The Mt. Itasca Biathlon Club is hosting the Masters US Nationals and North American Biathlon Championships. This is the first year the Masters are being recognized as a separate division and awarded national titles. Twenty-eight masters are in attendance spread out among six classes. The age brackets are Master 30-39, Senior Master 40-49 and Veteran Master 50+ for both men and women.
The 7.5 k Sprint Masters Men, Piotr Bednarski (MN Biathlon) claimed the title in a time of 22:43 with three penalties. Tom Moffett (Saratoga Biathlon) was :03 back with one penalty and third place went to Ben Kremer (MN Biathlon) with four penalties 1:13 behind the winner
In the 7.5 k Sprint Senior Master race, Paul Peterson (National Guard Biathlon) skied brilliantly to overcome five penalties and win by :34 with a total time of 23:08. Second went to Dave Anana (Washington Biathlon Association) with the only clean shooting of all masters in all divisions. Tony Carter (Mt. Itasca Biathlon) took third with three penalties :40 back of Peterson.
Bill Quinlan (Colorado Biathlon) had four penalties and fast skis winning the Veteran Masters by1:18 in a time of 26:34. Second place finisher, Neal John (Wisconsin BC) also had four penalties. Third spot went to Lou Chouinard (MN Biathlon)was 3:10 off Quinlan’s pace.
Top honors in 6 k Master Women went to Jill Troutner (MN Biathlon) with four penalties and a time of 21:55. Madeliene Fairchild (Colorado Biathlon) took the Silver medal with five penalties 5:12 behind the winner.
Both the Senior Master and Veteran Master Women had one participant. Arminda Phillips (Washington Biathlon) is the Senior Master winner with a time of 32:05 and 3 penalties. Judy Geer (Ethan Allen Biathlon) finished her race in 28:54 with seven penalties.
The small fields in the Women’s races did nothing to diminish the titles won by these committed athletes. Each of them trained throughout the year, attending races and made the effort to come to Minnesota and race. Each of these women raced hard as if the field was filled with former World Cup participants. The titles of National Champion are genuine and deserved.
Friday, all Masters Men classes race a 10k Pursuit with the Women racing 7.5 k.