There’s a notion in biathlon: the better you shoot, the faster you ski.
After cleaning house at the range, adrenaline kicks in and suddenly all the trails are downhill.
“That’s the case,” confirms Whitehorse’s Liam Adel.
He would know. The 14-year-old shot well and skied fast en route to capturing a bronze at the Calforex Cup over the weekend in Canmore, Alta.
“Well it’s been four years since I’ve been doing biathlon and I haven’t done very well in a race, and I finally shot well enough and skied fast enough to put myself on the podium,” said Adel. “It was an amazing sense of a accomplishment. It really set in when my whole team cheered me on right up to the podium.”
Adel was one of eight members of Biathlon Yukon’s Velocity Squad in Canmore and the only to climb the podium.
He shot nine out of 10 at the range in the Development 2 boys division’s three-kilometre sprint to place third out of 26 biathletes on Saturday.
“The team spirit was amazing, we were all in it together, I most definitely couldn’t have done it without my coaches and the support of my other teammates, and they raced really good races as well,” said Adel.
Adel’s 90 per cent success rate at the range dropped to 20 in Sunday’s sprint and he slipped down to 18th.
Yukon’s Nadia Moser produced the most consistent results at the Cup. Moser placed seventh out of 16 in both sprint races in the senior girls division.
“It was definitely a strong showing by Nadia,” said Yukon coach Laurie Jacobsen. “We’re going to westerns and she’s determined to improve her standing and then hopefully on to nationals as well.”
Yukon’s Daniel Sennett shot eight out of 10 on Sunday to place seventh in Dev 2 boys in Sunday’s sprint. He placed 16th on Saturday.
Teammate Jake Draper placed 10th Saturday and ninth Sunday in the same highly competitive division. Yukon’s Pelly Vincent-Braun came 18th and 24th.
Tristan Sparks placed 18th Saturday and 20th Sunday in the six-kilometre senior boys division.
Maria Peters skied to 12th in the six-kilometre senior girls division on Saturday and did not start on Sunday.
“These kids have been on the team for two or three years, but I see the whole team has moved up in results,” said Jacobsen.
Dana Sellars, who is starting her first season on the Velocity Squad, took 25th on Saturday before moving up to 17th on Sunday in the Dev 1 girls three-kilometre sprints.
“She is the youngest and the newest – this was her first Outside race,” said Jacobsen. “She’s in Dev 1 and no one in there is equal. Some kids use rests (for the rifles at the range). Dana decided not to shoot with a rest, so she’s shooting with a sling … She challenged herself to beat her first race and she did. For her first race, that was a really successful time for her.”
Whitehorse’s Ryan Burlingame also competed in Canmore, but for the Camrose Vikings team. He placed 14th in the men’s 10-kilometre sprint on Saturday. He then shot seven out of 10 to climb to ninth on Sunday.
Biathlon Yukon will host its Arctic Winter Games trials at the Biathlon Yukon range Dec. 7 and 8. Yukon’s snowshoe biathlon trials will take place the following weekend.
Adel will vie for a spot on the team, he said.
“Most definitely,” said Adel. “If I do happen to make it on the team, I hope to represent Yukon in a fantastic way, the way we should be represented.”
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