Biathlon Canada has announced its nominations for the 2015-2016 national team, and twelve athletes made the cut.
The team will be led by four senior athletes who had personal bests on the international stage last season. Calgary native Nathan Smith won a silver medal in the 10 k sprint at World Championships, and followed it up with his first World Cup victory, in a 12.5 k pursuit at the next World Cup.
Two teammates nipped at the podium in World Cup racing: Rosanna Crawford notched fourth- and fifth-place finishes, while Brendan Green finished fifth in a sprint in Antholz, Italy. Joining them on the “A” team will be Megan Heinicke, who collected four different career-best top-15 finishes over the course of the season.
The “B” team will be made up of a combination of senior athletes with championship experience, and younger athletes making the jump to the World Cup. Veteran and Olympian Scott Perras, as well as World Championships competitors Audrey Vaillancourt, Scott Gow, and Julia Ransom, have kept their spots. So too have Emma Lunder, who earned a career-best second place in an IBU Cup sprint this season, and Macx Davies, Christian Gow, and Sarah Beaudry, all of whom are beginning to see World Cup action.
Of that group, the Gow brothers had the biggest impact on the World Cup, teaming up with Smith and Green to finish fifth in the 4 x 7.5 k relay in Oslo, Norway, this season.
Only one athlete from last season’s team was not re-named. Zina Kocher, a three time Olympian, started the season on the World Cup but had a top finish of 48th. After moving down to the IBU Cup, she matched Lunder’s second-place result on home turf in Canmore.
Head coach Matthias Ahrens is signed on with the team for another year, along with coach Roddy Ward. Kathy Davies was added to the staff as an assistant coach.
2015-2016 Canadian National Team
Head Coach: Matthias Ahrens
Coach: Roddy Ward
Assistant Coach: Kathy Davies
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.