Monday afternoon marked the final day of the USA Team Trials for the upcoming IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships– the final day for numerous athletes to ski and shoot their best.
“If you were on the podium today, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna make the team necessarily,” said USBA Director of Athlete Development, Piotr Bednarski.
Nearly 30 athletes from around the country competed at the Nordic Heritage Center over the weekend. Of those chosen to represent Team USA, four of them were from the Maine Winter Sports Center, including Brian Halligan of Saratoga Springs, New York. He’ll not only be competing in the Junior/Youth Championships, but will also be competing in the European Championships.
“I knew going into it I was going to be with the top guys and I knew if I had some good races I could qualify for Euro Champs,” said Halligan. “I was able to pull through and now I’m going to Europe so I’m excited.”
From now until late February, the athletes will be training and preparing themselves for what they think will be an exciting opportunity.
Mikaela: “I’m probably going to be doing a lot of skiing between Fort Kent and Presque Isle,” said MWSC and U.S. Team member, Mikaela Paluszek. “I train out of Fort Kent so I’ll be down here a lot skiing on the course.”
“I’m going to be skiing the course a bunch, and just keep training and being healthy,” said MWSC and U.S. Team member, Maddie Phaneuf.
Halligan added he’s going to, “Just relax, lay low, and just continue on with my normal training schedule, and just to try and stay healthy- that’s the biggest thing- staying healthy in the winter because we have a lot of racing coming up.”
The IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships will be held from February 28th through March 7th at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. Kamran Hussain- a Maine Winter Sports Center Skier out of Fort Kent also qualified.