Canadian dominance at the North American Orienteering Championships

Posted on | September 26, 2016 | Category: News

Three individual wins for Emily Kemp and two for Damian Konotopetz led Canada to a convincing victory in the competition between the USA and Canada at the North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC). On the other hand, the USA was best in the juniors.

After good results at WOC, Emily Kemp had a successful homecoming to North America taking part in the NAOC held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She led Canada to a convincing victory in the competition between the USA and Canada called the Björn Kjellström Cup. Emily Kemp won all three individual distance competitions, Middle, Long and Sprint, and brought the Canadian Sprint Relay team home to victory in a very close battle with the US team.

The start of the Sprint Relay. Photo: David Yee

Emily’s were not the only good Canadian results. Others include, most notably, Damian Konotopetz, who won North American Champion titles in both Middle and Sprint among the men, and added a bronze in the Long distance. Canadian men also took the first three North American places in the Middle distance race. In the women’s class, Louise Oram was runner-up to Emily Kemp in both the Middle and the Long competitions.

Probably the best US senior result of the weekend was for Greg Ahlswede who took the North American Long distance gold medal.

The results mean that Emily Kemp (Long and Middle), Damian Konotopetz (Middle) and Greg Ahlswede (Long)  gain personal starting places in the respective competitions at WOC 2017 in Estonia.


Opposite for the juniors

Whilst Canada dominated the Elite classes, the USA was equally successful in the competitions between the juniors from the USA and Canada. The USA won the Future Champions Cup, which can be equaled to the Björn Kjellström Cup, but for juniors.

Success for the USA in F-20. Evalin Brautigam (left) with gold in Middle and bronze in Long, and Isabel Bryant (right) with gold in Long and silver in Middle. Photo: David Yee

Anton Salmenkyla (USA) won both the Sprint and Long distance competitions in M20. Among the junior women, the US team showed a strong breadth of runners with Tyra Christopherson, Evalin Brautigam and Isabel Bryant in W20, and Sarah Petersen, Caroline Sandbo and Margaret Bowerman in W18, all winning North American titles.

The Canadian juniors were not absent at the podium though. Noah Michelsen made a clean sweep of the M18 titles and Robert Graham won the M20 Middle distance gold.


Best race of the season

Thierry Gueorgiou at the NAOC Long distance. Photo: David Yee

The event held a very high technical standard, and particularly the terrain and the maps were world class. The long distance competition was especially demanding both physically and technically and got very good reviews from the competitors.

The NAOC had one name which stood out in the start list: Thierry Gueorgiou took part in the event. He won the WRE competitions in connection with both the Middle and Long distance races and in the Sprint WRE he placed third. Thierry Gueorgiou supports the praise of the event:

– It was the most ecstatic run of my season, and for sure one of the best terrain I have ever visited. When I turned my map over at the start, I just couldn’t stop smiling, he writes about the long distance at his public training log.

Results from both Middle, Long and Sprint can be found here.

Maps and among others the routes of Thierry Gueorgiou and can be found here.

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