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Regional Girls Shoot Their Way to Top Finishes

photo by Eric Hanson
Tillie Lange (No. 6-CSC) puts her rifle back on after shooting five targets in the prone position.

CRAFTSBURY – Not too many young women athletes have a chance to ski around with guns, but this past weekend several Craftsbury Ski Club (CSC) girls did just that at the Craftsbury Biathlon Regional Cup. And they skied and shot well. In the Under-13 (U13) race, Aemilia Terrone placed second in the sprint race on Saturday and third in Sunday’s pursuit. Hazel Morton-Lynch, Josephine Marshall, and Elizabeth Searles were right behind Aemilia placing between third and fifth in both races.

The sprint race involved two shooting stations of five shots each, one prone (lying down) and one standing. In the longer pursuit race, the skiers shot four times for a total of 20 shots and skied five legs. Skiers have to ski a penalty lap for each shot missed. Terrone hit all 20 targets in the pursuit race, which World Cup athletes rarely do. CSC U15 skiers Clare Pritchard and Tillie Lange both had top three finishes on the sprint day.

The pursuit race is a primary format for biathlon, where skiers starting time is based on the time back from the winner of the first day sprint race. With so many variables in shooting, even a skier who had a poor first day result can jump right back to the front with a few good shooting rounds on the second day.

Skiers had their shooting skills tested on the first day sprint because it started raining hard five minutes before the start of the races and pretty much continued for the entire event. Former Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP) biathlete Hallie Grossman, and now fourth grade elementary school teacher in Craftsbury, joked that she missed skiing around in the rain and lying in puddles. She put on a bib and skied to second place in the senior women’s race puddles and all. Chelsea Nordiq skier, Shilo Rouseau, from north of Ottawa took the win missing only two shots in the sprint. She also won the next day’s pursuit.

photo by Eric Hanson
Aemilia Terrone (No. 1) of the Craftsbury Ski Club leaves the shooting range in the Under-13 Division race. John Madigan from Craftsbury is the race official assigning skiers to lanes. Madigan heads the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club in Jericho.

In the youth women’s category, CSC skier Amelia Circosta moved up for fourth to third over the two days of racing. In the U17 boys races, Max Demaine and Zeb Whitlock placed sixth and seventh in the pursuit race. In the men’s senior division, two GRP men used this as a training race. Luke Brown had second and first place finishes and Raleigh Goesling had two third places. Brown skied fast in the pursuit to make up for nine missed shots to outpace U.S. National Guard athlete, Vladislav Kapustin. Ski conditions went from slushy on Saturday to icy granular on Sunday making for much faster skiing.

Over 80 skiers from Ontario and Quebec and New York to Maine traveled here for the event. There are not that many biathlon races to be found, and at this time of year, not much snow either. This coming weekend, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center will host the Ford Sayre Silver Fox Trot freestyle races on Saturday and the Tom Kendall Classic races on Sunday. In two weeks, biathlon returns to Craftsbury for three days of racing for the U.S. Biathlon trials for skiers trying to make the national team.

Professional Skier Update

SOVEREIGN LAKE, B.C. – The Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP) cross country skiers raced in four races in the combined U.S. SuperTour series and Canadian Nordiq Cup in British Colombia this past week. Margie Freed had the best result placing fourth in the classic sprint race. She qualified in fifth. The top 30 racers move on to six-person quarterfinal heats with head-to-head racing. Freed won her quarterfinal, placed second in the semi-final, and then just missed the podium in the six-person final.

Alex Lawson finished fourth in the other semi-final race. Lawson and Freed went eighth and ninth in the 10 km mass start skate race the following day. In the skate sprint race a few days later, Lawson had the best race for the GRP qualifying in seventh but she did not make it out of the quarterfinals. Freed continued her success in the final 10 km classic race with a fifth place finish followed by Lawson eighth, Annika Landis 14th, and Michaela Keller-Miller 21st. Braden Becker, the only GRP male cross country skier, finished 18th and 14th in the two distance races.

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