US Biathlon in Europe #14

Update #14 – Good Morning All,

Since my last report, the US Youth and Juniors have participate in 4 races at Osrblie, Slovakia. The Juniors raced the Individual format yesterday and the Youth did the Sprint format today. As you might recall, the Individual for the Juniors has a 1 minute add-on penalty for misses and the shooting is PSPS for a total of 20 shots. The Sprint race is PS with a 150 meter penalty loop that typically takes about 25-30 sec to ski per missed shot.

In the Junior Men’s 15 km Individual event, the start was delayed 30 min while they ‘salted’ the course. That typically involves putting on a nitrogen based fertilizer which causes some snow to melt, but takes up heat in the process and thus freezes the remaining snowpack and dries it up a bit. Where it was salted, the athletes reported good skiing.

Cody Johnson., ME, shot well, 0,0,0,2 and finished in 50th place, 5:08 behind the winner, Pettersen of Norway who also missed his last 2 shots, and finished in 40:17. Travis Cooper did not start. Cam Christiansen, MN, had problems in the range, shooting 1,1,2,2 and finishing 8:10 back in 72nd; and Peter Carroll, CA, is just getting over jet lag and while shooting good in prone, was off in the standing, going 0,3,0 1 and finishing 10:36 back in 79th.

In Cam’s case, while his total 4 stage shooting time was ranked  47th—0:57 behind the fastest, he was only 11 sec slower than the winner. The rest of the time back was evenly divided between 4 min of shooting penalty and 4 min of ski time over the 15 km. The Junior fields are really strong on skis!!

In the Women’s 12.5km event, Siena Ellingson, MN, shot 0,1,2,1 and finished in  50th, 7:11 behind the Canadian winner, Bankes, who shot clean and finished in 37:22. Nina Armstrong, NY, also struggled in the range shooting 4,1,2,1 finishing in 65th, 14:15 behind the winner.

In todays Sprint races the finish place is doubly important as only the top 60 will advance to the Pursuit event on Sunday. Apparently the wind was pretty strong today and affected both prone and standing for most. In prone—a 15 mph side wind will blow the bullet from a center shot to the rim of the prone plate. Usually the wind will not change a lot from zero, but if it does in the hour or hour and a half, the athlete needs to make a sight adjustment at the time of shooting to compensate for the change before he/she shoots. In standing, the wind tends to buffet the shooter, causing difficulty in holding a sight picture through the shot and into follow-through, thus creating a lot of misses even though the standing target is about 2.5 times the diameter of the prone target. [115 mm standing vs 45 mm prone.]

In the Men’s 7.5km event: 

Vasek Cervenka, MN, struggled in the range today, shooting 4,2 finishing in 49th 3:27 behind the winner Claude of France who shot 1,1 and finished in 20:18.3. Vasek will advance to the Pursuit. Alex Kilby, AK, shot 1,2 finishing in 69th, 4:47 back, Jake Pearson, WY, shot 2,3 finishing in 76th, 5:07 back and Eli Nielsen, WA, shot 3,2 finishing in 82nd, 5:18 back.

In the Women’s 6 km event:

Chloe Levins, VT, shot well going 0,1 and finishing in 11th place, 1:40 behind the Italian winner, Lardschnieder who also had 1 miss and finished in 19:48.3. She was followed for the US by Grace Gilliland, AK, who shot 1,3 and finished in 55th, 4:35 back; Amanda Kautzer,MN,  who shot 3,3 and finished in 59th, 4:42 back barely making the cutoff for the Pursuit; and Helen Wilson, AK, who shot 2,2 and finished in 67th, 5:10 behind the winner.

Tomorrow, Saturday, brings the first European TV to these races. They are schedule to stream the 4:00 am Junior Men’s 10km Sprint and presumably the Junior Women’s 7.5km Sprint at 7:00 am. As of this writing, the start lists are not yet posted. Check IBU Data Center in a few hours for a list.

More later,
Bill Meyer

social networks - pass it on