Over the past couple of years Twin City Biathlon, a branch of MN Biathlon, has been making numerous improvements to the range facility at Woodland Trails Park. Thanks so much to Chad and Lynda Bouley, Tara and Marcus Landrum, Dave Anderson with Elk River Parks and all the others who have pitched in. Here are some of the changes:
Redesigned target boxes for easier switch from paper to metal—now use a fold down front plate- the new plates were donated
a new fabric skirt in front of the boxes to catch lead coming off the face of the metal-thanks to Lynda
new target box covers—again, thanks to Lynda
new paddles built by Marcus to replace some that were too heavy
a new Target #4- thanks to Chad for receiving that and getting it installed
New paper targets designed by Tara who also chased the printing—we are using up the old strips first
new standard shooting mats—thanks to Lou Chouinard for meeting the supplier in Southern MN!
a new wind flag system and flags
new bibs designed by Tara
a new timing program on a spreadsheet designed by Zean Baker—will try out on Saturday!!
a temporary porta potty brought in by Dave Anderson and his crew
And for the weekend event, some generators, heat, lights and computers in the range building!!
It is amazing what volunteers can do when they put their efforts together. A lot more were involved in making this all happen!! Sampsons, Hudrliks, Brodersons and more!!
We are back from US Team Trials in Utah—a brutal trip for most of us!! We currently have two MN athletes in Slovenia based on those results!! Emma Stertz and Cheresa Bouley both made the teams!! —you should be able to follow their progress on the IBU webpage! Cheresa and Emma left on Friday and arrived yesterday in Munich, stopped and got outfitted in Germany, then moved on to the relocated Jr IBU Cup with races Jan 12-15th and then will stay in the same venue for the scheduled Open Jr European Championships Jan 19th-23rd. Both events will now be held at Pokljuka, Slovenia.
On the local scene, coming right up on Saturday/Sunday the 15th/16th are Midwest Region races #3 and #4 at Blackhawk Ski Area, in Middleton WI. A Pursuit format and a Mass Start. Registration is online at:
Please note you need to register separately for each race. Go to “Find Races” then “Find Registrations” and scroll down. There is no onsite registration and registration closes Fri at midnight.
Zero on Saturday is at 10:00am—as always—arrive before hand so you are warmed up and ready to zero with your rifle loaded at 10:00.
Please let me know if you plan to attend!! I have 6 who have checked in with me to date!!
Then on Sunday, the 23rd of Jan at Elk River, 12:00- 2:00 we have a Novice clinic scheduled. We need to have some current athletes with MN Biathlon rifles to come and help instruction and demonstrate.
Please let me know if you can attend!!
And to finish the month, Midwest Regional races #5 & #6 will be held Sat/Sun the 29th/30th of Jan at Elk River. As we are the hosts for that event, we need help with timing, scoring shooting and scoring the penalty loop! I do anticipate all of our MN Biathlon athletes should attend both days!! As I was just at the venue yesterday, I can attest that conditions look great at this point!!
So please let me know if a] you plan to race and b] if you can volunteer to help!!
All for now!! Enjoy the Journey!! Bill Meyer, Coach
A fantastic weekend of racing at Blackhawk. Many thanks to the race organizers, coaches, and volunteers. Great to see so many states represented at our race! Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, and Iowa.
Coming up at Blackhawk in Middleton WI on the 15th/16th Jan weekend are the next races in our Midwest Regional series. Mark Torresani and his crew have been putting together a good manmade base and have been getting some natural snow on top! Should be great skiing!!
The plan is for a Pursuit race on Saturday and a Mass start by class waves on Sunday. Courses and final distances to be determined based on snowfall over the next 10 days.
If you plan to attend, please register online as below—and please let me know so we can provide a coaching staff to back you up!!
Open the webpages below, and under “Find Races” choose “Find registrations” and scroll way down to the 15/16th 2022 dates to find the actual registration and race information.
The volunteers at Blackhawk have been working hard to get ready for the Midwest Regional Races #3 and #4 at Blackhawk Ski club. There is plenty of manmade snow on the trails with more natural snow on the way. Conditions are expected to be very good. Registration for the events will open on January 5th at:
Lou Chouinard, our MN Biathlon Treasurer, offers some suggestions on donations.
To receive a tax deduction, the check should be made out to MN Biathlon and mailed to Lou at 3925 30th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406. The donor can designate the athlete to whom the donor intends to give it to, and MN Biathlon will honor that and send the athlete a check. Or the donor can make it a general athlete donation and the amount will be divided equally amongst Emma, Cheresa, Matej and Amanda.
If the check is made out to the athlete, we will just forward that on to the athlete, but no tax exempt deduction can be claimed.
Well, Trials are behind us! It was a pretty brutal experience between the altitude, heavy snow and a lot—a whole lot of wind on some days! The Midwest group had 14 athletes including Emily Broderson racing in the Masters class. Of those with MN connections, we placed 4 of the 17 now named to the US Teams!! In order of success:
Emma Stertz—top Junior woman Cheresa Bouley—2nd Junior woman Matej Cervenka– 4th Youth man Alexandria Rud– 4th Youth woman—Alexandria is a dual citizen from Norway with family connections in MN! She has raced with our group twice now.
Unfortunately, it takes a number of weeks at high altitude for the bodies to adjust, produce more red blood cells, and to allow full performances! As student/athletes, that is pretty much an impossibility for those of us living around 1200 feet above sea level when we have to race at 5900 feet!! Most of our athletes did improve as the race series progressed..and all certainly felt better! However, the Youth and Junior World Championships will be held this year at the same venue in Utah, so picking a team that can have success there was both important and an early opportunity to see and experience the same venue as those races in February!!
So while our skiing suffered, especially the first days, we again did very well on the shooting side. There were a total of 59 Youth and Juniors doing the 3 races—or a total of 3 x 59= 177 “individual races”. Of all those, 32 had ‘races’ shooting 80% or better—13 of them were our athletes. Only 14 shot a race 90% or better—and we had 6 of those. And only 3 had clean races, and we had 2 of those: Kaisa and Saylor both shot a clean race!!!!
To give you an idea of the conditions during the long 10km pursuit race—only 2 of the 59 shot 80% or better. It was nasty windy!!!
I think we can all thank Jeff Bosek for passing on his expertise on the ranges over the past 3 yrs—Kaisa has now cleaned 3 races in Soldier Hollow alone… still looking for that clean 4 stage race yet!!
So of the above three MN athletes and plus Amanda Kautzer, who is headed for the IBU events in Europe, with an eye on the last spots on the Olympic team—only Emma Stertz qualified for any financial help and that is for Worlds in the US, the European trip is self pay. Matej qualified just for the Utah events on a self pay basis. Cheresa and Amanda are totally on a self pay basis. With that in mind, if anyone wants to donate to help fund their expenses, Minnesota Biathlon is a 501c3 corporation and your donation is tax deductable. If you prefer to designate a recipient, the donation can go directly to that athlete, if not, then it will be divided equally between Emma, Cheresa, Matej and Amanda.
For this coming week—most have races next weekend—so should concentrate on easy distance skiing. Coming up on the 15th/16th weekend are the next Regional races –down in Middleton [Madison] WI. Mark Torresani indicates conditions should be good and the invitation will be forthcoming early this week!! And the 29th/30th will be Regionals in Elk River!
So enjoy the snow, keep racing, and for sure, enjoy the Journey! Bill Meyer, Coach