Young biathletes from as far away as Quebec were at Whistler Olympic Park last weekend to take part in the first B.C. Cup race of the season, as well as a biathlon trials event that will help to determine who will compete for Canada at the Junior World Championships.
The opening event was a sprint on Saturday. Max Davies of Canmore took the win in the Mixed Junior/Mixed Men 10 km sprint with a time of 31:30.2, making all but one shot in two trips to the shooting range.
Aaron Gillmor and Christian Gow of the Rocky Mountain Racers, also based in Alberta, were second and third. Gillmor missed two shots and finished 18.7 seconds behind Davies, while Gow missed three shots and was nine seconds back of Gillmor. Aaron Neumann of Prince George was the top B.C. athlete, in fifth place.
In the Mixed Junior/Youth Women 7.5 km sprint, Yolaine Oddou and Audray Vallancourt of Quebec were first and second. Both were perfect at the range, but Oddou was 1:43 faster on her skis. Grace Boutot of Rocky Mountain Racers was third. She missed two shots but finished six seconds back of Vaillancourt.
In Masters Men 7.5 km, Sea Kato of Methow was first, followed by Jeff Curtis of Sovereign Lake. The Callaghan Winter Sports Club fielded a few athletes for the competition, including Richard Blanchett, who placed third among masters.
A handful of local kids also took part. Squamish's Holden Jones, racing with the West Coast Nordics, was first in the Mixed Midget 2.1 km sprint, and was perfect at the range.
Hollie Sones was second in the Youth Women 6 km sprint, missing three shots.
Hunter Sones was sixth in Mixed Juveniles 2.1 km sprint.
Cedric St-Pierre Borchert was sixth in Senior Boys 6 km, missing five shots.
On Sunday, the competition continued with a pursuit.
In the Mixed Junior/Youth Men 12.5 km category, David Gregoire of Quebec took the title in 37:20.9, missing two shots. Aaron Gillmor of the Rocky Mountain Racers was second in 38:07, missing five targets, while Stuart Harden missed one shot in four trips to the range to place third in 42.2.
Yolaine Oddou was first once again on the women's side, this time by more than a minute. She missed just two shots. Grace Boutot was second and Emma Lunder of the Rocky Mountain Racers was third.
For the locals, Holden Jones was victorious once again in the Mixed Midget category, and once again did not miss a target.
Hunter Sones moved up to third in his group, not missing a single shot.
Cedric St-Pierre Borchert moved up one spot to fifth in his category.
There was also a mass start event on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
Christian Gow led the Youth trials despite missing three shots, finishing with a 47 second gap over Rocky Mountain Racers teammate Stuart Harden. David Gregoire was third.
Audray Vaillancourt of Quebec led the Youth Women, and didn't miss a shot. She was followed by Julia Ransom from the Okanagan and Emma Lunder of the Rocky Mountain Racers.
Complete results are posted online at www.biathlonbc.ca.
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