BALTIMORE-- Orienteering USA, in conjunction with Axis Gear, Johnson Outdoors and Scarborough Orienteering, recently announced the inaugural Orienteering USA Competitive Awards. These awards recognize competitive excellence in American orienteering for 2010. Orienteering is a sport in wilderness navigation where an individual uses a map and compass to complete a course in the shortest time.
"We applaud these men and women for their performance in the woods," said Orienteering USA Vice President Peter Goodwin. "They represent the best in our country and our sport."
Awards were given in four categories: Orienteer of the Year, Junior Orienteer of the Year, Comet of the Year (most improved) and Orienteering Team of the Year.
Samantha Saeger (New England Orienteering Club - Newton Highlands, Mass.) was named Orienteer of the Year. Saeger was recognized for her top results in national and international events.
Hannah Burgess (United States Military Academy Orienteering Club - Pittsburgh, Pa.) was named Junior Orienteer of the Year. Burgess had a strong season capped by a team best performance in the sprint classification at this year's Junior World Orienteering Championships.
The Comet of the Year award was presented to the most improved orienteer, Allison Crocker (Cambridge Sporting Union - Amherst, Mass.). Crocker burst on the national and international scene this year with her performances in both foot and ski orienteering. These results have secured her places on two national teams.
Jordan Laughlin (United States Military Academy Orienteering Club - Palmer, Alaska) received Honorable Mention. A first-year M21 runner, Laughlin had a true breakout season in the fall of 2010 and is the seventh ranked man in the U.S.
The Orienteering Team of the Year Award was awarded to Team USA, winners of the 2010 North American Orienteering Championships. This marked the U.S.A.'s victory in this competition in 20 years. The team was comprised of: Eric Bone (Cascade Orienteering Club - Seattle, Wash.), Alison Crocker, Boris Granovskiy (Cambridge Sporting Union, New Haven, Conn.), Jonas Kjall (Bay Area Orienteering Club - Berkeley, Calif.), Kat Orekhova (Cambridge Sporting Union - New Haven, Conn.), Angelica Riley (Delaware Valley Orienteering Association - Wayne, Pa.), Samantha Saeger, Ross Smith (Cambridge Sporting Union - Newtown Highlands, Mass.) and Sandra Zurcher (Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club - Neuchatel, Switzerland).
Honorable mention in the Team of the Year category was the team of Gregory Balter (Delaware Valley Orienteering Association - Kew, N.Y.) and Vadim Masalkov (Delaware Valley Orienteering Association - Parlin, N.J.).
Each award winner will receive a prize package including a gift certificate from Axis Gear, a Northstar CW3 digital compass and watch from Tech4o, a brand of Johnson Outdoors, and a commemorative plaque from Scarborough Orienteering. In addition individual category winners each receive a $500 travel grant donated by the friends of Team USA.
ABOUT ORIENTEERING USA: Orienteering USA is the national governing body of the sport of orienteering, a sport with 50,000 participants nationwide. For more information on Orienteering USA visit www.orienteeringusa.org
ABOUT AXIS GEAR: For more information on Axis Gear, a brand of Johnson Outdoors, visit www.axisgear.ca
ABOUT TECH4o: For more information on Tech4o, visit www.tech4o.com
ABOUT SCARBOROUGH ORIENTEERING: For more information on Scarborough Orienteering, visit www.orienteer.com