Canmore, Alberta, Canada, February 3, 2009. The American 3 x 6 km Relay in the Youth Women class had moments of triumph and of struggle.
Addie Byrne (Bovey, MN) led off for the team, shooting clean with no extra round in prone and only needing two extra rounds in standing she tagged off to Grace Boutot (Fort Kent, ME) in fourth place just two seconds off the third place Italian Team. Boutot skied well, posting the second fastest time in her first and second loops and shot five-for-five in both prone and standing. She left the range in first pace just 0.3 seconds ahead of the team from Belarus.
At the tag Boutot handed off to Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) in second place, just 11.9 seconds behind Belarus. McNamee, who has been sick during the championships, struggled on the range, needing four extra rounds and having to ski a penalty loop. But her efforts were not unrewarded, the team finished fifth and was honored in the flowers ceremony - a fine end to a good week of racing for the young American women who won a medal and scored two more top-ten finishes.
Earlier in the the day Ethan Dreissigacker (Morrisville, VT) Raleigh Goessling (Duluth, MN) and Nick Michaud (Fort Kent, ME) competed in the 3 x 7.5 km Youth Men Relay and finished eighth having struggled on the range. Dreissigacker cleaned his targets using three extra rounds and tagged off in fourth place. But the challenge on the range was too much for his teammates and the team ended up with a total of six penalties and 13 extra rounds.