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USA Interscholastics Championships

Congratulations to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) orienteering team (O-team) for their strong showing at the 2024 Orienteering USA Junior Nationals, organized by the Cascade Orienteering Club at Columbia Gorge during the weekend of March 23rd and 24th. The team placed 4th in the Varsity competition and 7th in the junior varsity competition. 

Navigation Games helped start the CRLS O-team, which is a public high school in Cambridge, MA, in 2015. We continue to work with the team in organizing materials (e.g. map printing), helping run some practices and team building exercises, as well as provide general support to David Landrigan, the coach. We were excited to provide a grant to help defray David’s travel expenses to attend Nationals.

Interscholastic orienteering events are not prevalent in MA. Instead the team attends New England Orienteering Club events, during the spring and fall athletics season. The annual USA Junior Nationals is a unique event where the team is able to meet other high school competitors from around the country, experience high level competition, check out new orienteering terrain, and bond as a team.  

David reports that the team consisted of some seasoned orienteers and some first time National Ranking Event (NRE) and Junior National participants. In the varsity competition, the team captains, Graham Van Bever and Riley Bonnano ran well. Riley ran his first Green courses (at a NRE level!) to ensure that the team had enough participants for a varsity team. Zephyr Newman moved up the rankings with a solid second-day performance to place 5th on Sunday (and 9th overall). In the JV competition, Henry Frederick-Gray was on track to finish 1st in his category, but unfortunately was injured near the end of the course on Day 2. Zoey and Viktor (first time junior national participants) saw significant improvements from Saturday to Sunday. Congratulations to every participant, who pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to participate and compete over the weekend.

Navigation Games would like to acknowledge and thank Ellen van Bever and Nina Willard, two CRLS parents, who chaperoned and were involved in trip logistics. Ellen was involved in all aspects of the planning and running of the trip - applying for grants, arranging housing, all travel, communications and general logistics planning and support. A large thank you also to the Friends of Cambridge Athletics for its supporting grant and to Tom Arria (CPSD) Athletic Director, without whom there would be no Orienteering sports program at CRLS.

Orienteering is an ideal sport to offer at high schools - as with all athletics, it builds community and develops kids. In our experience, orienteering attracts students who are not your typical athlete. The sport gives students time in nature, and develops their map navigation and physical fitness, and instills habits of thinking that relate to goal-setting, identifying alternate routes to those goals, and persevering to recover from navigational errors - all relevant to other areas of life.

If you would like more information on setting up a high school athletics team, please contact us and we can work with you to build an orienteering program.

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