Canadian National Championships
Nova Scotia's athletes competed in the 2018 Canadian Biathlon Championships, which was also the first national race for all three of our athletes, Aria MacDonald, Claire Miner, and Madi Taljaard. Unlike our regular Atlantic Cups this competition consisted of four races. A Sprint race on Wednesday, Pursuit race on Thursday, Relay on Saturday, and an Individual race on Sunday. Not only did they race but they also had a chance to meet our Canadian Olympic team which recently got back from PyeongChang and also Mark Arendz who earned one gold, two silver, and three bronze medals in Biathlon and Cross-country skiing at the Paralympics.
Despite non-ideal training conditions this season our athletes still made tremendous improvement over the past few months. Comparing their Sprint and Pursuit times to results from earlier in the season they had seen time improvements from seven to twelve minutes, a great improvement. Our athletes will have a brief break now that the competition season is over, although it won't be long until training ramps up so they can continue to see improvement like they did this season.
Eastern Canadian Championships / Atlantic Cup #3 - Sprint
Icy trail conditions led to the Sprint race being delayed by an hour and a half while athletes and volunteers shoveled snow on top of the ice which was then packed down by the trail groomer, giving us snow conditions safe to race on. Wind was calmer than yesterday although there was still the occasional gust, making better shooting conditions for the Sprint. Biathlon Nova Scotia's best shooting of the weekend happened today, done by Theo Thompson-Armstrong shooting 80% with a clean bout resulting in him earning chocolate, as per Biathlon tradition for shooting a clean bout. This shooting had him within 45 seconds of the podium in his first year racing with us, bravo Theo! In the senior girls category Aria MacDonald placed second, with Claire Miner only 10 seconds behind her in third place. Photos from the Sprint race will be found on our facebook page in the next few days, and results are available on our results page. For many Atlantic biathletes this marks the end of the racing season, while some others may attend the Canadian National Championships in Charlo, NB from March 20th to the 25th.
Eastern Canadian Championships / Atlantic Cup #3 - Individual
To provide athletes experience in the Individual race, which normally happens in longer competitions, this weekends races are an Individual race on Saturday, and a Sprint on Sunday. The Individual competition is the longest race, and has a shooting pattern of prone, standing, prone, standing. Competitor starts are staggered by 30 seconds, and instead of skiing a penalty loop for each missed shot a time penalty of one minute is added (45 seconds for non-IBU classes).
The race today was very warm with the temperature sitting around 0 degrees, but the snow conditions held up well making for some great skiing. Although shooting was difficult due to high winds throughout the day. Regardless, we earned two medals today, with Claire Miner and Aria MacDonald placing second and third respectively. Pictures can be found on our facebook here, and results are available on our results page.
Atlantic Cup #2
Atlantic Cup #2 was hosted in Charlo, NB at Les Aventuriers de Charlo where Biathlon Nova Scotia had 7 athletes competing. Saturday's Sprint race had a delayed start due to the cold weather, pushing the start time back 2 hours. In the senior girls category, Madi Taljaard place second while Claire Miner was 0.5 seconds behind placing third. Conditions were warmer for the Pursuit race on Sunday where Claire Miner placed second, with Aria MacDonald placing third. Results are available on our results page, and pictures courtesy of Carol Mills from Nordic Marksman will be available on our facebook in the near future.
Atlantic Cup #1
On February 3-4 Biathlon PEI hosted the first Atlantic Cup of the season at Brookvale Provincial Ski park. Saturday's Sprint race was cancelled due to weather conditions although Nova Scotia athletes made great use of the facilities in lieu. On Sunday all 10 of our athletes competed, winning 5 medals. In the Junior Girls category Allie Martin placed second, and Aria MacDonald placed first. For the Senior Girls category Maddie Taljard placed third, and Clair Miner placed first. Lastly, in the Junior Women category Katrena Thomas placed first. Seasoned coaches Karen Jones, and Peggy Falkenham-Boutilier were present this weekend, and also former biathlete Reagan Mills used his experience to help with the coaching effort. Photos from the event can be found on our facebook page here. The next race for the season is Atlantic Cup #2 whichwill be hosted in Charlo, NB at Les Aventuriers de Charlo on February 16-18.
Atlantic Trials in Charlo, NB
This past weekend Biathlon NS traveled to Charlo NB with a group of 10 athletes and 4 coaches. Hosted by Biathlon NB, the weekend was an excellent training weekend for our athletes with a sprint on Saturday and a 2-person relay on Sunday. For some of our athletes this was their first time competing in the sport of biathlon, like junior men competitor Matt Peachey, who found himself with a second place finish on Saturday after a race of hard skiing. For others it was their first time on skis since their last biathlon competition in March. Overall a very positive start to our competitive season, well done to all the athletes who competed and a big thank you to the coaches for their time and dedication. Photos can be found here on our facebook page.
November Dry-land training camp
This November Biathlon Nova Scotia hosted a dry land training camp at King's-Edgehill School, welcoming athletes of all experience levels. The training camp consisted of roller skiing, aerobic exercises, dry firing and introduction to range procedures. Throughout these activities the participants had one-on-one coaching from our experienced coaching team and also from some of our more experienced athletes. It was a rainy day, although the participants quickly learned that while participating in Biathlon you will be subject to any range of weather conditions. Regardless of the weather the training camp went smoothly, and photos can be found here on our facebook page.