With its mixture of skill, enthusiasm and experience, the Yukon’s biathlon team for the Arctic Winter Games could pick up some medals this March, said head coach Dennis Peters.
“I think we have a great team,” said Peters.
“We were down in Canmore with most of them and some of them were very competitive. Some are going to be very close to medaling or medaling. Others are having a great time at it. They are keen athletes, they are learning the skills and overall the team is just a pleasure to coach.
“I’ve coached other teams, which was a lot harder work. These guys come with good attitudes, enthusiasm and I think it’s looking to be a very good team to coach for the Arctic Games.”
The team was selected during Dec. 10 trials at the Biathlon Yukon range on Whitehorse’s Grey Mountain Road. It has a variety of experience levels.
Topping the list is junior competitor Jennifer Curtis. Although this is her first Arctic Games, Curtis took in top-20 results at the Canada Winter Games last February in Halifax and is eligible to compete again at the 2015 Canada Games.
She also came fifth at the 2011 Canadian Biathlon Championships in Charlo, New Brunswick, last March.
Curtis won a bronze medal at the North American Cup/Calforex Cup in Canmore, Alberta, early this month to start the season.
Joining Curtis in juniors are Olivia Findlay, William Rees, Alejandro Peters and alternate Clara Reid. His second Arctic Games, Alejandro reached seventh in the five-kilometre mass start biathlon event for his best result in 2010.
Representing the Yukon in juvenile are Jakov Tokic, Tristan Sparks and first-year competitor Nadia Moser. Francis Reid is the alternate.
Tokic and Sparks both competed in the 2010 Arctic Games but in snowshoe biathlon and cross-country skiing respectively. Tokic took fifth in the three-kilometre event in juvenile.
Also making the team for the juvenile category was Maria Peters. However, coach and father Dennis believes his daughter will opt to compete on the Yukon’s figure skating team for which she was also selected.
Absent from the team is veteran Erin Oliver-Beebe, who won three silvers at the 2010 Arctic Games. Oliver-Beebe, who also posted top-20 results at the Canada Games at the start of the year, missed the trials because of training with the Canmore Nordic Club for which she competes. She also plans to compete at the nationals that begin immediately following the Arctic Games.
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