February 2011
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Old Forge Biathlon a Success

February 6th was the one and only biathlon race of the season for Old Forge. After having to cancel the January 1st race due to lack of snow the Polar Bear Biathlon Club had one day to make a showing. All week long the weather was cold with warm temperatures, at least warmer than it had been. The highs were in the low 20s on some days and on others in the teens. Then on Saturday afternoon a storm set in and coated the trails with 10 inches of new snow. The crew at McCauley Mountain worked hard to make sure that the trails were as well packed as possible. At race time it was a nice 28 degrees with a medium wind and high humidity. The race field was split between seasoned veteran to first time biathlon racer. When all was said and done, 19 racers were at the start line for the race. After the first lap, 2.5 km for everyone, it was clear that the times were going to be slow. The snow was nice, but soft. Any hills were ankle deep in soft snow. Still the race was good. You could see in the shooting results that the racers had to work harder in each lap and that made it harder to control their breathing.
All in all there were nine Polar Bear Biathletes that raced on the 6th. Our veteran skiers were Damon Kull, Colin Criss and Maddie Phaneuf. Each of these three were racing in the Youth class which skied 7.5 km shooting small targets in the prone position and large targets while standing. In the non-carrying class we had two racers that had raced last year, Allyson Brosemer and Jessica Hannah and three other first time non-carrying racers: Henry Uzdavinis, Megan Greene and Tecwyn Williams. There was also one more competition level racer who raced his first race, Daniel Heroux. Daniel is an alpine racer that wanted to give skinny skiing a try. What better way than in a biathlon race. Daniel worked hard and did his best. He hit targets and made a good showing for himself. The club hopes that he will return to race again next season. Our best shooter for the day was Jessica Hannah, a non-carrying racer, who shot clean, meaning that she hit all 10 targets. Also in this class Tecwyn Williams shot 8 for 10 with Megan Greene, Henry Uzdavinis and Allyson Brosemer right behind them hitting 6 for 10. These biathletes shoot prone both times at large targets.
All in all it was a good day for the Polar Bears, who for many will finish their season with this race. We hope that we will be more active next season with more racing. Two of our youth racers, Maddie Phaneuf and Damon Kull, will be moving forward to race in the Empire State Games on February 25th and 26th. There are other members of the team that are eligible to compete in these races, but at this time are undecided as to whether they will compete this year. More after the next race.

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