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Two local cadets compete at Provincial biathlon competition

Biathletes lining up to compete at the provincial biathlon competition in Whistler over the weekend. Photo by Cpt. Geoff Bough
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WHISTLER, B.C. – Two Fort St. John cadets competed at the Provincial Biathlon Championships at the Whistler Olympic Park this past Saturday.

Coached by Capt Geoff Bough, 16 year-old Ben Sharpe and 18 year-old Jesse Simons competed in the Sr. Boys Open Team category against ten other teams of two from across the province. Sharpe and Simons were up against some tricky conditions this past weekend, as the recent warming and cooling trend across the province turned the biathlon course into a sheet of ice on Saturday. The pair competed in both the Sprint and Patrol races.

In the Sprint, teams complete three laps of the two kilometre course along with two shooting sessions in both the prone and standing positions. The Patrol race features three laps of a shorter 900 metre course, with more two more shooting sessions. Both Simons and Sharpe had a fairly rough go of it on the icy course in the Sprint, and were not used to terrain in the Coast Mountains that is more hilly than their practice venue in the Peace. Bough said that the two had a couple of spills in the first race, one of which caused Sharpe to injure his wrist.

Despite this, the two cadets made a valiant effort in both races. Sharpe also managed to hit an impressive number of targets despite competing with an injured wrist. The pair ultimately placed 9th out of 11 teams in the competition.

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