Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp Mt Itasca – June 2017

Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp – Mt Itasca

14th Of June To The 24th Of June, 2017

The June Shooting Camp was held during the past two weeks at Mt Itasca and also using facilities in Grand Rapids and the nearby Mesabi State Trail. Participants ranged from age 13 to 23 with the younger athletes mostly participating through the race event on Sunday the 18th.

Most from out of town camped at Mt Itasca using the Chalet building for meals and showers. A nearby beach in Coleraine also saw some use. The weather cooperated nicely with the random showers missing the scheduled workouts, and temps ranging from the 40’s at night to maybe 70’s on the warmer days. It was windy every day, which affected the shooting more than in some previous years.

The camp started with 18 athletes mostly from MN, but also WI, CO, and CA. Coaches were Vlad Cervenka, Petra Cervenka, Eric Watson, Jeff Bosek, Mark Torresani, and myself, Bill Meyer.

The first week emphasis was on shooting skills working on range procedure, accuracy, and shooting speed and using the normal tests including the 20 shot and French tests. Physical tests included the Mt Itasca hill climb [3 or 4 times running] a bike time trial, and a summer cross race on Sunday am.

The following week saw a shift in emphasis to more physical activities, w/ a lot of additional shooting. On Monday, there was a 5/7.5 km running test on hilly ski trails in Grand Rapids at the high school, followed by roller skiing on the state trail. Tues saw a 11.5km roller ski time trial on the state trail, with some Nordic Combined athletes jumping in.

Wed morning as combo shooting and for some, in the pm they did another 20 shot test. Thursday began the harder workouts of the week with a hard hill bounding/strength workout in the am on Mt Itasca, followed by some easy combos in the pm.

 

Friday morning was the century bike ride, with most of the men and some women doing 100 miles and the other women going 100 km. It was a very windy ride with steady winds of 16 mph and gusts close to 30.

Saturday saw the conclusion with some fun shooting races including a single leg relay followed by a reverse pursuit with the relay finishers saddled with a 10 sec per place handicap.

All in all it was a successful camp with all the athletes gaining skills, improving their fitness, and learning to cope with camp life.

All results will be posted on the Minnesota Biathlon webpage as soon as I get them tabulated.

Bill Meyer

26 June 2017

ER work Party thank you!

A huge thank you to all who helped out at Elk River today!!

Lot of work got done, the building stained and interior cleaned, some lead
removed from targets and sign board at the targets cleaned up.

Participating were:
Team Leader Lynda Bouley
Chad Bouley
Cheresa and her brother
Jeff Bosek
Kaisa Bosek
Stormy Hegg
Emma Reineke
Elizabeth Guthrie
Hanne Guthrie
Jill Troutner
Cam Christiansen

If I missed someone, our thanks go to you as well, my memory isnt what it
once was…or what I think it once was. . 🙂 Dave, there are 3 1/4 buckets
of lead in the garage. And the two garbage containers at the range are
full–mixed bag–some of it is probably recyclable. And we did not seal the
range pavement where the graffiti was sprayed. It was painted over, but
still shows through. Thank you and Elk River for all the materials, disposal
and future work. And thank your mowing crew for keeping the place looking
respectable!!

Reminder for anyone–the bravo target on #6 lost part of a plate today.
Spares are in the building and Guthries will weld the old one back together.

Thanks again to everyone!
Bill Meyer, Coach

Skiing at Mt Itasca

Conditions are still looking good at Mt Itasca!! Pictures from Thursday.

Bill Meyer

US Biathlon in Europe #17

Hi Everyone,
This will be the final report on the Youth and Juniors from MN in Europe. Jakob Ellingson, Senior, from the Twin Cities was invited to go back to Europe for the 2 final IBU cup series and at last report was looking for funding. Amanda Kautzer has been invited to go to Sweden for the Swedish National Championships, but I am going to finish up reporting with todays Junior Relay races.

Relays are fun to watch and be in, if your team is in, say, the top 5 before the last shooting. When your team is back a ways, it isn’t real fun to watch. The old saying that a team is only as strong as its weakest link is double true in biathlon. It is also hard to judge exactly how fast the skiers are moving, as the 3 laps each skier does differ in length [each athlete skis a total of 7.5 or 6.0 km plus penalties] but depending on the stadium layout, the first lap might be a bit longer and the last lap shorter –or whatever. Some determination of comparable ski speed can be made between members of the team and the competition however based on the full leg of skiing with the shooting time deducted.

In the US Junior Men’s 4 x 7.5 km Relay team, Cody Johnson, ME skied the scramble leg, Cam Christiansen, MN skied 2nd, Travis Cooper, AK 3rd and Peter Carroll, CA anchored. Cody moved up nicely in the first lap, lost a bit of time loading one extra round to clean in prone, and skied a strong second leg. Too strong. He missed all 5 in standing, but did manage to come back and hit with his 3 extras, but then headed to the penalty loop for 2 laps. He tagged off Cam in next to last-16th place, who immediately got passed, but hung in tight. In the range, Cam cleaned prone with 5 and moved out in 15th 2:30 behind Russia. In Standing he missed 1 with the 5 but caught is immediately with his first extra round and left in 13th 2:52 back. He tagged off Travis in 13th, 3:23 back. Travis used 3 extras and moved the US up a couple of places. Peter also needed a few extra rounds and slowly dropped back in skiing to finish for the team in 14th place, 7:53 behind the Russians. It was an improvement, last year they finished in #16th place.

Cam shot the best today for the US hitting 10 targets with 11 shots; and the top 3 US Men each skied at about a 2:33 per km pace for their 7.5km The second leg Russian skied at a 2:23 pace and he wasn’t the fastest by 8 or 10 sec. And the US had two penalty loops and used 10 extra rounds that take about 20 sec each to handload and shoot, while the Russians had no penalty loops and used 7 extra rounds.

In the Junior Women’s 3 x 6.0 km Relay team, Siena Ellingson, MN scrambled, Helen Wilson, AK went 2nd and Nina Armstrong, NY anchored. One of the 3 Junior women selected at trials could not make the trip so they filled out the US team with Helen who is a Youth, but who did better than Nina in the last analysis.
Siena had problems in the range, shooting slowly and using all 3 extra rounds for both prone and standing. She tagged off in 16th place 2:25 back. Helen used just 2 extras—one each in prone and standing and tagged off to Nina in 17th only 9 sec behind Slovakia. Nina, attempting to make up ground, struggled in prone—missing all 8 shots for 5 penalty loops. She recovered to clean standing without extras, but finished for the US in 17th 11:30 back.

With the conclusion of the Championships the US team will travel to Vienna tonight. Cam and a few others will take a train to Munich and fly back from there on Thursday.

Enjoy!
Bill Meyer

US Biathlon in Europe #16

Good Morning again-

Yesterday I said I would write again in a couple of days—I lied :). More news trickled in and two more races have come and gone..

Biathlon is a sport with a lot of fairly delicate, and very complicated equipment. The following email and pictures from Amanda Kautzer is indicative of the problems that can occur at any instant and which the athletes need to overcome without much help!

“Bill,
I had some issues yesterday. After my first shooting someone cut me off going into the penalty lap and I went down in a slush pile and broke a pole. I skied the penalties and the first climb, and half the big climb with only one pole. Then on my last lap my harness broke. The screw you unscrew when taking the harness off for travel came off, and I lost that and the oval-ish piece that slides on the rail. Do you have any extras? I qualified for Swedish nationals and hopefully will go so will need to get that fixed ASAP. I am using Cam’s harness today since he is not racing. I would have done a LOT better in the race, possibly top 30-35 had I not had that major equipment malfunction. I skied over a K with my rifle in my hands, and even out sprinted someone in the finishing stretch with one pole and holding my rifle.”

As you may recall from reading yesterday’s report, Amanda moved from starting 59th, 4:43 behind the Sprint winner, up to where she finished in 42nd only 6:16 behind the winner of the Pursuit after 7.5km and 4 shooting stages. Lot of struggling to get to the finish line!! Many would have dropped!!

Coaches can hand off another pole, of some length or another—as soon as the athlete reaches a coach on the course; the coach can pass ammo or parts to a range official who can then give them to an athlete—or the athlete can grab the team spare rifle on the range [which might or might not fit them] …but once they leave the range they need to ski with their broken rifle until they reach the range again or the finish line.

So in the Youth relays this am, in the Men’s 3 x 7.5 Vasek Cervenka, MN had a good scramble leg, using 2 extra rounds in prone and 1 in standing to tag off to Jake Pearson, WY +0:28 sec back. As you can see in the attached, things deteriorated for the US then and as we finished with Alex Kilby, AK, in 18th place [of 23 teams] 8:06 back of winner Norway who used a total of 6 extra rounds, no penalty loops and finished in 55:05. While there have been 30 some National teams in the races—some countries do not have enough athletes at the Worlds to form a full relay team.

In the Women’s 3 x 6km, Chloe Levins,VT scrambled, used 4 xtra rounds and tagged off to Amanda Kautzer, MN, in 14th place, 1:40 back. Amanda cleaned prone with no extra rounds, used 2 xtra in standing, and tagged off Grace Gilliland, AK, in 8th place 1:50 behind the leaders!! Grace struggled in the range, had a penalty loop after 3 extras in prone, used 2 xtras in standing and finished in 13th, 4:56 back of winner Russia who also had one penalty, 7 total extra rounds, and finished in 59:43.

Tomorrow the World Championships conclude with the Junior Relays, starting at 4:00 and 7:00 for Men and Women respectively.

Bill Meyer