Sometimes on Attackpoint you see quotes like this --
you must run at 30-34 min/10K or 5-6 min/mile and be able to navigate
cleanly at the same time. Unfortunately, only two or three athletes in NA
are capable but not realizing their potential. And worth – none from juniors
is working toward these goals. Sad.
Being a student of semiotics, I know I could fall into a trap of
misinterpretation here, so I'll leave the interpretation to the role of
the reader and just try to throw out some positive words about our juniors.
I think the US has some very promising juniors now, (and not just one). I
there are at least two with A final WOC potential (or better) down the road,
and I think there is potential this year for improved JWOC results, forgetting
10 years down the line.
But speculative predictions seem a bit silly, especially when I don't know all
that much to start with. But one thing I do know from talking to these kids
is that they have "the shine", and they are working hard towards, if
not the specific goals mentioned above, goals in the right direction. How do
I know -- because I talk to them about their training and racing, and watch
them race. I think they are doing or planning to do the things they think they
need to do to get to the world level, and I think they work hard at it. I, for
one, will be watching as a fan, and I think they'll be successful.
I raced with a couple kids from the south in the team fundraiser relay. We
were about 4 minutes behind a team of all team members, in fourth place, and I
lost some 2-3 minutes to Eddie (who was on that team) on our common leg. These
kids did really well, and they're not just fast, they know what they are
I'll bet it is easier to get good at orienteering in the northeast rather than
the south, but these kids are doing what they can, traveling to A meets, 5 hour
drives to B meets, Europe. I was trying to do some coaching, and these kids
already had much of the knowledge of what I was saying. My sense is that many
of our kids do have the heart, will, and talent to get to the next level, but
the geography and O infrastructure of the US is a tough natural handicap.
And there are other kids I'm thinking of whom I ran with at a recent training
camp. These kids are fast in the forest and have well-developed rough
a little polish into and out of the flag would go a long way.
I'm optimistic about many of these kids, and think we need to encourage them
as much as possible. But from what I've seen, they are already pretty
self-motivated and are working very hard.