Coleraine, MN. Junior and Youth biathletes from across the US converged at Mt. Itasca yesterday where the Junior and Youth World Championship Trials open today.
Over 60 competitors from six states including Minnesota, Maine, Alaska, Vermont, New York, and Colorado will vie for positions on the US Team that will compete in the Youth and Junior Biathlon World Championships in Ruhpolding, Germany at the end of January.
Three athletes have already earned positions based on their results from North American Cup competitions several weeks ago. They are Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, MN), Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN), and Laura Spector (Lenox, MA). Roberts and Spector compete in the Junior category with Nordgren competing in the Youth category. Up to 13 additional athletes will join these three, based on the results from the next three days of competition.
Junior National Team Coach Vladimir Cervenka says that the Mt. Itasca facility is well prepared for the trials, despite the short notice move there 10 days ago, due to lack of snow at the scheduled location in Anchorage, AK. He commented, “Conditions are very good. We have about 2 feet of artificial base and an additional foot of natural snow over the 3K loop and cutoffs. It snowed almost all day on Wednesday, while temperatures have remained comfortable in the low twenties with little wind. It is almost like European winter weather.”
Regarding the competitions, he added, “It will be interesting to see how the other competitors stack up against the pre-qualifiers, who will also race this weekend. The Junior Men will be interesting with Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) and Mark Johnson (Grand Rapids) competing against Roberts. In the Junior Women’s category, Brynden Manbeck (Grand Rapids) and Meagan Toussaint (Madawaska, ME) are the two top returning team members who will compete against Laura Spector. In the Youth categories, we expect veterans like Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) and Addie Byrne (Bovey, MN) to lead the way, with several spots for youth men and women to be taken by newer athletes.”
The competitions open with Sprints on Friday at 11 AM (CST), followed by Pursuit Format on Saturday at the same time. The Trials close on Sunday with a Mass Start Relay Format at 10 AM (CST) and the team announcement at 2 PM (CST) that day.
Complete results will be posted at www.USBiathlon.org .
The United States Biathlon Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of biathlon in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Biathlon Union. The US Biathlon Association supports the US Biathlon Team and development of the sport on all levels within the United States.
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