Union Democrat staff

Summerville High School graduate Katie Petersen will represent Team USA this summer on a six-person team at the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Finland.

Petersen in April was named to the 2017 JWOC team after the team trials in Michigan. This is the third year Petersen has tried out for the team and first time to qualify.

“Getting on the team after three years of training is such a great feeling,” said Petersen Thursday night while on Skype with her mother Janet. “This is an amazing experience and I am so happy that I have this opportunity, not only to represent the U.S. but to be able to travel, experience new cultures and make new friends.”

Orienteering is like a scavenger hunt but instead of searching for items, orienteers must navigate various terrain and find checkpoints using nothing but a map and compass. The more competitive athletes will run the course.

Katie, along with her twin sister Sarah Petersen, who was also named to the full eight-person JWOC team, have been orienteering since they were 2 years old, when parents Mark and Janet would take them to events in which they were competing.

Katie is a member of the Bay Area Orienteering Club and has already competed across the country and internationally, including in Switzerland and Sweden and, along with her sister, are already headed to Tampere, Finland for the championships on July 9-16.

They will train up until the competition.

After the event, Katie will travel to Hungary, the site of the 2018 championships, for a week of training on the terrain.

Outside of orienteering, Katie was a star tennis singles player for the Bears and was named first team All-Mother Lode League.

According to a press release, Orienteering USA is the national governing body of US orienteering.

Founded in 1971 and comprised of 60 local orienteering clubs, it reports over 50,000 orienteering entries are generated annually in the US, a result of almost 800 national and local meets.

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