Oliver Beebe picks off two golds at Westerns

Whitehorse biathlete Erin Oliver-Beebe must be getting used to adversity. First, two weeks ago, the 16-year-old took three top-20 finishes at the Canada Winter Games, going up against athletes years older and on national teams.

Whitehorse biathlete Erin Oliver-Beebe must be getting used to adversity.

First, two weeks ago, the 16-year-old took three top-20 finishes at the Canada Winter Games, going up against athletes years older and on national teams.

Then, while competing at the Western Canadian Biathlon Championships in Camrose, Alberta, this past weekend, Oliver-Beebe prevailed through cold temperatures and drifting snow to win two gold medals.

“It was weird actually because at the Canada Games I raced up (an age-group) and at Westerns I was back in my own category,” said Erin Oliver-Beebe. “The conditions were a lot worse than in Canada Games, so in that way it was harder, but the distances were shorter and I didn’t have to carry my rifle, so that made it easier.”

Oliver-Beebe won a gold in the senior girls print race on Sunday, the day after winning a gold in the 7.5-kilometre individual race, in which she was the top-shot hitting 12 out of 20 at the range.

“I’m used to shooting when it’s windy and all that,” said Erin Oliver-Beebe. “It’s really tricky to shoot in the wind, for everybody in those races. Everybody shot horrible.”

Also fresh from the Canada Games was Yukon’s Jeremy Johnson, the junior men’s top-shooter with 13 out of 20 in his eighth place finish on Saturday in the 15-kilometre race. He then finished eighth, in the bottom half of the field, in Sunday’s sprint as well.

The Yukon was also represented in the junior boys’ division. In Saturday’s six-kilometre race, Ale Peters, Jakov Tokic and Will Rees, took the bottom spots. However, Peters and Tokic both had a better percentage at the range than their older teammates, both scoring 10 out of 15.

“They did good. Their shooting was as good or better than a lot of the other racers,” said Biathlon Yukon coach Laurie Jacobsen. “This was a development category, which we thought would be good for them. This was one of their first races Outside.”

Both Peters and Rees moved up in the results in Sunday’s junior boys sprint, taking sixth and eighth respectively.

“We’ve been training in some really difficult weather this winter,” said Jacobsen. “Our team didn’t even blanch at the weather.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com