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Notes, Quotes and Photos: Pursuit Day at IBU World Youth & Junior Championships

Photo: Jake Ellingson.

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.

Doherty Makes The Jump, Earns World Juniors Bronze in Belarus

The podium for the 10 k sprint at biathlon World Junior Championships: Aleksandr Dediukhin of Russia (center) took the win, followed by Fabien Claude of France (left). Sean Doherty (USA) earned bronze, his first international medal at the junior level. (Photo: IBU/Evgeny Tumashov)

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.

Aidan Millar Posts Career-Best with Eighth in World Juniors Sprint; First Canadian Top-10

Canada's Aidan Millar racing in the individual competition earlier this week at World Junior Championships. (Photo: Jane Robertson)

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.

Vermont’s Levins 18th in World Youth Champs Sprint, In Second International Race of Career

Chloe Levins of Rutland, Vermont, used clean shooting to skate her way to 18th place in the 6 k sprint at World Youth Championships in Raubichi, Belarus, on Friday. (Photo: U.S. Biathlon)

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.

Challenges Both New and Familiar For American TD of Junior/U23 World Championships in Kazakhstan

The "red loop" of the Almaty race trails before the skiathlon competitions. (Photo: Matt Pauli)

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.

Photo Gallery: Tam Von Burg, Churchill Take Wins on First Day of Canada Games

Photo: Daniel Guay.

Benjamin Churchill of Alberta took a “wildly unexpected” win in the 15 k individual, while Leilani Tam Von Burg of Ontario won the 12.5 k in the first day of biathlon competition in Prince George, British Columbia.

Photo Gallery: Almaty Junior Worlds in Review, Through the Eyes of U.S. Skiers

From l-r, Vivian Hett (NMU), Kristen Bourne (NMU), Julia Kern (CSU), and Hailey Swirbul (Aspen Valley) after the classic sprint at Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Photo: Vivian Hett)

At the end of Junior World Championships, several U.S. athletes submitted their favorite photos from their experiences in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

U.S. Women Eighth in Junior Worlds Relay; Russia and Norway Victorious

The venue in Almaty, Kazakhstan, was faced with problems of snow shortages during Junior and U23 World Championships in early February. Here, American Thomas O'Harra (back left) staying with the leaders during the first leg of the junior men's relay; his team would go on to finish 11th. (Photo: Logan Heinemann)

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.

Ogden Ties Best U.S. Junior Distance Result in Sixth; Stewart-Jones in 14th in Skiathlon

Katharine Ogden (10) on her way to a sixth-place finish in the women's 10 k skiathlon at the Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Photo: Bryan Fish/USSA)

Katharine Ogden, racing in her first-ever Junior World Championships, earned the best distance result for any American at junior worlds since 2002. She placed sixth in Friday’s 10 k skiathlon, while Katherine Stewart-Jones led the Canadian women in 14th.

Russians Dominate Skiathlon at Junior Worlds as Torchia Takes 11th, Dumas 18th

Ian Torchia (NMU) on his way to an 11th-place finish in the 20 k skiathlon at the 2015 Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan  (Photo: Bryan Fish)

American Ian Torchia led the North American men on Friday, placing 11th in the 20 k skiathlon at Junior World Championships, while Alexis Dumas of Canada finished 18th. Meanwhile, the Russians swept the podium for the second-consecutive race.

Ogden 11th in Junior Worlds Debut; Russians Sweep Men’s Podium as Dumas Leads North Americans

Katharine Ogden (SMS) placed 11th in Wednesday's 5 k freestyle in the Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Photo: Bryan Fish)

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

Canadian National Junior Team members Katherine Stewart-Jones (19) and Maya MacIsaac-Jones (29) chase Russia's Natalia Nepryaeva (2) in the quarterfinal of the 1.3 k classic sprint on the opening day of 2015 Junior World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Photo: Lisa Patterson/CCC)

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.

USBA Adds Five Athletes to World Youth & Junior Champs Roster; Photo Gallery from Trials

Jake Pearson (Casper Mountain Biathlon Club)

The United States Biathlon Association expanded its selections for World Youth and Junior Championships from eight to 13 athletes, and named four who will also get to compete at Open European Championships. Plus, some action shots by Lake Superior Biathlon coach Daniel Guay.

Eight Biathletes Named to U.S. Squad for World Youth and Junior Championships in Belarus

Brian Halligan (Maine Winter Sports Center/USBA Development Team) competing in the NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, on December 7. Halligan swept all three junior men's races at World Youth and Junior Trials in Mount Itasca, Minnesota, and earned a spot on the championships team. Photo: Jakob Ellingson.

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.

Photos Gallery: Biathlon NorAm / WYJC Trials Mass Starts in Canmore

Patrick Johnson (Far West Elite Team/Auburn Ski Club) in the men's race.

Photos from an exciting day of mass start racing in Canmore, Alberta, on Sunday. American and Canadian men and women contested NorAms, and Canada also used the youth and junior categories as selection trials for age-group championships in Minsk, Belarus, this winter.

Associations, National Teams See Multiple Benefits in Low-Fluoro or ‘Same-Wax’ Race Protocols

What's going on in those wax tents? Depending on the race, ski prep could be a lot less fluoro-intense for some Eastern racers.

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.

Two Clubs to Superclub: Despite Wild Success, Loppet Nordic Racing at ‘The Tip of the Iceberg’

Amanda Kautzer (r) of Loppet Nordic Racing crests the final hill in Wednesday's 1.4 k classic sprint A-final before winning her first title at Junior Nationals in Stowe this March.

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.

Team Hardwood Seeks Beach Time, Beneficial Training in Tobermory

Team Hardwood explores shipwrecks in Big Tug Harbour. (Photo: Patricia MacDonell)

Team Hardwood President Patricia MacDonell recaps her team’s annual junior camp on Bruce Peninsula in southern Ontario.

This Month in Journals: Does Birthdate Matter in Winning, or Staying In, Youth Sports?

Lennart Metz (GER) celebrating his win in the men's classic sprint at Junior World Championships. Photo: Liberec2013.

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?

Breakthrough Season Nets New Sponsors, Army Service for Young Swiss Phenom

World Junior men's podium (l to r): Sindre Bjoernestad Skar (NOR) 2nd place, Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) 1st place, Sondre Turvoll Fossli (NOR) 3rd place, Roman Schaad (SUI) fourth place and Emil Vokuev (RUS) fifth place.

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.