Nationals: 3rd day recap

2015 U.S. Biathlon National Championships Mixed Relay Race
Today, March 22 was day 3 and the final day of competitions for these U.S. Nationals. The race format for the day was an unofficial Mixed Relay, two men and one woman. The weather was cooler and cloudy. The wind gusted at times during the competition. With gusts hitting 20 MPH.
The relay teams and the order skiers went out were chosen by the race staff. Youth, Junior and Senior men skied the first leg, Women the middle leg and Masters men handled the anchor leg. The unofficial status of the race and travel issues caused several people to drop out. Rich McClung was still matched up with Paul Everett and youth Arianna Woods of Montana and looked to be the favorite. Especially after Paul hammered the first lap handing off a large lead to Arianna. Ari, a cross country skier turned biathlete did well but struggled on the range. It was only her fourth ever biathlon competition. But she kept a great attitude through out. Rich turned in a solid anchor leg and they finished in the pack. Chris Fletcher and Dave Anana team up together and also finished in the pack. The surprise of the day began Saturday night. Sabine Arnold was called by the organizers and told all of her teammates had dropped out, she had no team. They asked if she would be willing to race on a team with two women and one man. She readily agreed.
Sabine’s team went out with Vermont’s Michael Gibson turning a strong leg, he was followed by Clare Egan of Maine, who smoked her way around the course and handed a lead off to Sabine. But hot on her tracks was Methow’s Scott Waichler and Dan Warren of the Auburn Ski Club. Sabine skied hard and cleaned her prone targets. She had two penalty loops after the standing shoot, but so did Waichler and Warren. But by then they had caught up and Sabine went out for her last loop in third place. She skied a great leg, held off all other teams and looked strong coming into the stadium, crossing the finish line in third place. It wasn’t lost on anyone that a team with a Man-Woman-Woman line up was on the podium. The finish gave Sabine three medals in three events. Two silvers and a bronze. Sabine commented that the bronze with some much competition ean the most.
Special thanks to the organizers and staff for overcoming great difficulties and putting on a exciting and really fun week.
Bob V.


Nationals: 2nd Day recap

2015 U.S. Biathlon National Championships Individual/Pursuit Race

Today, March 21, was day 2 and due to conditions the final day of official competitions for these U.S. Biathlon Nationals. The race format for the day was a hybrid Pursuit/Individual race. Basically it came down to an Individual format with a ten second interval start based on Friday’s results but no Pursuit style time penalties, penalty loops instead of missed-shot time penalties and prone-prone-standing-standing shooting. The weather was cooler but also sunnier than Friday. The wind gusted at times but was quiet for most of the race.

Again Washington State was well represented with WBA and Methow Valley biathletes and the Washington National Guard. The results did not change much from the day before though several who struggled with the altitude on Friday bounced back and had a much better races. Other struggled late in the race as the snow turned to mush in the bright sunlight. The groomer have a lot of repair work to do to make tomorrow happen.

The podium situation for Washington Biathletes was almost unchanged, with each medalist from Friday taking the same colored metal today with only one exception.

Eli Nielsen of the Methow again took Gold in the Boys age group.

Clair Waichler (Methow) and Elise Putnam (Methow and Washington National Guard) repeated and were Gold and Silver in the Youth Women. Clair was also named as having the best performance of the women.

Paul Everett (Methow and WBA) took another Gold in the Junior Men despite a broken pole.

Again the WBA had six masters biathletes come to California to race. Methow Valley Biathlon added others;

In Masters Women 2 Sabine Arnold took another Silver

In Masters Men 2 Scott Waichler (Methow) took Silver behind Dave Cleveland of Colorado.

In Masters Men 4 Tom Davies was solid on the range again and took the Gold.

Both Dave Anana and Chris Fletcher show marked improvement as they continued to adjust to the altitude and dry air. Like Friday, the course took a toll on equipment. Friday there were falls that damaged one rifle and a broken pole. Today another rifle stock was taken to the shop for extensive repair and several poles did not survive the race.

Tomorrow will be a Mixed Relay event with teams chosen by the race staff. As the teams line up now it looks like Rich McClung will make out nicely, being matched up with Paul Everett and youth Arianna Woods of Montana, a silver medalist from Friday. Chris Fletcher and Dave Anana will be teamed up together. It should be a fun final day. Unbelievable, the weatherman is predicting snow on Monday afternoon.


Nationals: 1st day recap

2015 U.S. Biathlon National Championships Sprint Race

Given recent weather and snow conditions in the Donner Pass area there is no reason for these competitions to be going on. But the diligence and effort of the groomers and staff at the Auburn Ski Club Training Center, they are going on. Today, March 20th, was day 1 of the competitions featuring a Sprint format race. The weather looked like it would get sunny and warm, again but during the race, clouds rolled in and the wind picked up, though it was not blowing too hard.

Washington State was well represented with WBA and Methow Valley biathletes and the Washington National Guard.

In the younger age groups;

Eli Nielsen of the Methow took Gold in the Boys age group.

Claire Waichler (Methow) and Elise Putnam (Methow and Washington National Guard) were Gold and Silver in the Youth Women.

Paul Everett (Methow and WBA) took Gold in the Junior Men.

The WBA had six masters biathletes come to California to race. Methow Valley Biathlon added others;

In Masters Women 2 Sabine Arnold took Silver

In Masters Men 2 Scott Waichler (Methow) took Gold.

In Masters Men 4 Tom Davies used some excellent prone shooting to take the Gold.

Everyone put in a serious effort but it was apparent that the 7000 feet high course altitude took a toll. Especially on the hill climb back into the stadium area. Congratulations to all of the 50 plus competitors and a special thank you to the Auburn Ski Club staff for making this happen in very difficult conditions.


It is not over yet...

Sadly, SNPC has had to TEMPORARILY shut down operations until more snow arrives. Please keep up your snow dances in hopes some arrives as we still have our April races on the calendar. As soon as reasonable (trying to be optimistic), we will let you know if they are a go.

In the time being, let us wish good luck to all our members who are heading to Auburn Ski Club for Nationals - they are a GO!!


Sunday, March 8 Race

BIATHLON FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 8TH IS ON.

After conferring with Nordic Director Mike Power and his groomer, the biathlon pursuit scheduled for tomorrow, March 8th WILL GO ON. Mike advised us he has snow stored in the area of our old range site. Tonight they will be moving it to that wet and icy area of the range and to the area that became increasing bare today at the beginning of the trail. We will race tomorrow on the same schedule. We will use the pursuit format but will evaluate the trails in the morning and will likely modify the distance to a shorter course. Bob Vallor