Snowshoe biathletes take seven ulus

After winning three gold ulus at the 2010 Games in snowshoeing, Halliday won three more last week in snowshoe biathlon in the Arctic Winter Games at the Biathlon Yukon Range in Whitehorse.

Yukon snowshoe athlete Kieran Halliday hasn’t lost a race in two Arctic Winter Games, in two different disciplines.

After winning three gold ulus at the 2010 Games in snowshoeing, Halliday won three more last week in snowshoe biathlon in the Arctic Winter Games at the Biathlon Yukon Range in Whitehorse.

“I think we were really fortunate to have Kieran with us,” said Yukon coach Jim Boyde. “He’s a very strong cross-country runner and snowshoer. He’s a very keen runner.”

Halliday’s medals, which brought the Yukon team’s count to seven, came in the junior male three-kilometre sprint, the four-kilometre mass start and the five-kilometre individual race.

In addition to snowshoeing in the last Arctic Games, Halliday also represented the territory in tennis at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games and 2009 Canada Summer Games.

The other Yukon medals came from the team’s three juvenile competitors.

Erin Hoehn captured gold in the three-kilometre individual and silver in the two-kilometre sprint for juvenile females.

Juvenile male Francis Reid won bronze in the three-kilometre individual and also placed fourth in the two-kilometre sprint.

Pelly Vincent-Braun, also in juvenile male, snagged bronze in the two-kilometre sprint. He also took fourth in the three-kilometre individual race.

The Yukon’s Sam Rees took fifth in the three-kilometre sprint for his best finish in junior male.

“They came to all the practices … they persevered, worked hard,” said Boyde. “We had to be up at 6 a.m. every morning. On a spring break holiday, they did outstandingly well in a variety of ways.”

The Yukon team would most likely have taken in a couple more medals but its relay teams competed unofficially due to a lack of athletes.

With Hoehn getting sick midweek, junior competitor Rees competed with the Yukon’s juvenile team, making it unofficial. In the junior division, Halliday teamed up with an N.W.T. athlete and an Alaskan to form an unofficial team in the relay.

“He had the best single time but he didn’t get a gold for it because he was on an unofficial relay team,” said Boyde of Halliday in the relay.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com