In a busy day outside of Minsk, Belarus, Sean Doherty finished 11th for the U.S. in the junior men’s pursuit, followed by Canada’s Aidan Millar in 14th; Millar’s teammate Pearce Hanna placed 13th in the youth men’s race. We caught up with nine different North American competitors, plus have a gallery of photos by Jake Ellingson and Jane Robertson to share.
Conway, New Hampshire, might not be surprised that yet again, Sean Doherty is bringing home a medal in his luggage from a major international competition. But after two years of winning at the youth level, making the podium as a junior is still a big accomplishment. Doherty starts Sunday’s pursuit ten seconds out of first place.
Stepping up from youth to junior racing is supposed to be hard – but in doing so, Canmore’s Aidan Millar turned in his best result ever in international championship racing. “I’m finding it hard to believe that I was actually able to get that result,” he wrote of finishing 8th in the 10 k sprint in Belarus.
When Chloe Levins arrived in Belarus, she had been sick and missed a training block. She wasn’t thrilled with her first race, but by the time round two rolled around she was ready: Levins cleaned all ten targets to place 18th. Pearce Hanna led the Canadian team by finishing 34th in the men’s 7.5 k sprint.
Anchorage’s Matt Pauli served as the FIS Technical Delegate for Junior and U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in early February. He reports back that though the local committee was hardworking and accommodating of challenges with snowpack, the venue was brand new – and not, he believes, ideal to host an Olympic Games. Luckily, the Soldatskoe venue where he worked at Asian Winter Games in 2011 is a good alternative.
Russia asserted its dominance once again by winning the men’s relay, while Norway earned a narrow victory in the women’s relay on the last day of Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The U.S. women were eighth and the men placed 11th, while the Canadian men’s and women’s teams both finished 10th.
17-year-old American Katharine Ogden finished an impressive 11th in her first-ever race in the Junior World Championships, while Katherine Stewart-Jones led the Canadian women and took 25th. In the men’s race, Canada’s Alexis Dumas placed 30th and was the top North American in a race dominated by the Russian team.
O’Harra 14th in Classic Sprint for Junior Worlds Best; Stewart-Jones Leads Three Canadian Women in Heats
Last year in his Junior World Championships debut, Thomas O’Harra placed 54th in the freestyle sprint. The 18-year-old APU skier placed 14th on Tuesday in the opening race of 2015 Junior Worlds in Almaty, Kazakhstan — the 1.3-kilometer classic sprint — and three Canadian women made the quarterfinals as well.
Eight biathletes, hailing from New England through Minnesota to the West Coast, have been named to the U.S. team for World Youth and Junior Championships in Minsk, Belarus, in mid-February. Team namings came after a three-race trials series in Mount Itasca, Minnesota. Additional discretionary picks are anticipated after January 1st.
For reasons as wide-ranging as fairness of competition, stress on athletes, health of coaches, and saving money, several North American ski and biathlon organizations have policies limiting the use of high-fluoro waxes at some competitions. And they have nothing but positive feedback from their experiences.
Almost three years ago now, Reid Lutter and Piotr Bednarski decided that rather than watching their two Twin Cities training programs compete for skiers and resources, they should join forces. The results are a lesson in what city-based ski clubs can accomplish: in 2014 Loppet Nordic Racing was the most successful junior team in the country.
In the 2013 World Junior Championships sprint, half of the male competitors in the final were born in the last five months of the eligibility window. Is this a case of a relative age effect – and what are the implications for elite sports on the whole, or retaining youngsters to be recreational athletes for life?
What happens when you live in a ski-crazy country and have a breakout race on home soil? We talked to Roman Schaad, a 20-year-old Swiss sprinter who shot into the top 10 in his very first World Cup in Davos last December. That day, it took him 2 hours to finish interviews before he could go home – to his apartment literally next to the finish line. Sponsors and an Olympic appearance followed.