Biathlon and Novice Race – Saturday, March 11, 2017

This will be the last biathlon event of the 2016 2017 season. While it is possible we will be able to pull off a race at Elk River on the 5th of March, currently the trails are totally closed so it would take substantial new snow to allow it to happen.

Mount Itasca still looks really good per pictures on Skinnyski this am.
Bill Meyer, Coach


Minnesota Cup: Biathlon Race & Novice Race

Hosted by Mt.Itasca Nordic Ski Association

Date: Saturday, March 11. 2017

Place: Mt.Itasca, Coleraine

Race Format: Mass Start (PPSS)

MN Cup March 2017

Distance: G, YW, JW, SW, MW: 7.5km

               B, YM, JM, SM, MM: 10km;

Registration: 9:30 AM –   10:00 AM

Zero:           10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Race Start: 10:45 AM Mass Start

Cost:         $20 (cash or check payable to MINSA)

 

Novice Race (recommended age: 13+)

~ Registration: 9:30 – 11:30am

~ No previous shooting experience necessary!

~ Instruction, Rifles, and Ammo provided.

~ Novice Race will follow the main race.

~ Safety Clinic prior to the Race

~ Start approx. at 12-12:15PM

~ Race Format: Mass Start – 4.5k (3×1.5k), PP + penalty loop

~ Cost: $20 (cash or check payable to MINSA)

 

Awards for Biathlon & Novice Race: after completion of both races.

Questions? Call Vlad or Petra 218-999-5046  or e-mail pcervenkova@hotmail.com    

CANCELLED – Springloppet, March 12, 2017, Sugar Hills Ski Trails/ Itasca County

CANCELLED
2017 Springloppet

Sunday, March 12, 2017, Sugar Hills Ski Trails/ Itasca County

Springloppet: 24k Skate, 12k Skate, 12k Classic

Age groups for Springloppet:         18 years old and under,                                                                                                        Men and Women 19-39,                                                                                                         Masters Men and Women 40+

Schedule: CANCELLED10:00 AM Registration opens, bib pick-up                                                                     11:00 AM  Start

Entry Fee: Springloppet $ 25.00, 18 years old and under $15.00

Registration: Race day at Sugar Hills.                                                                  Registration form and schedule available at www.skinnyski.com                      Please pre-register by sending the entry form to                   

Directions: From South: 169 North 10miles – after Hill City left on 17 – than 2.5miles left on CR 449 up the hill 3miles – Sugar Hills on your left.

From North: 169 South from Grand Rapids 5miles right on 17 – after 2.5 miles left on CR 449 up the hill 3 miles – Sugar Hills on your left.

Contacts: Vlad Cervenka – Race Coordinator, cervenkv@hotmail.com – (218) 999-5046

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

US Biathlon in Europe

Good Morning All,

Since my last report, there have been 6 more races at YJrWCh’s. Junior Men and Junior Women Sprint, and the four classes in the Pursuit for those who were in the top 60 of the Sprint races.

The level of racing at the top of the fields is incredible. Only a small notch below the World Cups and about the same as the Senior IBU Cup level. For example—in the Junior Men’s Sprint race, the winner, Igor Malinovskii shot clean while skiing the 10 km race at a 2:20 per km pace..and of course carrying his rifle as all the athletes both Youth and Juniors do in Worlds. Today in the Pursuit—he again won, with 4 penalties, and again skied the whole 12.5km plus 4 x 150 meters at the same 2:20 per km pace. And that includes slowing down in his range approach 4 times, where they need to slow down before shooting, and accelerating back up to speed after shooting. Today he was only the 10th fastest on the course, the 2nd place Norwegian, Pettersen was faster by about a minute or about 5 sec per km faster on skis, so around a 2:15 per km. And ski conditions have not been real fast. In the shooting range [separate times pulled out from the overall] Malinovskii shot in 45 sec the first prone 56th fastest; 25 sec 2nd prone 1st in time, 26 sec 1st standing 7th fastest, and 28 sec in 2nd standing 21st fastest. He shot 0,1,2,1. That is from laying down his poles to picking them back up at the end of the 5 shots.

Basically the US athletes have to support themselves, including the cost of travel to camps, regional events, Trials races and all training costs. They also need to buy their own equipment. A very few get some help from USBA for specific race series, but that only covers part of their expense. And there is again basically in this country no recognition for success . On the other hand, European athletes and even the Canadians often receive support from the governments of the countries they represent, get free equipment through their clubs, and if they make the international events, their expenses are covered along with a really high level of support. For the cost of one F35 fighter, [$300M] the US could support the all of the US biathlon teams for years.

At the Open European Championships the Czech team had a trailer with a stone grinder to adjust the grind on the athletes skis for the conditions. The US had a $25 hand structure tool..However, at the YJrW’s the athletes have reported having fast skis with the help of a couple of German wax techs that USBA hires [and most of the athletes pay for]. By that is meant they weren’t dragging…and were probably better than the average.

So while the US athletes struggle to raise funds, find coaches, find good competitions etc, the European teams are striving to advance to the next level where the support and life style is even better. In the US, our athletes ponder whether it is worth the effort to make the next race series and pay out more…A top senior German Woman is likely making 6 or 7 figures from various sources. She has her own waxing crew…and I’m sure she doesn’t pay for her skis….

ok..done venting.

In the Junior Mens’ 10 km Sprint yesterday:
Winner Malinovskii Russia, 0,0 24:32
46th Cody Johnson, ME, 2,1 +3:02
49th Travis Cooper, AK 0,3 + 3:10
80th Cam Christiansen, MN 3,4 + 5:32
82nd, Peter Carroll, CA 2,1 + 5:51

In the Junior Women’s 7.5km Sprint yesterday
Winner Carrara Italy, 0,0 20:58
in 18th Siena Ellingson, MN, 0,1 + 1:39 back
in 65th Nina Armstrongm NY 2,3 + 6:11

In the Pursuit races this morning—only the top 60 from the Sprint races will advance. And they will start with the time back from the Sprint, which is not credited back to them.
Youth Men’s 10km Pursuit
Winner Claude , France, 1,1,0,2 29:22
30th Vasek Cervenka, MN, 1,1,1,2 started in 49th 3:37 back and finished + 3:52

Junior Men’s 12.5km
Winner Malinovskii – Russia, 0,1,2,1 32:39
55th Cody Johnson, ME, 2,1,2,4 started in 46th 3:03 back +7:19
59th Travis Cooper, AK 5,0,1,2 started in 49th 3:11 back +8:46

In the Junior Womens 10 k
Winner Vasnetcova, Russia, 0,0,0,0 31:49
in 41st Siena Ellingson, MN 1,2,1,3 started in 18th 1:38 back + 5:24

In the Youth Women’s 7.5km
Winner Lardschneider, Italy, 0,0,2,2 26:57
in 4th Chloe Levins, USA , VT, 2,0,0,0 started in 11th 1:40 back + 1:55
in 42nd Amanda Kautzer, MN, 1,0,2,1 started in 59th 4:43 back + 6:16
in 53rd Grace Gilliland, AK, 2,3,1,0 started in 55th 4:35 back + 8:32

Next up at the YJrWCh will be the relays with the Youth tomorrow in the Men’s 3 x 7.5 km at 4:00 am CST, the Women’s 3 x 6 km at 6:45. On Tues the Juniors race with the Men’s 4 x 7.5 at 4:00 am and the Women’s 3 x 6 at 7:00. That will conclude the World Championships. These final events will not be televised on Eurovision, but might show up on UTube eventually.

More in a couple of days..
Bill Meyer