Here is the summary of the best 2 of 3 percent back results from the 3 Trials races this week in Jericho VT. Our local team did very well–each having a really solid race and another that was notable. As is usual, the MN athletes had difficulties matching the ski speed of the Alaskans and New England skiers–even when on exactly the same wax which was the protocol for the races–applied by the coaches. LF Toko blue or red depending on the day.
Our shooting was as good or better in most cases, but with skiing still being the major time element in biathlon races, we suffered a large handicap.
The top shooter from MN was easily Jenna Ruzich [0,2] [1,1,2,2] and [0,1] with both Ty and Zean having one really good race also. Ty shooting [0,0,2,2] in the pursuit race and Zean going [1,1] in the last sprint–his best shooting day ever, to date. With his ski speed he pulled off a 4th place in that race.
When looking at the results race by race–the competition was notably tight. For example–in the last race, 10th place was only 2:13 back of 1st in the Youth Men’s 7.5km race. And Jenna was only 27 sec from the 3rd place podium in the Youth Women’s 6 km race, but ended up in 7th place with her best race, which she saved to the last!!
Then the 3 race results in percent back are tabulated and each athlete’s best 2 of the 3 are added. In addition to being in the top four on that list, a minimum for the youth fields of 192% was needed [average of 96% for the 2].
In the Junior Men’s field–a 98% avg was needed and the 4th skier did not make that cut..so the team size will be 3. In the Junior Women’s field it was a more complicated formula–and only two women made the cut.
In the Youth Mens field–Erik Rupert in 5th missed the top 4 by about 2%age points but easily exceeding the 96% avg. That field was really tough this year.
In the Youth Woman’s field- the 4th position was filled by coaches discretion due to Tara’s superior ski speed in the races–but the %back difference was only 0.17% between the 4th and 5th slots in the results. And 6th place was only 0.41% behind 5th.
Named to the team from MN are Raleigh Goessling, Esko, [4th time], Ben Greenwald, St Paul, [1st time] and Kelly Kjorlein, Grand Rapids [2nd time]. Our congratulations to them all!
Anyone watching the events had to be impressed with the maturity, professionalism and dedication to training exhibited by the athletes. With over 120 competitors from most of the snow belt states in the US, plus Ontario, and Quebec, there were no safety or sportsmanship violations, new friends were made across team lines, and coaches helped other coaches and other teams to make the event a success.