Cadets take aim at territorial biathlon championships

Four Whitehorse cadets have skied and shot their way onto a biathlon team bound for nationals.

Four Whitehorse cadets have skied and shot their way onto a biathlon team bound for nationals.

Rosie Lang, Aurora Krause, Noah Gilbert and Aidan Hupe will represent the North at nationals following strong performances at the Territorial Biathlon Stage III Championship at the Biathlon Yukon facility in Whitehorse Feb. 11-12.

The four biathletes, all members of the 551 Whitehorse Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, will compete at the Cadet National Biathlon Championships at the end of the month in Valcartier, Que.

“Our cadets trained extremely hard this year and as Commanding Officer of 551 Whitehorse Lions Air Cadet Squadron, I am truly proud of the entire team consisting of 16 cadets,” said Capt. Jennifer Lafreniere. “We were fortunate to have Liam Burke from Biathlon Yukon and Mike Gladish from Stride and Glide instructing, mentoring and guiding all of our 16 Air Cadet biathletes.

“A very prestigious position of cadet coach was awarded to (16-year-old) Alexandria Duchaine again from our squadron. She will assist the adult coach who has yet to be selected. Alex has been at the nationals as a competitor for the past couple of years and is now assuming more of a leadership role.”

Fifty cadets, ages 12-18, from all three territories raced at the event over the weekend, which featured sprint races Feb. 11 and individual races Feb. 12.

Hupe placed first both days in the junior male division — the largest with a field of 18 racers. Gilbert, who raced at last year’s nationals, placed second behind Hupe both days.

In the sprint Hupe shot seven of 10 at the range to finish almost two minutes ahead of Gilbert, who shot clean with 10 out of 10. Gilbert, 13, was almost seven minutes ahead of the third place finisher from Arctic Bay, Nunavut.

In the individual race Hupe outpaced Gilbert by 35 seconds. Gilbert was over five minutes ahead of the third place finisher.

Hupe is also a member of Biathlon Yukon’s Velocity Squad for elite biathletes. So far this season the 14-year-old has won two silver at a B.C. Cup and a bronze at a Calforex Cup in Alberta.

Krause, 14, and Lang, 16, will compete in the open female division at nationals.

Krause placed first out of nine junior female racers in the sprint. She then placed third in the individual race.

Lang, who also competed at last year’s nationals, took first ahead of one other competitor both days. She won by almost 50 minutes in the sprint and by almost a half hour in the individual race.

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