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Report from Biathlon Junior Nationals - Day 1

Mon, Jan  1, 2007 - By US Biathlon Team

Coleraine, MN, Dec. 29 – Snow has been hard to come by this season, but the Mt. Itasca Biathlon Club has done their magic once again in providing Nordic enthusiasts with some great skiing. A 2.5 kilometer loop of man-made snow was prepared to near perfection for the U.S. Biathlon Jr. World Championship Trials which started today. With snow falling steadily all morning conditions gradually toughened as 1-2” fell by race end. Athletes from around the country competed today in the Sprint Competition and the results didn’t have too many surprises at the top.

Brynden Manbeck of Grand Rapids, MN and Laura Spector of Hanover, NH are the top two returning females from last seasons’ Jr. National Team and today they finished 1-2 in the Jr. Women’s category. Manbeck finished with only one penalty to win the opening race and Spector recorded the fastest course time, but four penalties left her in 2nd place just 48 seconds behind. Meagan Toussaint of Madawaska, ME finished 3rd with 4 penalties.

Mark Johnson of Grand Rapids, MN won the Jr. Men’s competition recording one penalty in both his prone and standing stages. Finishing 2nd 1 minute 21 seconds back was Russell Currier of Stockholm, ME with five penalties and in 3rd place was Newt Rogers of Ft. Kent, ME.

The Youth Women’s race held some mystery as many of last year’s Jr. World Championship Team moved up into the Jr. Women’s category. Hilary McNamee of Ft. Fairfield, ME and Kalie Mix of Grand Rapids, MN were the only two returning members. McNamee was struck with food poisoning yesterday and didn’t race; Mix finished in 4th with five penalties. Addie Byrne of Bovey, MN won with just two penalties beating out Janna Widness of Anchorage, AK by 1 minute and 16 seconds. Widness had three penalties; Lindsey Wallis of Woodbury, MN finished in 3rd with five penalties.

In a sport where a break in focus can create a difference, Travis Man-Glow of Burlington, VT had only one miss in the prone position and was holding a 15 second lead over Jr. National Team member Wynn Roberts of Battle Lake, MN. Needing just two hits to secure his win Man-Glow quickly saw his lead slip away as he left the range with four penalties. Roberts was solid with three penalties winning by 36 seconds. Luke Busta of St. Cloud, MN was 3rd with three penalties.

Saturday will be the Pursuit Format Competition. Athletes will start in the order of finish from today’s Sprint Competition in 5 second interval starts.

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Gary Colliander Biathlon Coach