Gow and Beaudry Both 6th, Canada Continues to Roll with Depth, Results at World Juniors

Chelsea LittleMarch 6, 2014
Sarah Beaudry racing in the pursuit earlier this week, where she earned bronze. Photo: Katrina Howe.
Sarah Beaudry (CAN) racing in the pursuit earlier this week, where she earned bronze. Photo: Katrina Howe.

After finishing third and fourth in the junior women’s pursuit a few days ago, Canadians Sarah Beaudry and Julia Ransom knew what they were capable of come individual day at World Youth and Junior Championships in Preque Isle, Maine.

“I moved up in the pursuit to 4th and was so excited to find my teammate beside me in the flower ceremonies in 3rd,” Ransom – a medalist at previous World Youth and Junior Championships – wrote in an e-mail.

And so on Wednesday, the women delivered. Beaudry missed three shots in the 12.5 k race and skied the third-fastest course time of the day to place sixth, while Ransom missed only two shots to finish 12 seconds behind in seventh place – despite a relatively weak skiing day.

“Unfortunately, I just didn’t have it in the legs and wasn’t feeling myself on the course,” Ransom wrote.

The ability to bounce back after the sprint races impressed Canadian development coach Roddy Ward. Ransom also wrote that just before the Championships began she learned that her grandmother, who had helped raise her, had passed away, making the week that much more difficult.

“Julia and Sarah have been consistent throughout the week, which shows their mental strength,” Ward wrote in an e-mail to FasterSkier.

“Seeing the strong skiing performances of the girls was really fantastic,” agreed Biathlon Canada High Performance Director Chris Lindsay.

Both Beaudry and Ransom are members of the Biathlon Alberta Training Center, and have already spent time competing in Europe this season. Ransom has collected five top-20 finishes on the IBU Cup so far and also earned her first World Cup start in Oberhof, Germany. Beaudry, a year younger, also attended two weekends of IBU Cup racing – her first tour as a senior.

“I was really happy to head over to the IBU cups in early January to remember how to ski at the faster international pace,” Beaudry wrote in an e-mail. “After that Julia and I came back to Canmore for a solid training block which I felt was very useful- not only did I get some good hours in I made some huge improvements on my technique.”

From there, Beaudry traveled to northern Maine where she had a somewhat disappointing start to the championships, placing 29th in the sprint. Strong shooting enabled her to earn bronze in the pursuit, though, with Ransom close behind. And the pair took it from there.

“The last few days have been really good and really exciting,” Beaudry wrote. “The races here have been really good and I think that is thanks to a few things… I have really been able to execute good efficient technique here in Presque Isle. I have also been able to become more consistent with my shooting thanks to another year of training with lots of range time.”

Ward credited the pair’s teamwork for their success in Maine so far.

“They are great training partners and competitors so they have spent the whole year chasing each other,” he wrote. “That training environment has clearly helped them develop.”

In the junior men’s 15 k individual, Canada put another athlete in the flower ceremony with Christian Gow, who finished sixth with just one penalty in a very strong-shooting field. Gow had also competed in both IBU Cup racing and Open European Championships earlier this winter.

“Christian came to these Championships with high goals and was today able to deliver,” Ward wrote. “He is now satisfied and can go home happy.”

Overall, it was another strong day for Canada, just after Alexandre Dupuis and Jules Burnotte finished fifth and sixth in the youth men’s individual races on Tuesday. So far, the Championships, which Canada had been strongly targeting for results, have been a big success.

“We recognized that this was the year that we wanted to start off the next generation of athletes in as strong and as forceful a way as possible,” Lindsay told FasterSkier.

With the event in nearby Maine, rather than across the ocean in Europe, they could do so.

“Everybody has been so friendly and welcoming here,” Beaudry wrote of racing in the County. “It is also nice because it is so close we have a very large cheering squad.”

Trials were held close to the actual event dates, enabling athletes to focus on a single peak. The organization also focused on making the trip a positive experience for both newcomers to championship racing, and its top athletes out to win medals.

“We wanted to be able to build up the sense of camaraderie and sense of a team immediately at trials,” Lindsay said. “We also stacked as many staff as we possibly could on this tour. We sent four coaches and five wax techs, and a few extra helpers showed up partway through the week to fill in the holes.”

The strategy worked, according to Ward, who is on the ground in northern Maine.

“We have had a very positive and supportive team environment here,” he wrote. “The athletes have stepped up with great attitudes and now I know they are motivated for the team relays coming up in the next two days.”

Both men are excited about what the week of racing shows for the future of Canadian biathlon.

“We do have performance-oriented goals for some of our junior athletes,” Lindsay said. “For Christian, Carsen [Campbell, who has finished in the top 20 in every race], Julia and Sarah, they were sent there with a job to do. And I think it’s pretty clear that they have achieved it.”

Ward was impressed with the depth shown by his Canadian team, which bodes well for the athletes’ transition into the senior field.

“We are all quite proud of the team depth we have shown this week with 6 different Canadian athletes scoring top 10 results,” he wrote. “We also have 4 provinces represented in the top 6 results with British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec all producing. Clearly these athletes have demonstrated that there is good development going on in Canada, which is exciting for the future.”

This is Ransom’s last year as a junior, and finishes of fourth and seventh at this year’s Championships indicate that she’s on track for a good senior career.

“I’m excited to leave my Junior years on a high,” Ransom wrote. “Being in the top 5 gives me confidence that I am on the right path to a successful senior career. I have both a cross country and biathlon World Cup under my belt so I am excited to tally up a few more in the years to come!”

results: junior women


KUMMER Luise GER 0+0+0+0





HAUSER Lisa Theresa AUT 0+1+0+0





KAISHEVA Uliana RUS 0+0+0+1





BEAUDRY Sarah CAN 1+1+0+1





RANSOM Julia CAN 0+1+1+0





YUNGBLUT Erin CAN 1+2+1+1





DICKINSON Kelsey Joan USA 0+3+1+3










COTE Rose-Marie CAN 4+2+3+0





results: junior men


LEREN Tore NOR 1+1+0+0





BEGUE Aristide FRA 0+0+0+0










GOW Christian CAN 0+0+1+0





CAMPBELL Carsen CAN 2+0+1+1





GUSTAFSON Tyler Mark USA 2+1+1+2





ELLINGSON Jakob USA 4+1+2+1





DAVIE Brett CAN 1+2+4+2






Chelsea Little

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.

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