Biathlete Kawano makes nationals 

First-year competitor impresses at provincials

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SEA TO SKY PHOTOGRAPHY - on target Kaede Kawano (right) is shown with Sea to Sky Nordics teammate Larissa Black at the B.C. Biathlon Championships at Whistler Olympic Park.
  • Photo by Sea to Sky Photography
  • on target Kaede Kawano (right) is shown with Sea to Sky Nordics teammate Larissa Black at the B.C. Biathlon Championships at Whistler Olympic Park.

Through sleet, through wind, through rain, Kaede Kawano will compete her hardest.

The young Pembertonian showed that determination Feb. 13 and 14 as she earned a spot at next month's Canadian Biathlon Championships in Valcartier, Que. from March 15 to 20.

Kawano, who competes with Sea to Sky Nordics, placed first in the senior girls six-kilometre sprint and third in the 7.5-kilometre pursuit in less-than-ideal weather at Whistler Olympic Park during the B.C. Biathlon Championships.

"I was pretty proud of myself because the conditions were pretty hard," the 16-year-old said. "I put up some good results with those conditions.

"The snow was really heavy and slushy so when you were skiing, it was a lot harder on your legs... When you had to shoot, you were breathing a lot harder than you normally would."

Though Kawano has been a competitive cross-country skier for the last five years, she opted to join biathlon after being introduced to it during her cross-country training. Competitors can't rely on strength in just one of the skiing or shooting disciplines to excel, she explained, as different set-ups can favour different strengths.

"I like it because it's always changing," she said. "Sometimes the events give the stronger skiers a chance, a better chance, and sometimes it gives the stronger shooters a chance, so it's a lot more fun that way."

Doing so well so quickly has reinforced Kawano's interest in the sport. She'll get a chance to perform on a big stage soon as she will compete at the B.C. Winter Games in Penticton later this month.

"(The success) makes me wanting to keep practicing the parts that I don't do as well so I can get my results higher and higher," she said.

Several other Sea to Sky Nordics members hit the podium over the weekend.

In the pursuit, Jaedon Chase placed second in the junior boys event, Alex Sinnes and Tyler Ng were the top two in the recreational 2 division, as were Max Sterelyukhin and Jordan Laker in the men's event. Lastly, David Helliwell, Jonathan Anderson and Cathy Martin swept the recreational 1 division, Marie St-Pierre was second in the masters women event and Richard Price took third in the masters men.

In the sprint, Chase placed third in his division while Michael Murdoch and Joe Davies wrapped up the top two spots in the recreational 2 event, and Laker topped Sterelyukhin in the men's chase. Anderson, Helliwell and Martin swept the recreational 1 podium, Richard Blanchet took third in the masters men event and St-Pierre was third for the masters women.

Full results are available online at www.biathlonbc.ca.

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