A bit of wind can mean extra penalty laps at a biathlon race. But some sharp-shooting youngsters weren’t blown off target at the Yukon Biathlon Championships over the weekend at the Biathlon Yukon Range.
“It was very windy on the weekend – especially Sunday – but we still had some kids who were shooting very well,” said Biathlon Yukon president Bill Curtis. “They get recognized when they clean the targets – drop all five of them. So a number of those kids got clean shooting awards.
“Micah (Hildes), for example, cleaned when she was standing, which is very difficult to do even when it’s not windy. We had three in the Bears – the midget boys – who all cleaned on Sunday.”
Hot off of winning two medals at the B.C. championships, Hildes won the senior girls division both days, shooting 80 per cent on Sunday.
The 15-year-old was one of just six biathletes to win a division both days at the two-day championship.
Yukon Velocity Squad teammate Jake Draper was another.
Draper, who also won two medals at the B.C. championships the previous weekend, topped the senior boys division both days. The 15-year-old shot 80 per cent on Saturday, cleaning once in prone and once standing.
Whitehorse’s Steve Hahn topped the masters men’s division both days, winning the 10-kilometre individual on Saturday by almost 15 minutes.
A total of six masters (over-35) raced Saturday and five on Sunday.
“We had some participation by some masters, so that was new,” said Curtis. “It’s higher than it’s been before, so there’s a bit of interest there.”
Yukon Pursuit Squad’s Isidore Champagne notched wins both days in the juvenile boys division. He came in with over three minutes to spare in Sunday’s three-kilometre sprint.
Maria Peters and Bruce Wilson, who were the only racers in their respective youth divisions, also finished with titles both days.
The highly competitive junior divisions saw four different winners – all from the Velocity Squad – over the two days.
Romeo Champagne and Emma Marnik won in the six-kilometre races Saturday.
Aidan Hupe and Dana Sellars claimed first in the kilometre sprints on Sunday.
It was the same story in the midget divisions.
Ava Irving-Staley and Cole Germain won in the three-kilometre on Saturday.
Asha Neumann Dar won for the girls and Bruce Porter for the midget boys – the largest division of the weekend with seven racers – on Sunday.
In addition to Hildes and Draper, Marnik, Francis Reid and Bronwyn Goodwin-Williams won medals the previous weekend at the B.C. Biathlon Championships in Whistler.
“Our kids were shooting better than their counterparts and I think that’s a big reason for the success,” said Curtis. “That speaks well to the coaching.”
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