Sam had a whirlwind day today, qualifying for the final in the morning and then running the final in the evening. Her run was not perfect (a goof on the second control, losing about 45 seconds) but we are all excited for her 37th place finish.
This is a great time to note that this year marks an historic first - it's the first time Team USA has had finalists in each of the three individual disciplines. Sandra and Sam and rock stars!
Sam had another great run, finishing 14th in her heat and qualifying for the Sprint final later today. All you North American fans Have no excuse for missing out on the online coverage for an afternoon race. ;-)
Her she is, beaming after qualifying for the second time this WOC:
The World Championships in Hungary started today with the qualifier for the Middle distance. The top 15 in each of 3 heats qualified for the final, which will be on Wednesday. As usual, it was really hard to qualify, so lots of congratulations to Sandra Zürcher who finished 13th in her heat and will run in the final!
Summary of results --
Men A 1. Pavlo Ushkvarok UKR 26:40 2. Matthias Mueller SUI 27:01 3. Dmitry Mihalkin BLR 27:04 15. Wolfgang Siegert AUT 29:11 25. Eric Bone USA 32:27 29. Will Critchley CAN 36:41 38 starters
Men B 1. Matthias Merz SUI 25:47 2. Tero Fohr FIN 26:41 3. Ionut Zinca ROM 26:59 15. Jonas Gvildys LTU 29:45 21. Nick Duca CAN 32:01 30. Wyatt Riley USA 37:14 38 starters
Men C 1. Valentin Novikov RUS 26:12 2. Daniel Hubman SUI 27:07 3. Thierry Gueorgiou FRA 27:16 15. Yury Tambasov BLR 31:10 26. Mike Smith CAN 35:12 --- Eddie Bergeron USA mp 38 starters
Women A 1. Simone Niggli, SUI 26:46 2. Helena Jansson SWE 28:30 3. Merja Rantanen FIN 28:57 15. Ilina Shandurkova BUL 33:14 25. Viktoria Brautigam USA 41:29 29 starters
Women B 1. Anne Margrette Hausken NOR 27:02 2. Dana Brozkova CZE 28:05 3. Vroni Koenig-Salmi SUI 28:10 15. Karin Schmalfeld GER 34:37 21. Pavlina Brautigam USA 37:29 25. Louis Oram CAN 44:33 29 starters Women C 1. Lea Mueller SUI 28:16 2. Minna Kauppi FIN 29:14 3. Radka Brozkova CZE 29:58 13. Sandra Zürcher USA 36:09 15. Irina Maiorescu ROM 37:28 21. Carol Ross CAN 42:58 28 starters
Tomorrow is the Middle Qualifier, starting at 10am CET - that's 4am for those of you on the right coast, and 7am for those of you on the left coast. You can follow the online commentary at WorldofO, and get links to results, video, and (not free) gps tracking at the WOC 2009 site.
Today Cristina attempted to interview each of tomorrow's runners. She managed to catch them all, in one form or another, but a disastrous disk error has left her with just four "interviews": Sandra, Pavlina, Eddie, and Eric.
With the arrival of Viktoria and Pavlina this afternoon we are now a complete team. In fact, we are complete and really just fabulous in appearance. Best looking team at WOC? Quite possibly.
Today most of the team headed out to Olasz-kapu, on the far side of the Bükk National Park where much of the orienteering takes place for WOC. It was a long drive with some pretty narrow roads. Quite sporty, really. Some parts of the terrain were really great, some not so great, but I think everyone appreciated the fact that there were real controls in the woods. For less formal training we've had to look for little brown stakes in the ground - very hard to see.
Here're Ross and Eddie enjoying a laugh over their map today:
For dinner tonight we all stayed in and Eddie cooked up some verifiably yummy jambalaya. While all of the team apartments are right next to each other, we don't have any large common areas to gather in and eat, so we made do with the hallway:
Yesterday the first members of Team USA arrived in Hungary. Sam, Eric, and Cristina made it to Miskolc with only the slightest setback - Cristina's luggage didn't make it until the next day. We've settled into the nice accommodations at the University of Miskolc and are making ourselves at home. The weather is pleasant enough and we haven't had any trouble getting around - so far!
Today Sam, Eric, and Cristina went out for some training on middle/long qual relevant terrain, Kisfennsík, and got themselves a bit used to the terrain. Eric has been here before for a training camp, and though Sam ran in the Miskolc area for JWOC many years ago, the terrain was essentially new for both women. It was a good opportunity to get eyes and feet on the terrain and get used to the mapping.
Eric had to do a bit of shoe surgery before he could go run: Sam preps the maps: Ross, Clem, and Eddie arrived later today, some more jet lagged than others: