Five MN Biathletes Named to US Youth and Junior World Championship Team

Five Biathletes from MN were named by US Biathlon to the US Team to the Youth and Junior Championships to be held Feb 26th to March 4th in Otepaa, Estonia.

In the Junior Women category U21
Amanda Kautzer Twin Cities

In the Youth Women category U19
Emma Stertz, Mt Itasca Biathlon

In the Junior Men category U21
Cam Christiansen

In the Youth Men category U19
Vasek Cervenka Mt Itasca Biathlon
Garrett Beckrich, also Mt Itasca

In addition 3 of the above from MN are invited to the  Junior IBU Cup #3 Jan 25th-27th in Poland and the Junior Open European Championships from Jan 31st- Feb 4th in Slovenia.
Kautzer, Cervenka and Beckrich.

The full team for YJr Worlds is 16 athletes accompanied by coaches and wax technicians. Of those, 8 total were invited to the Junior IBU and Open European Championships.

Biathletes participating in the US Trials held Thursday and Friday at Mt Itasca came from Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Montana, Utah, and New York.

Our congratulations to those who will be representing the US at these events!

US Youth and Junior Trials for World Championships – Second Race Recap & Results

The second race in the US Trials for the Youth and Junior World Championships upcoming in Estonia in Feb were held at Mt Itasca this pm. The wind was up from the NW along with temps hovering around zero F.

2017 Jr&Y Trials 12.29.17

In the Men’s 7.5km Sprint, Junior Cody Johnson of the National Guard team won, shooting clean in 19:55.Youth Vasek Cervenka of MN Biathlon Mt Itasca was 2nd with 5 misses 39.6 sec back, and Junior Cam Christiansen of MN Biathlon NNW, also shooting clean, was 3rd 1:04 behind.

On the Women’s side in the 6.0 km Sprint, Junior Amanda Kautzer, MN Biathlon LNR won, shooting 1,0 in 21:12. She was followed by Youth Helen Wilson of Alaska Biathlon with 3 misses 1:15 behind, and in 3rd was Youth Sara Beaulieu of OSI, with 2 misses finishing 1:37 behind.

Due to the grim forecasts for Saturday and Sunday, the third race was cancelled by the Jury late pm. The results for the two races will be considered by the International Competition Committee and with their recommendation by the USBA Board early in the coming week.

US Youth and Junior Trials for World Championships – First Race Recap & Results

On the warmest day of a cold week, with temps in the single digits but only a light wind, the first race of the YJr Trials took place on Thursday late afternoon. Shooting conditions were a little tricky with a reversing wind at times. Trail conditions were excellent thanks to Regional Coach Vlad Cervenka and his snowmaking crew!!

2017 Jr&Y Trials 12.28.17 Results

On the combined list for the Youth and Junior Women’s 7.5km Sprint, Youth Helen Wilson of Alaska Biathlon dominated, shooting 1,0 and finishing in 25:17. She was followed by Junior Amanda Kautzer, MNBiathlon, LNR with 3 misses 42 sec back. In Third was Youth Emma Stertz, MNBiathlon Mt Itasca, also with 3 misses 1:07 back.

In the Men’s 10km Sprint, Mt Itasca Youth athletes dominated with Vasek Cervenka shooting 2,1 and finishing in 26:36 for 1st place, and Garrett Beckrich shooting 1,2 and finishing 1:15 back for 2nd. In 3rd was Youth Eli Nielsen of Methow Valley WA, shooting 1,0 and finishing 1:31 back.

The second race of the Trials will be held this afternoon with temps hopefully up to 0F. That will also be a Sprint race but slightly shorter distances, 7.5 km for the Men and 6.0 km for the Women.

The Trials are planned to conclude on Saturday with a Pursuit Format event. The final team will be selected by the International Competition Committee based on the results of the Trials.

US IBU Cup Trials Sprint Competition – Dec 19, 2017 – RESULTS

The Sun was shining at Mt Itasca this morning, and the temps were in the 20’s….. but dropping. AND the wind was blowing across the range at 15-20 mph with gusts up into the 30’s. Shooting today was rough for most. A 40 grain 0.22 Long Rifle bullet at 50 meters will be blown sideways about 3” in that wind..and the target is only about 1 3/4” in diameter in prone. In standing—the wind simply blows the rifle back and forth–

Results IBU Cup Sprint 12.19.17

In the Women’s 7.5 km Sprint, Maddie Phaneuf of USBA again dominated, missing 0 in prone and 3 in standing to finish in 23:34. She was followed closely by Chloe Levins, a 19 yr old skiing for USBA who also missed 3 and finished 16.5 sec behind. In 3rd was Kelsy Dickenson, St Scholastica, missing 2 shots, and finishing 45.4 sec back.

In the Men’s 10 km event, local excitement prevailed. Vasek Cervenka, Mt Itasca Biathlon, was the only Man to clean in prone—and with that adrenaline boost, he skied very strongly; and even missing 2 in standing, he finished 1st in 25:42. Following closely behind, past MN State Champion from Esko, Raleigh Goessling missed 1 each in prone and standing—to finish 27.9 sec back. He was followed in 3rd by previous winner Alexander Howe, skiing for Craftsbury in VT, missing 5 shots and finishing 58.2 sec behind.

The USBA International Competition Committee will now go over the results. The Trials are based on each athlete’s best 2 of the 4 races on a percent back basis…The committee will then make a recommendation as to who will make the IBU Cup Team.

The next races in MN are coming right up next week. While the temperatures are forecast to drop quickly, Mt Itasca will host the US Team Trials for Youth and Juniors for the team that will compete at the YJr World Championships in Estonia in Feb. Races will be on the 29th, 30th and 31st, with Official training on the 28th. Mt Itasca will be closed to public skiing until 1:00 each of those days.

US IBU Cup Trials Mass Start Dec 17, 2017 – RESULTS

The US athlete selection Trials races for positions on the US Team to the upcoming IBU Cups in Europe continued over the weekend with a Sprint race on Saturday and a Mass Start race on Sunday. The races are scored on a percent back basis with each athletes times compared with the average of the top 3 finishers in the race. So being close to the top counts more than the finish places. Of course the top finishers get more points than those behind them. The US Olympic Biathlon Team has not yet been completely selected, so those named from these Trials may have an opportunity to move up to the World Cup from the IBU Cup, or even up to the Olympic Team.

Results IBU Cup Mass Start 12.17.17

In the Saturday Sprint races, Day 2 of the IBU Team Trials saw some light snow and a brisk, but variable SE wind. Only one athlete, Joanne Reid of the USBA team cleaned all her targets, letting her finish 1st in the Women’s 7.5 km event with a time of 21:22. In 2nd was Chloe Levins, USBA, with 2 misses, 1:14 back, and in 3rd was Maddie Phaneuf, USBA X Team, also with 2 misses and 1:25 behind.

In the Men’s 10 km race, Alexander Howe, Craftsbury GRP, missed 2 and finished in 24:26 for 1st place, Jakob Ellingson, Mt Itasca Biathlon/ National Guard Biathlon missed 1, finishing only 3.3 sec behind, while Jake Brown, USBA X Team, missed 2 and finished 13.6 sec behind for 3rd. Vasek Cervenka, Mt Itasca , was in 5th with 3 misses 50.2 sec behind. Jakob Ellingson, Jake Brown, and Vasek Cervenka are all from MN.

On Sunday, Day 3 of the Trials, the temps warmed up a bit, higher humidity ruled, and the SE wind continued to rise and fall causing many top shooters to visit the penalty loop. In Biathlon it is pretty much impossible to predict the top finishers even knowing the relative ski and shooting ability of the athletes, they have to combine both talents to win.

In the Men’s 15 km Mass Start event [see picture of start below] Jakob Ellingson and Russell Currier, USBA, left the range together, both cleaning the last standing shoot. Russell, with 3 total misses, finished 1st in 36:23 with some blistering skiing, 15 sec ahead of Jakob, who had only 1 miss total for 2nd. Patrick Johnson, California, finished 3rd with 4 misses, 1:16 back. Vasek Cervenka, was again in 5th place, with 5 missed shots, finishing 2:14 behind.

Vasek, an 18 yr old from Grand Rapids, was skiing in the Senior Men’s category, normally for those 21 yrs of age and up.

In the Women’s 12.5 km race, Chloe Levins, moved up to 1st, missing 3 shots and finishing in 36:43. Maddie Phaneuf, also with 3 misses, finished 2nd 10.1 sec behind, and Joanne Reid, missing 6 shots, was 3rd 1:10 behind. Siena Ellingson, Mt Itasca/ National Guard Biathlon, was 4th, missing 4 shots, finishing 2:11 behind Chloe.

The last race of the Trials will be a Sprint on Tues, after which the USBA International Competition Committee will examine the results and announce the team nominations.