Tobin Kerr clears all his targets in the Sprint race.

Multiple podium finishes for Vancouver Island Biathlon Club at provincial championships

Seven athletes qualify for nationals

The BC Championships for Biathlon were hosted by the Telemark Nordic Ski Club in West Kelowna March 1-3.

Fifteen athletes from the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club attended the event and had great success over the weekend, placing among the top finishers in all categories.

Biathlon is a very challenging sport as it combines the speed and endurance of cross-country skiing with the skating technique, and the technical precision of shooting .22 calibre rifles at 50-metre targets.

Saturday was the Sprint Race format, which combines three laps of skiing with two bouts of shooting. The shooting is done in the prone position for those up to age 14, and a combination of prone and standing positions for 15 years and up. On Sunday, the race format was a Modified Pursuit with three or four bouts of shooting and four or five skiing laps, depending on the category.

This race format is a high adrenaline experience and a terrific spectator activity as the athletes start in their finish order from the Sprint Race, and work hard to ‘pursue’ the competitors ahead of them to the finish line.

Senior Girl, Allison Joyce (Campbell River) placed fifth in the Sprint, but really stepped up her skiing and shooting for the Pursuit, winning the gold medal.

Gavin Johnston (Campbell River), raced in the Senior Boys category. He was the top shooter amongst 18 competitors for the weekend races. Gavin finished seventh in the Sprint, and fifth in the Pursuit. Both Allison and Gavin have also met the qualifications this season to maintain their spots on the B.C. team, as well as qualifying to compete at nationals which will be held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the last week of March. Robbie McKay (Port Alberni) also raced in the Senior Boys category and showed great improvement in his racing over the past year.

In the Youth Men category, Joe Winkelaar (Comox) had two podium finishes. With an outstanding 100 per cent shooting accuracy in the Sprint race, he earned a silver medal, and in the Pursuit he finished with a bronze.

For their BC Cup debut, Gwenyth and Tobin Kerr (Comox) raced in the Mixed Midget category and proved their love of the sport of biathlon. Gwenyth shot with 100 per cent accuracy in both races, and Tobin 95 per cent. Tobin placed third overall in both races, and Gwenyth, sixth.

In the Masters 35-50 category, Christoph Dettling (Victoria) brought home a bronze medal for the Sprint race and a gold for the Pursuit. Also in this category were Jonathan Kerr (Comox) who placed fifth in the Sprint and eighth in the Pursuit, and Phil Douglas (Comox) with eighth- and sixth-place finishes. All three of these athletes finished strong enough in their category to qualify to attend nationals.

The Masters 50+ category had Glenn Rupertus (Courtenay) bringing home two silver medals, and Mike Akey (Quadra Island) bring home two bronze. Both these athletes will also be competing at nationals. Blair Pettis (Comox) followed with two fifth-place finishes, and Michael Cullen (Comox) with 7th and 6th place finishes.

Another gold medal was earned in the Sport Women category by Karen Funk (Victoria) in the Sprint race. She then raced to a bronze in the Rec category for the Pursuit. Lyndsey Douglas (Comox) proved her stamina in the Sprint Race Rec category with a bronze medal.

Coach Don Johnston was thrilled to support this team of athletes to such a successful result this weekend.

“With 14 podium finishes in 30 races, our team has really proved the success of our growing programs in the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club,” he said. “The team worked really well together, always supporting each other. The athletes have trained hard, remained focused and achieved fantastic results. It will be wonderful to have seven athletes representing the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club and British Columbia at nationals this year.

The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club will be hosting a Snowshoe Biathlon Relay on Saturday, April 6, at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. The event is open to anyone 10 years and up, no experience necessary. Following safety training and shooting instruction, teams of four will compete on a short snowshoe course near the range. After the race, there will be awards, a barbecue with a no-host bar, and social event at the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre. To learn more about this event, visit https://vibiathlon.ca/wp/events/.

Other information about Summer Mountain Biking Biathlon races or Winter Programming for ages 8 and up is also available on the website.

 

Joe Winkelaar races towards a silver medal in the Sprint race.

Just Posted

Verdict gives murder victims’ parents sense of closure

A guilty verdict delivered earlier this week was “like a weight lifted off the chest.”

Thieves break into mailboxes overnight in Courtenay, Comox

Thieves in Comox were busy overnight on March 17, breaking into more… Continue reading

Man convicted of Courtenay couple’s murder

Michael Philip Simard, 45, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Comox Valley RCMP looking for help to identify shoplifters

The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read