The top Junior and Youth Biathletes in the Country are in Presque Isle for the next few days and the World Youth Jr. Team Trials. The top competitors in the four age groups will be wearing the US Colors in the IBU Youth Jr Championships in late February. Max Saenger the Biathlon Sport Manager for the event says this is an important test for the organizing committee.
For the organizer this event is our dress rehearsal. We get to practice everything our volunteers get to be trained. They get to practice all their systems and we get to make sure everything is running smoothly. The first day of the World Championships in February we know and we have the confidence that our systems are all running perfectly.”
Saenger said that this event will let the committee know what they need to work on and that a live event with so many moving parts is a great test
“We can set everything up we can correct everything we can test everything, but most importantly it is the training. When you don’t have the fences up and you don’t have the race going, it’s impossible to simulate what it is like when you have a hundred athletes a hundred coaches and everything is done live. You can’t get that in a practice situation.
The competitors getting in one final day practice before beginning three days of competition on Saturday the name the US team members. The youngsters are competing on the same course that will host the World Youth Jr. Championships in February and March and Piotr Bednarski Director of Athlete Development for the US Biathlon Association is excited about the home field advantage
” It’s a nice home team advantage and you have to take advantage of it. When we get to race at home and have our athletes doe selection races here. Athletes get a chance to race on the course and get to know the range.”
Bednarski skied the course earlier in the day and said he thinks the conditions will be very fast
” Excellent shape tons of snow which we are super happy to see. It is a little soft just after getting five or six inches of snow yesterday. It will take another day of grooming and cold to set up. It’s an excellent shape.”