Military athletes compete at Orienteering Championship

By Victoria Campbell Armed Forces Sports

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Eight military athletes competed in the 2016 U.S. Individual Orienteering Championship in Pleasanton, CA from 18-21 March. 

In the women’s elite competition, Army 1st Lt. Hannah Culberg won Gold in the Middle and the Long distance competitions, and Silver in the sprint. Culberg’s dominating performance on the 8.3 km Long was 14 minutes ahead of the next female competitor. 

Army Lt. Col. Victoria Campbell took Bronze in the Middle and the Long, missing a third medal in the sprint by 13 seconds. 

Air Force Lt. Col. Maiya Anderson was the F40+ Gold medalist for the sprint and Silver medalist for the Middle and Long.  

On the men’s side, Army Capt. Jordan Laughlin won Silver in the sprint and Bronze in both Middle and Long distance races.

Other notable performances included Army Capt. Kevin Culberg (5th American on the Middle and the Long), Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Campbell (8th American on the Middle), Air Force 1st Lt. Zach Hoeffner (12th American on the Middle and the Sprint) and Army 1st Lt. Ted Fong (8th American on the Sprint).  

The terrain for Friday’s Middle distance courses at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve featured nuanced hilltops with intricate rock features, runnable forest and open fields, and patches of thicker vegetation. Courses involved multiple shorter legs with numerous direction changes and were unforgiving of mistakes.   

Winning course times were around 28-30 minutes for the elite classes. Saturday’s Long was on the same map, but included longer legs that emphasized route choice and maintaining map contact to find controls in some of the more complex terrain.   

Winning times were about 75-85 minutes for the elite classes. Sunday’s sprint was a fast-paced, direction-changing scramble across Mills College, featuring opportunities to get trapped by un-crossable walls, poorly-planned bridge crossings, strange building shapes, or out of bounds areas.   

Maps and competitor route choices are available at http://baoc.org/gadget/cgi/reitti.cgi

Complete results are available at http://baoc.org/wiki/Results/2016/Morgan_Territory