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June 4, 2016
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June 5, 2016
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Biathlon in Oregon

April 8th, 9th and 10th, members of the WBA travelled to Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. Assisted by some former elite biathletes living in the Bend area they put on two days of Biathlon training and a competition for the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF). The attendees ranged in age from 8 to 65. The goal was to expose MBSEF skiers to Biathlon and to try to get Biathlon rolling in Oregon. The WBA did this once before, in 2008, when Jay Bender and Bob Vallor hauled gear and did training for a fledgling Biathlon group in Bend. That time it didn't find the dedicated, passionate organizer(s) any sport needs. This time the project was spearheaded by Dan Simoneau, the Program Director at MBSEF. If Dan's names seems familiar, it should, he was a three time U.S. Olympic Cross Country skier and one of the pioneers of skate skiing. He is also a capable, hardworking and upbeat personality. With MBSEF behind Biathlon and support for the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Director, Sue Foster, this may be what is needed to bring Biathlon back into the rich Nordic skiing community in Oregon.

The WBA hauled targets, rifles and other gear to a new compact range site at Mt. Bachelor Nordic. Friday the range was set up and Saturday morning close to 50 skiers arrived to participate. Bob Vallor provided the required U.S.B.A. Safety Class, giving two sessions due to the volume of participants. Bob monitored safety the rest of the weekend then worked on the breakdown, packing and transport of the targets, rifles and equipment. The WBA's Bryn Black, Tom Davies, Dave Anana, Don Youkey, Mark Turner and Bend locals (former elites) Bjorn Bakken and Julie Dietrich provided a day of Biathlon instruction on Saturday. On Sunday all the WBA rifles were zeroed, then 48 new biathletes massed and a three heat competition took place. By all accounts everyone had a good time, learned a great deal and hopefully a seed was planted. One that will grow two or three dedicated Biathlon organizers in the area.

If you have never skied Mt. Bachelor Nordic it is a true gem. With a long season, great rolling trail system it is a terrific place to ski. They used to have a very large Biathlon stadium area but restructured area boundaries cut that. The new range, very close to the Nordic Center, will need some refining but has great potential. The WBA will continue to do what we can to grow Biathlon in Oregon and the Northwest. Time will tell if the seed takes root. If it does the WBA will be there to suggest ways to raise funds and garner grants to obtain equipment.

The weekend was a significant effort in organization, hauling and placing heavy targets and range equipment, putting on the event then taking it all down and heading back home to Washington. We left three targets and their associated gear on site for the U.S. National Team to use when they train at Mt. Bachelor later this year. Those will be picked up later. All in all it was a very worthwhile effort to grow our sport. All that is needed now are some passionate people.

World Masters Biathlon International Championships: A recap

While the WBA has been in between competition weekends, local biathletes have been busy competing elsewhere. Dave Anana, Tommy Aunan, Bryn Black, Dave Shaw as well as last year's WBA rookie of the year, Laura Sluder of Gooding Idaho, travelled to Kontiolahti, Finland for the 19th annual Biathlon Masters International Championship March 15th through the 20th, 2016. The Championships consisted of a Sprint Competition followed by a Relay and closing out with an Individual Competition for biathletes 35 years old and older. Age groups were set in 5 year increments and groups up to age 75. Groups numbered from one competitor (Women 40 to 49) to 26 (Men 45 to 49). 154 biathletes from Finland, Russia, Norway, Canada, Australia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland and ten biathletes from the United States gathered to race and make new friends. Washington biathletes report that the venue in was wonderful and the competitions hard fought. Finland, by far the largest contingent of competitors dominated the medals with 44, Russia was second with 22 and the USA was third with 4. Laura Sluder collected two Golds and a Silver. Bryn Black got to the podium with a Bronze in the Relay. Visit; http://www.biathlon-kontiolahti.fi/masters/index.html for details of the International Masters competition.

While the Masters International was going on WBA and Washington National Guard biathlete, Josh Barrow travelled to Mammoth Mountain, California for their annual competition. Josh raced twice on Sunday, March 20th and finished 3rd (Bronze) in the Elite competition and 1st (Gold) in the Masters 2 competition. At this time Mammoth Mountain Biathlon has not posted the overall results.

New Registration Policy

NEW Registration and Cancellation Policy

Great news: we are growing fast and furious!! To take us the next level of organization we will now be requiring registration by Friday at 5 PM of any given race weekend via https://www.webscorer.com/wabiathlon?pg=register OR by prior arrangement with bryn.black@wabiathlon.org.

This will allow us to have start lists ready and timeline defined at Check-in. Please make sure and be on time for check in to receive your bib, trail pass, and, if needed, check out rifles/ammo. Check in at SPNC is 8:30 - 9 AM.

Cancellations will also be accepted UNTIL 5 PM the Friday before race weekends. Any no-shows or late cancellations will automatically be forfeit and the money will be added to the Athletes Development Fund.

Please see the calendar event details for more information

Method Valley Biathlon Race

A 3 day weekend of xc skiing and biathlon in the Methow Valley

Methow Valley Biathlon is hosting a fun event January 18, 2016
See the link below for more info


Also, Jan 16,17 there will be cross country ski races here in the Methow. see the link below for more info on those.


Questions, please contact Besty D. Smith