First ever Yukon biathlete heading to junior worlds

Whitehorse's Erin Oliver-Beebe skied and shot her way into the Yukon history books over the weekend. Competing with fellow Yukoners, Jennifer Curtis and Ryan Burlingame...

Whitehorse’s Erin Oliver-Beebe skied and shot her way into the Yukon history books over the weekend.

Competing with fellow Yukoners, Jennifer Curtis and Ryan Burlingame, at the North American Cup 4, the Junior and Youth 2012 Selection Trials in Val Cartier, Quebec, Oliver-Beebe captured one of four spots on the youth women’s national team.

When she competes at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships next month in Kontiolahti, Finland, she will be the first Yukon biathlete to reach that level of competition.

“I’m super excited. I didn’t know I would do that this year – my goal was to do that next year,” said Oliver-Beebe. “I’m super stoked for it.”

Oliver-Beebe, who trains at the Canmore Nordic Ski Club in Alberta, opened the trials taking fourth in the 7.5-kilometre mass start race. She finished seventh in the 7.5-kilometre sprint and placed second in the 10-kilometre individual pursuit.

Those results put her in fourth overall for youth women and in the last available spot.

Though the 17-year-old made a podium spot to end the trials, the opening race was her favourite. Not only did Oliver-Beebe shoot clean in her first two times at the range, it proved to her that a spot on the team was within her grasp.

“That was my best race out of the three of them,” said Oliver-Beebe. “I cleaned the first two prones and I’ve never actually done that before in a race. My standing was good as well and it made my race.

“I went into the trials not knowing where I would place because last year I was so far behind everybody. This year I did that (first) race and was like, ‘Yeah, I might actually have a chance.’”

Not only will it be Oliver-Beebe’s first time competing in Europe, it’ll be her first time going to Europe.

“It’s going to be a huge, new experience for me,” said Oliver-Beebe. “There is going to be 100 people racing in my category supposedly and I have never done a race that big.”

Curtis not only had her competition to deal with at the trials, but the remnants of an illness. But her convalescence could be seen in her improved results as the trials went on.

“I was pretty happy because I was quite sick going into it,” said Curtis. “I got more energy as the week went by, which also explains why my placings went up and up. So I just wanted to go in and focus on the little things and get some good experience from the races.”

Curtis went from 11th in the first race, moved up into eighth in the second and finished with seventh in the 10-kilometre pursuit, putting her in eighth overall.

“I wasn’t expecting too much. I just wanted to go in to get the little things out, which I’m really happy with,” said the 17-year-old. “The first race I had some of the best shooting that I’ve had while racing.”

Burlingame, who competes on Canada’s only varsity biathlon team at the University of Alberta in Augustana, produced consistent results at the trials for the junior men division. After finishing 10th to start, Burlingame came seventh in the sprint, seventh in the pursuit for seventh overall.

Last season Oliver-Beebe became the first Yukoner to win a medal at the Canadian Biathlon Championships since 1997, snagging bronze in the senior girls’ 7.5-kilometre pursuit. She also won two gold medals at the 2011 Western Canadian Championships in Camrose, Alta.

Oliver-Beebe and Curtis represented the Yukon at the Canada Winter Games a year ago in Nova Scotia. Years younger than most of their competition, which included national team members, the two posted top-20 results in all three races. The two were so much younger than the rest of the field they are eligible to compete in the same division at the next Canada Winter Games in three years.

Earlier this month Oliver-Beebe and Burlingame raced at the second North American Cup/Calforex Cup of the season in Canmore, Alta. Oliver-Beebe won two silvers while Burlingame won a bronze.

At the first North American Cup of the season in December, Curtis won a bronze and Oliver-Beebe won silver in the youth women division.

“I’m just really happy for Erin,” said Curtis of Oliver-Beebe making the team. “I know she’s worked really hard for this and she deserves it.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read