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University of California

Date: (Sat.) Feb. 27, 2016
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Director: - 510.407.1876
Course Setter: Holly Gaston
Type: C; Beginner/Novice, Sprint, and Middle-distance courses on the beautiful Cal Campus; COOL event #4

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U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint

The UC Berkeley event was put on the calendar to give everyone an opportunity to practice a campus sprint in preparation for the U.S. Sprint Championship to be held at Mills College on March 20. Now we are offering, in addition, a special opportunity to participate in a more competitive Sprint as part of the Berkeley event. We're calling this the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint. Participation is strictly voluntary. If you just want to run the regular sprint (essentially the same course), you can certainly do that. But if you want to run in the U.S. Champs Prelim Sprint, you must tell by 7:00 PM this Thursday, February 25. You do not have to be an elite sprinter to participate; all are welcome to this high-stakes, high-reward event.

Note that this event is on Saturday, not our usual Sunday.


Unless you are already a UCB student or staff member, you may not go on the UCB campus between now and Saturday. More importantly, no one who is participating in the Prelim Sprint may look at any orienteering map of UC Berkeley. (Exception granted only if your initials are MS, and your job this week is to update the map to take into account the latest construction.)

Start times

Start times will be pre-assigned. The first start will be around 10:45, with a 30-second start interval. Entrants will be seeded in such way as to foster a competitive environment.

Note: Well before your start time, please register (and pay your fees), check in at the E-punch table, and clear and check your E-stick.

Here is the Start List for the event (possibly subject to minor changes at the event):

    Entrant               Start Time
    Matej Šebo             10:52:00  
    François Léonard       10:52:30
    Tapio Karras           10:53:00
    Janne Peltola          10:53:30
    Tori Borish            10:54:00
    Anastasiya Gordeeva    10:54:30
    Aron Walker            10:55:00
    Julia Doubson          10:55:30
    Carlo Giacometti       10:56:00
    Steve Gregg            10:56:30
    Marie-Josée Parayre    10:57:00
    Chuck Spalding         10:57:30
    Daniel Šebo            10:58:00
    Gavin Wyatt-Mair       10:58:30
    Lori Huberman          10:59:00
    Johanna Karras         10:59:30
    Katie Petersen         11:00:00
    Steve Haas             11:00:30
    Sarah Petersen         11:01:00
    Jay Hann               11:01:30
    Hope Fa-Kaji           11:02:00
    Gemma Fa-Kaji          11:02:30


Maps will be customized. Do not blindly follow other competitors, as they might not be headed where you need to go. Check control codes carefully, as there will be controls on similar features placed close together.

Start Procedure

You must report to the start at least 2 minutes prior to your assigned start time. Line up in the order of start time. At 1 minute before your start time, you will receive a map face down in a map case; also in that map case, face-up, will be a control-description sheet that matches your particular map. You will have 1 minute to place that control description sheet in your holder. When your start time is called out, you must punch the Start unit promptly, at which point you are free to turn over your map and begin navigating. Do not turn over your map prior to punching the Start unit.


The Award Ceremony will take place promptly at 1:00 PM. Awards will be given to the first three males and first three females in each of the following age categories:

Youth: age 20 or less
Open: age 21 through 39
Masters: age 40 through 59
Veterans: age 60 through 72
SuperVets: age 73 and above

Note: "Age" is your "orienteering age"​—​that is, 2016 minus your birth year.

The prizes will be:


Again, if you wish to participate, you must tell by 7:00 PM this Thursday.

If you wish to run the Sprint, but not participate in this special Prelim Sprint, you may start anytime between 10:00 and 10:30, and also anytime from after the last Prelim Sprint start until 12:30. No regular Sprint starts will be allowed from 10:30 to 10:45 (in order to clear the course), or during the window of U.S. Champs Prelim starts.



Excitement and tension filled the air as the competitors lined up in the quarantine area, and then the rapid-fire, 30-second start interval began. Berkeley student Matej Šebo stayed in front all the way from his top-seeded spot, but there was lots of shuffling of places behind him. Tori Borish moved up three places from her seeded slot to nab second overall. Women rocked, as Marie-Josée Parayre and Lori Huberman also moved up three places, and Julia Dobson moved up two.

Here's a cool way to see how the race unfolded:

  1. Go to the WinSplits page for the race (
  2. Click on the check boxes "start times" and "real times" at the bottom.
  3. Then click the OK button.
  4. Click on the header of the "Start time" column. Now you've got everyone lined up in their order of start.
  5. Then leg by leg, click on the word "real" at the top of the column, and you'll see how the places shifted around during the race.

Very challenging, technical course set by Holly Gaston​—​great job, Holly!

Due to a magnanimous anonymous donor, all 22 starters were awarded each of the three prizes. A good time was had by all (well, OK, a couple of people didn't look so happy afterwards, but there's always next time, fellas!).

Many thanks to Vicki Woolworth for all the labor she put into this event, and for setting things up in the morning. And to all the folks who did all the tasks necessary to make an orienteering meet happen. Messers Shirm and Wildfogel handled the frenetic start, and later treated themselves to a very fine South Indian buffet.