Well the IBU Cup Trials are finished—and now we need to look forward to the end of next week! Beginning with unofficial training on Wed the 27th, then Official training on the 28th and races on Fri, Sat and Sun the 29th, 30th and 31st respectively, the US Trials for the US Team to the Youth and Junior Worlds will be held at Mt Itasca.
The race invitation is enclosed. Please let me know if you are coming and what days you expect to race for either the Trials or the MNCup races- even if you have talked to me previously. If you are doing the Trials, you should mail in your entry so the organizers can get start lists etc put together. Also, If you are doing Trials, you must have at least one and up to two pair of race skis into the wax room by Thursday afternoon at the latest. The USBA waxing protocol will be in effect. I would suggest you put on a couple of coats of a very cold wax like Start Green prior to arriving—that will harden up the bases somewhat.
Bring a lot of warm clothes both for warmup and for racing!! A pair of over mittens can be used for the first lap then tossed before the 1st shooting.
As the invitation notes, these 3 races are also MNCup events and open to any biathlete with some experience.
Due to the lack snow around the state, I strongly recommend you arrive for unofficial training on Wed so we can work on your technique and shooting skills on skis!!
In general this current week is the Recovery week of the cycle. It is also a good week to work on ski technique, shooting and especially some speeds—on variable terrain, practice skiing with perfect technique—as fast as you can ski for 30 sec. Find another part of the trail and repeat—put in about 10 of these—then just go easy for a day before doing it again.
Next week should start out with a hard workout on Monday, but being Christmas you can keep it short Smile. On Tues—work on Technique for about an hour—and hope to see you on Wed!!
An important stop in the Journey!!
Have a Merry Christmas!!
Bill Meyer, Coach
The Sun was shining at Mt Itasca this morning, and the temps were in the 20’s….. but dropping. AND the wind was blowing across the range at 15-20 mph with gusts up into the 30’s. Shooting today was rough for most. A 40 grain 0.22 Long Rifle bullet at 50 meters will be blown sideways about 3” in that wind..and the target is only about 1 3/4” in diameter in prone. In standing—the wind simply blows the rifle back and forth–
In the Women’s 7.5 km Sprint, Maddie Phaneuf of USBA again dominated, missing 0 in prone and 3 in standing to finish in 23:34. She was followed closely by Chloe Levins, a 19 yr old skiing for USBA who also missed 3 and finished 16.5 sec behind. In 3rd was Kelsy Dickenson, St Scholastica, missing 2 shots, and finishing 45.4 sec back.
In the Men’s 10 km event, local excitement prevailed. Vasek Cervenka, Mt Itasca Biathlon, was the only Man to clean in prone—and with that adrenaline boost, he skied very strongly; and even missing 2 in standing, he finished 1st in 25:42. Following closely behind, past MN State Champion from Esko, Raleigh Goessling missed 1 each in prone and standing—to finish 27.9 sec back. He was followed in 3rd by previous winner Alexander Howe, skiing for Craftsbury in VT, missing 5 shots and finishing 58.2 sec behind.
The USBA International Competition Committee will now go over the results. The Trials are based on each athlete’s best 2 of the 4 races on a percent back basis…The committee will then make a recommendation as to who will make the IBU Cup Team.
The next races in MN are coming right up next week. While the temperatures are forecast to drop quickly, Mt Itasca will host the US Team Trials for Youth and Juniors for the team that will compete at the YJr World Championships in Estonia in Feb. Races will be on the 29th, 30th and 31st, with Official training on the 28th. Mt Itasca will be closed to public skiing until 1:00 each of those days.
The US athlete selection Trials races for positions on the US Team to the upcoming IBU Cups in Europe continued over the weekend with a Sprint race on Saturday and a Mass Start race on Sunday. The races are scored on a percent back basis with each athletes times compared with the average of the top 3 finishers in the race. So being close to the top counts more than the finish places. Of course the top finishers get more points than those behind them. The US Olympic Biathlon Team has not yet been completely selected, so those named from these Trials may have an opportunity to move up to the World Cup from the IBU Cup, or even up to the Olympic Team.
In the Saturday Sprint races, Day 2 of the IBU Team Trials saw some light snow and a brisk, but variable SE wind. Only one athlete, Joanne Reid of the USBA team cleaned all her targets, letting her finish 1st in the Women’s 7.5 km event with a time of 21:22. In 2nd was Chloe Levins, USBA, with 2 misses, 1:14 back, and in 3rd was Maddie Phaneuf, USBA X Team, also with 2 misses and 1:25 behind.
In the Men’s 10 km race, Alexander Howe, Craftsbury GRP, missed 2 and finished in 24:26 for 1st place, Jakob Ellingson, Mt Itasca Biathlon/ National Guard Biathlon missed 1, finishing only 3.3 sec behind, while Jake Brown, USBA X Team, missed 2 and finished 13.6 sec behind for 3rd. Vasek Cervenka, Mt Itasca , was in 5th with 3 misses 50.2 sec behind. Jakob Ellingson, Jake Brown, and Vasek Cervenka are all from MN.
On Sunday, Day 3 of the Trials, the temps warmed up a bit, higher humidity ruled, and the SE wind continued to rise and fall causing many top shooters to visit the penalty loop. In Biathlon it is pretty much impossible to predict the top finishers even knowing the relative ski and shooting ability of the athletes, they have to combine both talents to win.
In the Men’s 15 km Mass Start event [see picture of start below] Jakob Ellingson and Russell Currier, USBA, left the range together, both cleaning the last standing shoot. Russell, with 3 total misses, finished 1st in 36:23 with some blistering skiing, 15 sec ahead of Jakob, who had only 1 miss total for 2nd. Patrick Johnson, California, finished 3rd with 4 misses, 1:16 back. Vasek Cervenka, was again in 5th place, with 5 missed shots, finishing 2:14 behind.
Vasek, an 18 yr old from Grand Rapids, was skiing in the Senior Men’s category, normally for those 21 yrs of age and up.
In the Women’s 12.5 km race, Chloe Levins, moved up to 1st, missing 3 shots and finishing in 36:43. Maddie Phaneuf, also with 3 misses, finished 2nd 10.1 sec behind, and Joanne Reid, missing 6 shots, was 3rd 1:10 behind. Siena Ellingson, Mt Itasca/ National Guard Biathlon, was 4th, missing 4 shots, finishing 2:11 behind Chloe.
The last race of the Trials will be a Sprint on Tues, after which the USBA International Competition Committee will examine the results and announce the team nominations.