A report from Holly Hanson, the MN Biathlon Lead Coach to Nationals, late last month. Thanks, Holly for stepping up to that and for putting together a detailed report!!
2023 US Biathlon National Championships A total of 7 athletes from Minnesota competed in the 2023 US Biathlon National Championships in Casper, Wyoming.
The team consisted of: Lauren Huber – Wolf Pack Club, Maeve Lindsey, Twin Cities Club, Gregory Haugen MN at Large (lives in Fargo) and Audrey Lahammer, Eric Anderson, Adelaide Bielke and Carson Peterson from Bluff Country Biathlon. The team had great experiences and stepped up into a whole new level of competition with challenging shooting due to flip-flopping winds coupled with the high altitude of Casper Mountain. There were some warm weather days producing headband tan marks and some slightly sunburned faces (even with sunscreen!) intermixed with forecasted snow storms and days of finger numbing cold conditions.
The venue was the dream of one man who worked tirelessly for many decades to build a biathlon range in Casper. This is a new venue, and it was the first time they hosted Nationals. Many volunteers put in long days to help the athletes, coaches, and spectators. A BIG thank you to all of them!
According to many Garmin watches, the elevation of the facility was over 8200’! The layout was open, which gave the coaches and spectators a good viewing vantage point at the shooting range, which afforded them nice views of multiple sections of the race course. Snow arrived overnight/mornings on several occasions which caused some of the course to be wind-blown with 2-3” of new dry powdery snow, especially on the hills. However, despite these challenges the grooming was good overall. There were several very challenging hills and gusty high winds that frequently shifted direction on the range. The athletes did well competing at altitude by focusing on sleep, recovery, fueling, hydration, and following a training progression that helped them acclimate and prepare for competition at altitude. They executed brilliantly on the well-thought-out race strategies each athlete developed and everyone raced competitively at altitude. Here’s a snapshot of the results:
Carson Peterson Youth (7.5K), shot 2+1, and finished 23:42.2 (3rd place). Carson raced up a level and competed in the Youth Men’s class.
Eric Anderson Youth (7.5K), shot 3+1, and finished 24:56.3 (4th place). Eric raced up a level and competed in the Youth Men’s Class.
Audrey Lahammer Youth (6K), shot 1+1, and finished 22:54.4 (3rd place). Audrey was tied for best shooter in the Women’s Youth category
Adelaide Bielke U17 (7.5K), shot 0+0+1+2, and finished 44:48.8 (7th place). Best shooter in U17 Girls class.
Gregory Haugen 50-59 (10K), shot 1+1+4+2, and finished 53:29.1 (7th place, tied for 2nd best shooter in class)
Team Racer Girls finished 49:28.2 (7th place)(3x 1.5K P,P)
Adelaide Bielke, shot 1+3, had rifle mechanical issues
Teammate Megan Lemoine (Auburn Ski Club)
Team Reverse Cowboys finished 48:58.6 (4th place)(3×1.5K P,S)
Eric Anderson, shot 3+0, was cross-fired upon
Teammates Van Ledger (Crosscut) and Scott Lacy (Crosscut)
Team MMM Good, finished 51:24.8 (5th place)(3×1.5K P,S)
Carson Peterson, shot 1+2
Teammate Lucas Daly (HSC Mass)
Team Shoot Ski Slayers, finished 1:01:04.8 (4th place) (3×1.5K P,S)
Maeve Lindsay, shot 1+2
Audrey Lahammer, shot 0+0
Team Do You Have Any Lapua?, finished 1:10:12.9 (6th place) (3x 1.5K P,S)
Gregory Haugen (MN at Large), shot 2+2
Gregg Pattison (WI), shot 4+1
Matthew Meyer (Bay Nordic, WI), shot 3+2
In addition, 3 athletes from WI were at the event;
Gregg Pattison 60-69 2nd in the sprint and1st in the pursuit! Congrats, Gregg!!!
Matt Weber 50-59 8th in sprint and 8th in pursuit
Matt Meyer 40-49 4th in sprint and 3rd in the pursuit
It was a great week of training and racing in Casper, WY, with a lot of team laughter which fell away to serious race faces on competition days. A HUGE THANKS to the athletes and all the parents who made this trip a success! Abra for always being our amazing travel director Julia Bielke – Co-driver, range rifle handler, chaperone, cook, grocery shopper Christine Anderson – Driver, chaperone, on-course corrections, cook, grocery shopper, photographer Tom Lindsay – Driver, On the scope Jackie Peterson – Driver, On the scope for Adelaide Laurie Huber – Driver, Range helperCongratulations to everyone on successfully navigating a challenging National Championship.
Best, Holly Bluff Country Biathlon Coach MN Biathlon Lead Coach for Nationals
We have had good news from the groomers at Woodland Trails! They managed to break up the crust and will be doing a lot more on Saturday as the weather warms up. We will have skiable conditions, with the final decision on courses to be made on Saturday. The weather forecasts look really good!!
The race will be a 7.5km Relay Format with 15-sec interval starts, hopefully on an exact 2.5 km course. Age classes <13 will do a 4.5km event.
Please jump in and join us for the last race of the winter season in the Twin Cities area—and stick around and help with the Novice event following right behind the race and get the entry fee reduced to zero!! We have 24 or 25 Novices signed up—and are looking forward to greeting some new faces, encouraging newcomers to try our great sport, and generating the continuance of our MN Biathlon growth!!
We are approaching 20 signups for the experienced race event—and with the MN State Meet completed today—we should pick up a number of new entries before tomorrow evening!
The deadline for signup is 9:00 Pm tomorrow [Friday] to allow us time to get the timing set up with start lists.
2 shooting stages, and 3 skiing laps. Individual start….but with relay rounds!
U13 – 4.8km All others – 7.5km
9:15 am – Registration opens 10:00 am – Zero opens ~11:00 am – Race start
$15/race per U15 racer. $20/race for all others. Free entry if you stay afterward and help with a novice event, 12 pm – 2 pm! Ammunition for the novices will be provided by the club. Just provide your rifle and expertise!
Payable by cash or check to “Minnesota Biathlon” on the day of the race.