Class of 2018 Cadets William Whitaker, George Grindley and Class of 2019 Cadet Samuel Jones traveled to Miskolc, Hungary to compete for Team USA at the World University Orienteering Championships from July 30-Aug. 4. Orienteering is a challenging sport which involves using a map and compass to race across terrain.Over 250 athletes from over 30 countries competed in the five-day competition, which included a sprint course, a long course, a sprint relay, a middle-distance course and a middle-distance relay. One of the courses was even held on different terraces of a castle in Miskolc.Although Team USA didn't place high, Grindley said that their experience in Hungary and interaction with Hungarian people was well worth the trip."One day when we were not scheduled to race, we took a train from the university in Miskolc to Budapest where we toured the city for the day. It was absolutely beautiful," Grindley said. "(At the competition,) we were warmly received by the staff of volunteers."Whitaker shared that sentiment."Every single Hungarian that we met was extremely generous and genuinely interested in learning about our culture and telling us about theirs," he noted.Whitaker mentioned that the Europeans were "exceptional at orienteering" and the sport is considered to be almost national-caliber. However, it is still getting its grounding in the US."In the United States, orienteering is a growing sport and it is hard to find competition that is at the same caliber as this event," Whitaker said.However, Team USA was able to grow closer as a team and become better through the experience."Throughout the entire competition, we formed a very tight knit team," Whitaker stated. "We served as each other's most valuable resource as we discussed our courses and analyzed our mistakes, so that we could avoid making the same ones the next day's course and develop good strategies for navigating the difficult terrain."In addition to forming bonds with his own teammates, Whitaker saw that he was also able to create new relationships with their opponents as well."There is nothing like competing with competitors from all over the world," Whitaker said. "It is a special feeling to line up at the start line against a competitor who doesn't speak the same language as you, in fact, (he or she) may have never met someone from your side of the world. However, at the moment, there is a connection that exists between (the both of) you."The cadets are looking forward to continue training and improving with the U.S. Military Academy Orienteering Club and hopefully travel and form friendships with other competitors along the way.