Biathlon Canada has selected 16 young athletes to represent their country at the World Youth and Junior Championships, to be held later this month in Obertilliach, Austria.
The team is headlined by junior national team members, including Julia Ransom, who won silver in the youth sprint at last season’s World Championships. Since then, she’s gotten more experience under her belt when she competed in the distance races at the Canmore ski World Cups, where she finished 57th in the 15 k skiathlon and 52nd in the 10 k classic mass start, beating more than half of Canada’s nations’ group. Now 19 years old, Ransom will move up to the junior division of racing.
But while she’s the most recent medalist on the team – last year’s Junior World Champion Kurtis Wenzel has graduated to the senior ranks – she’s definitely not the only one. Also in the junior women’s division will be teammate Rose-Marie Cote, who won bronze in the youth individual race back in 2011. They will be joined by Emma Lodge, who has two European race tours under her belt, and newcomer Erin Yungblut.
In the junior men’s division, Christian Gow is returning from two top-20 finishes in last year’s races, and Macx Davies and Jasper McKenzie both have experience in prior editions of World Youth and Junior Championships. Menno Arendz is punching his first ticket to a championships event.
Canada will almost certainly be led by Stuart Harden in the youth men’s division. Just one year ago, he turned in fourth- and seventh-place performances at the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, then went on to place sixth in the pursuit in the youth pursuit of the Championships in Kontiolahti. Also making the cut are Carsen Campbell, who competed in Kontilahti, and newcomers Matthew Strum and Arthur Roots.
Finally, the youth women’s squad has an experienced leader in Sarah Beaudry, who like Harden represented Canada at the Youth Olympic Games. She’s also been to the championships twice as a youth already. She’ll be marshalling a group of younger athletes: Leilani Tam Von Den Burg, Charlotte Hamel, and Emily Dickson.
The complete roster is listed below. The first races of the Championships will be held on January 25.
Christian Gow, Rocky Mountain Racers, Calgary AB
Macx Davies, Biathlon Alberta Training Centre/Canmore Nordic Ski Club, Canmore AB
Menno Arendz, Biathlon PEI, Hartsville PEI
Jasper MacKenzie, Telemark Ski Club, Kelowna BC
Julia Ransom, Biathlon Alberta Training Centre/Telemark Ski Club, Kelowna BC
Rose Marie Cote, Courcellette, St-Jean Chrysostome QC
Erin Yungblut, Biathlon Alberta Training Centre/Biathlon Ontario, Wroxeter ON
Emma Lodge, Biathlon Alberta Training Centre/Canmore Nordic Ski Club, Canmore AB
Stewart Harden, Rocky Mountain Racers, Calgary AB
Carsen Campbell, Biathlon PEI, Bedeque PEI
Matthew Strum, Canmore Nordic Ski Club, Canmore AB
Arthur Roots, Biathlon Alberta Training Center/Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, Prince George BC
Sarah Beaudry, Biathlon Alberta Training Center/Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, Prince George BC
Leilani Tam Von Den Burg, Chelsea Nordic, Ottawa ON
Charlotte Hamel, Club Biathlon Estrie, Sherbrooke QC
Emily Dickson, Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, Prince George BC
Richard Boruta, Biathlon Alberta Training Center, Canmore AB
Martin Tremblay, Centre Myriam Bedard, Valcartier QC
Vanessa Bonk, Regina Biathlon Club, Regina SK
Chelsea Little is FasterSkier's Editor-At-Large. A former racer at Ford Sayre, Dartmouth College and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, she is a PhD candidate in aquatic ecology in the @Altermatt_lab at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. You can follow her on twitter @ChelskiLittle.