Biathlon Yukon hosts championship for skiers and snowshoers

Biathletes begin a mass-start race during the Yukon Championships on March 1 at the Grey Mountain Biathlon Range. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)
Snowshoe biathletes start a race during the Yukon Championships on March 1 at the Grey Mountain Biathlon Range. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)
Matthew London, left, and Keelan Robins run out of the range during the Yukon Championships on March 1 at the Grey Mountain Biathlon Range. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)
Noah Marnik takes aim during the Yukon Championships on March 1 at the Grey Mountain Biathlon Range. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Biathlon Yukon hosted the Yukon Championships at the Grey Mountain Biathlon Range on Feb. 29 and March 1 with dozens of participants on skis and snowshoes competing in sprint events on day one and mass-start events on day two.

Sophia Marnik, chief of timing for the event, said things went smoothly, particularly on day two.

“It actually ran quite smoothly for having that many athletes all at once,” said Marnik. “We had a first heat of about 15 — that’s the little ones that went out there, the biathlon bears — and then we had a second mass start of another 23, so that’s actually for us quite a large competition.”

While participants and spectators alike enjoyed the sunshine and relatively warm temperatures, gusting winds made for some less than ideal shooting conditions.

“It can be quite blustery (at the range),” said Marnik. “We either like a consistent wind or no wind, ideally, but in this case it was a bit blustery so they sometimes had to readjust between bouts of shooting.”

As snowshoe biathlon will be an event at the Arctic Winter Games, a number of snowshoe biathletes joined in on the competition as well.

“Usually we don’t have snowshoe biathlon,” explained Marnik. “That’s a discipline that exists only for the Arctic Winter Games. We have a lot of athletes that are training in their snowshoes because they’re going to be competing in snowshoe biathlon.”

The championships started with sprint competition on Feb. 29 for skiers and snowshoers.

In the bears 2.5-kilometre sprint, Logan Tirschmann finished first followed by Xavier Macht in second and Mason Parry in third.

Romeo Champagne was the lone competitor in the youth men 7.5-km category and Emma Marnik was the only skier in the youth women six-km category.

In the senior boys six-km category, Noah Marnik finished first and Isidore Champagne was second.

Veronica Porter won the senior girls six-km category with Ava Irving-Staley finishing second.

Cole Germain was the only junior boys 3.75-km skier and Cheyenne Tirschmann was the only junior girls 3.75-km skier.

In the boys pursuit 3.75-km category, Johna Irving-Staley finished ahead of Owen McDonald.

Moving to snowshoe biathlon, Alex Brown, Ayla McDonald and Lydia Brown were the only athletes in the junior male, junior female and juvenile female categories respectively.

In the juvenile male category, Matthew London finished ahead of Keelan Robins.

The next day, the biathletes were back in action with mass-start competition.

In the bears three-km mass start, it was again Logan finishing first. Niamh Hupé was second and Parry was third.

Again, Romeo and Emma were the only competitions in their respective categories — youth men 10-km and youth women 7.5-km.

In the senior boys 7.5-km, Noah finished ahead of Isidore, while in the senior girls 7.5-km it was Ava ahead of Porter.

The masters men 35 7.5-km mass-start saw Berne Johnson finish ahead of Daniel Dreisetl.

Germain won the junior boys five-km mass start with Bruce Porter second, and Cheyenne was the lone competitor in the junior girls five-km.

In the boys pursuit 3-km, Owen was first followed by Johna and Colin Diamond in second and third.

Snowshoe biathlon was very similar to the previous day, as Alex, Ayla and Lydia all competed in the junior male, junior female and juvenile female categories respectively.

Rounding out the results, Robins finished ahead of London in the juvenile male 2.5-km mass-start competition.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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