the rain there was the option of checking out some model terrain for the rest of the weekend at the Boggs Mountain map.

Saturday began with more rain and lower than expected temperatures. Some people that had planned on camping over the weekend gave up in disgust and found drier accommodations. There was a 2 kilometer walk to the start for the advanced courses which gave runners adequate time to get soaking wet before running. The other courses started from the parking lot and were smugly able to sit in their cars before heading out.
The middle courses for the team trials had many changes of direction and a lot of short technical legs. There were a couple of longer legs towards the middle of the advanced courses that allowed runners to stretch their legs on the trails. Both courses had a long leg with about 20 contours of climb near the end of the race where different routes led to an almost 3 minute spread among the top men and women. The terrain was very steep and rocky in some areas. There was a downhill finish in view of the parking lot for those willing to stand in the cold rain and cheer. Most competitors finished and then quickly jumped in their cars with their heaters running. After leaving the site and taking a warm shower, many found their way to the small coffee shop in Cobb center, which team member Clem McGrath described as “funky.” The local businesses might have been a little overwhelmed by all the orienteers but rumor has it that they were expecting even more of us for the weekend. Somehow they heard that 2,000 athletes would be racing!

Here are the results from the team trials. Cristina Luis again ran a solid race and finished third, showing a marked improvement from last years team trials. See her routes, and others, here. Again, many other elite runners (in particular, Canadian Patrick Goeres and Norwegian Öystein Sörensen in the men's class) also posted some impressive times on these WRE middle courses which can be read here:

1 Samantha Saeger 45:45
2 Pavlina Brautigam 51:10
3 Cristina Luis 52:40
4 Viktoria Brautigam 58:08
5 Ekaterina Orekhova 59:48
6 Holly Kuestner 1:02:04
7 Angelica Riley 1:06:26
8 Corinne Porter 1:06:49
9 Sharon Crawford 1:11:57
10 Karin Gookin Didisse 1:30:10

1 Eric Bone 42:22
2 Boris Granovskiy 42:53
3 Nikolay Nachev 44:57
4 Wyatt Riley 45:08
5 Sergei Zhyk 45:27
6 Clem McGrath 45:46
7 Ross Smith 48:04
8 Eddie Bergeron 49:38
9 Gerald Yip 50:09
10 Jordan Laughlin 50:56

Eric Bone, Team Trials winner on the men's side

On Sunday it was time for the long distance race. As many stared out their window, or their tent flap, in the morning they were dismayed to see that it was still raining. Fortunately, the rain tapered off and had almost completely stopped by the time the first team trialers began. The woman’s race started off rough for many of the team trial competitors, as many had to relocate a few times in order to find the first control. Angelica Riley took a decisive and early lead as she calmly and swiftly navigated to the first control. The men’s and women’s courses had a mixture of shorter more technical legs with longer legs where route choice was important. Eddie Bergeron won the split on the longest leg by running all the way left on the trail. See his route, and others, at . As the sun began to peek through the clouds the first finishers arrived, still soaking wet and exhausted from the course that had more than the recommended 4% climb. Junior Jordan Laughlin had a stand out performance, finishing only 4 minutes behind the team trial winner, Eddie Bergeron. Yet again, many other competitors also posted speedy times on the WRE long courses and their times can be found here

1 Samantha Saeger 1:30:27
2 Corinne Porter 1:33:54
3 Cristina Luis 1:40:15
4 Viktoria Brautigam 1:42:15
5 Angelica Riley 1:43:23
6 Pavlina Brautigam 1:52:37
7 Holly Kuestner 2:01:53
8 Sharon Crawford 2:23:04

1 Eddie Bergeron 1:41:03
2 Clem McGrath 1:42:38
3 Eric Bone 1:43:36
4 Wyatt Riley 1:44:52
5 Jordan Laughlin 1:45:08
6 Sergei Zhyk 1:45:57
7 Leif Anderson 1:49:48
8 Nikolay Nachev 1:50:12
9 Ross Smith 1:51:06
10 Gregory Balter 1:56:13

The weekend ended with sun, watermelon, ice cream and an awards ceremony all provided by the thoughtful BAOC bloc. The US team and alternates for Hungary were announced by Peter Gagarin. The team makeup is similar to last year’s US team with the addition of first time team member Cristina Luis. Cristina surprised even herself with her racing this weekend. She wasn’t expecting to have two races that earned her 95 points and so she wasn’t sure if she would make the 270 point cut-off for sending a fifth athlete. Holly Kuestner had to catch a plane back to the east coast where she was needed to finish taking her final exams and so wasn’t present to hear that she was named the second alternate for the WOC team. Getting this recognition might have helped ease the pain of running into barb wire during the long run.

On the men’s side, Eric Bone again took top honors, showing his dominance in the arena. Boris Granovskiy has declined his spot on the team and therefore Sergei Zhyk will get a chance to represent the US this summer in Hungary. If he goes it will be his first WOC.

1 comment:

Janet said...

May I use the team picture on the USOF site? Who should I credit?

Who's the fellow between Eric and Sergei -- is that Nick? (Or Leif with shorter hair than last year!)

Janet T.