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Games biathletes prep with Yukon championships

Team Yukon's ski and snowshoe biathletes took in one last competition before the start of the Arctic Winter Games next month in Whitehorse.

Team Yukon’s ski and snowshoe biathletes took in one last competition before the start of the Arctic Winter Games next month in Whitehorse.

Competing at the Yukon Biathlon Championships at the Biathlon Yukon Range on Sunday, almost all of the junior and juvenile divisions were won by members of the teams that will represent the territory at the Games in a little over a week.

One exception was Jennifer Curtis, who was head and shoulders above the rest of the three divisions that skied a 7.5-kilometre race.

“It definitely wasn’t my fastest. I had raced the day before and was still recovering,” said Curtis. “I had some good prone shooting and I was happy with some of the small things I did on the course, like pushing over the top of hills and around corners and out of the range.”

Jennifer Curtis has opted not to compete in the upcoming Arctic Winter Games March 4-10 so she can focus on the Canadian championships the following week. She represented the Yukon at the Canada Winter Games last year, taking in top-20 results.

“Nationals are the week after and since I’ve been sick so much I want to recover,” said Curtis.

Competing on behalf of the Yukon in ski biathlon are Will Rees, Ale Peters, Olivia Findlay for juniors and Tristan Sparks, Jakov Tokic and Nadia Moser for juvenile.

On Team Yukon for snowshoe biathlon are Keiran Halliday and Sam Rees for juniors and Erin Hoehn, Pelly Vincent-Braun and Francis Reid for juveniles.

“Tristan Sparks is one to look out for,” said Curtis. “And Nadia too.

“Tristan is really good at skiing and Nadia has had good results so far this year.”

In other biathlon news, Whitehorse’s Erin Oliver-Beebe competed in her first race at the World Junior and Youth Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, on Sunday.

Oliver-Beebe, who is the first Yukon biathlete to compete at the junior worlds, placed 50th out of 75 competitors in youth women’s 10-kilometre individual event.

She shot clean in her first time at the range, then missed three in her next visit - adding a one-minute penalty with each miss - and hit four in her last two trips to the range. Had she shot clean in each, her time would have put her in 15th.

Oliver-Beebe will compete in a six-kilometre sprint on Thursday (at midnight Yukon time) and a pursuit on Sunday. Thursday’s results were not available at press time.

Ski biathlon results

Junior male (7.5-kilometre)

1st Ale Peters - 49:24

2nd Will Rees - 49:25

Junior female (7.5-kilometre)

1st Jennifer Curtis - 34:50

2nd Olivia Findlay - 46:27

3rd Clara Reid - 55:24

Mixed open (7.5-kilometre)

1st Grant Redfern - 45:20

2nd Bernard Johnson - 49:53

3rd Jim Stefanoff - 55:59

4th Kiego Tokura - 56:34

Juvenile male (five-kilometre)

1st Tristan Sparks - 24:38

2nd Jakov Tokic - 29:05

3rd Daniel Sennett - 34:38

Juvenile female (five-kilometre)

1st Maria Peters - 29:03

2nd Nadia Moser - 32:41

Snowshoe biathlon results

Mixed Bears (3.2-kilometre)

1st Aidan Hupe - 22:11

2nd Romeo Champagne - 25:06

3rd Daniel Ziegler - 25:09

4th Annabelle Stefanoff - 28:43

5th Cole Sinclair - 29:26

6th Jacqueline Stefanoff - 29:46

7th Dana Sellars - 31:35

8th Emma Marnik - 36:13

9th Joshua Stevens - 38:33

10th Jay Sinclair - 48:10

Junior male (four-kilometre)

1st Kieran Halliday - 29:34

2nd Sam Rees - 52:12

Juvenile male (2.5-kilometre)

1st Pelly Vincent-Braun - 21:28

2nd Francis Reid - 21:34

Juvenile female (2.5-kilometre)

1st Erin Hoehn - 26:41

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