February 2011
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Saratoga Biathlon Individual Race Format good for Polar Bear Biathletes

On Sunday, February 13th Maddie Phaneuf and Damon Kull entered their first 15 km biathlon race. For Damon it was his last chance to qualify for the Empire State Games at the end of February. Although both skiers were using this race for a training session, they both had a good race. They raced in a high school race on Saturday and would be racing again on Wednesday and Friday to see if they would qualify for the Section III State Nordic team.
The race on Sunday was an Individual race, which means that the racers ski a 3 km loop five times. After the first four laps they would shoot either prone or standing. The shooting order was prone, standing, prone, standing for the day. Normally in a Sprint Race, for every missed target the racers would have to ski a penalty lap. In an Individual Race instead of skiing penalty laps a one minute penalty for each missed target is added to the finish time.
Maddie Phaneuf finished her ski in second place in the youth female class. She hit five targets out of twenty. Not her best day, but not her worst either. It was a good training run and gave her insites into her shooting during both stages. Maddie’s best race results were at the NorAms in Lake Placid at the end of January. She hit nine out of twenty in that race. The race field was made up of several Canadian skiers and others from the United States.
Damon finished fifth in the youth males class. He hit eleven of twenty targets, which is the best that he has done in his three year career. Damon’s best sprint race was on February 6th where he shot four of ten and placed second in his class. All in all a good end to the season for him. Congratulations go out to both Damon and Maddie for a good season.

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