Day 1- IBU Cup Trials, Mt Itasca
Katrina Howe and Casey Smith Take Victories at Mt Itasca
Temps 5F and new snow, very slow conditions great races at Day of the IBU Cup Trials at Mt Itasca. This is part of the Olympic Trials process for those that did qualify for early World Cup starts. With great early season conditions, all the trails are open at Mt Itasca. The infamous Mt Itasca climbs were particularly tough in today’s slow and soft conditions. The men climbed to the top of Mt Itasca three times on the 3.3km loop, probably the toughest climb in the midwest.
Great shooting on the women’ side with Maine Winters SC’s, Kat Howe, shooting (0,1) just beating out WC veteran Tracy Barnes (0,0). Craftsbury’s Clare Egan skied very well, but shooting (2,4) put her back to distant third, closely followed by junior sensation Anna Kubek, Duluth, MN. Kubek, who is normally one of the best shooters in the women field, shot (3,2) with some frozen hands and finished 4th.
The men’s race the tough 3.3km loop took its tool on the shooting results with lots of misses on the range. Final results were very tight, with the top 4 men within 20 seconds of each other. Making a big splash as a first year Senior was Maine Winter SC’s Casey Smith, Methow Valley, WA, with a narrow victory over Wynn Roberts, Battle Lake, MN, both shooting (2,2) . WC veteran Russel Currier, Caribou, ME, shot (2,4), and despite very fast skiing was unable to make up the gap, finishing 10 seconds back. Raleigh Goessling, MWSC, (and former MN State HS champ) finished 4th, another 10 seconds behind Currier.
Note that IBU Cup Trials races for Sunday, Nov 15 has been postponed to Monday, Nov 16 due to very cold weather prediction.
Races will resume on Monday, Nov 15, Tuesday, Nov 16, and Wed, Nov 17.
Director of Athlete Development
US Biathlon Association