At the spring meeting of NYSSRA Nordic this past weekend we were made aware of some changes that are in the works for the 2011-2012 winter season. In the past the Empire State Games lasted for three days. Usually, at least the last several years, Biathlon was on the first two days, Friday/Saturday; Cross Country was on the second and third days along with Ski-O and Snowshoe racing. On Sunday when we meet we were told to discuss what or how we would set up our races if the dates were either February 2, 3, 4, 5 or February 26, 27, 28, 29. We were also told that the organizing committee wanted to make the races a more regional set of races instead of something exclusively locked into the village of Lake Placid. Our first questions were why those particular weekends? The first weekend was established to coincide with the Saranac Winter Carnival. The second weekend was just before the High School Sectional races, which are scheduled for the 28th and 29th of February. The Lake Placid organizers want to tie the two events together.
Since each discipline was asked to give opinions as well as solutions we gave our opinion, which started with leaving the process as it has been and then discussed weekday races (2nd and 3rd are a Thursday/Friday and the 27th, 28th, 29th are a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday) and the difficulty of getting volunteers as well as racers to participate. Solutions were not as plentiful as opinions. If Biathlon is going to be part of either weekend we will have to drop from two races to one for this year. In either case the race would be on Sunday. Time will tell what happens, but in either case there will be a new look to whatever the decision turns out to be.
The spring meeting of New York Biathlon will take place on Sunday, April 3rd at 9:30 a.m. The location is Utica Tech in North Utica. Anyone interested in attending is welcome. The agend for the day is published on NYB webpage. There will also be a Mid-Atlantic JO meeting that morning as well as a nordic meeting. The morning committee meetings will end at 11:30, or there abouts, for lunch. The NYSSRA Nordic meeting will begin at 12:30. One of the afternoon topics for discussion will be the 2012 Empire State Games. There is a proposal to hold the games on the weekend of February 4th, 5th and 6th.
The morning meeting will discuss upcoming summer biathlon races and their scheduling. Proposed winter races and changes to the guidelines for biathlon. We hope to see you at the meeting on the 3rd.
Mother nature wanted to be sure that we remembered the 2011 ESGs. Today the temperatures were in the teens with a pretty strong, swirling wind and some driving snow for the start of the race. Shooting in the race today was good for some and not so good for others. Much of it depended on when you were in the range and how tired you were from yesterday’s race. Some traditionally strong shooters had under 50% shooting today. Others shot well.
Today’s race was an Individual Relay, which means that everyone skis for themselves, but they get a total of 8 shots on each lap to hit five targets. Normally there are very few people that have to ski penalty laps in a race like this. Today with cold temperatures, driving winds and snow, that all changed. For the Polar Bear Biathlon racers, Maddie Phaneuf and Damon Kull the skiing was slow and the shooting was tough. At the end of the race Maddie took home the Silver Medal for her competition class and Damon took home the Bronze. Maddie has had better days shooting, 3 for 10, but she was tough on the snow skiing. Damon had his best day ever hitting 10 for 10, using three extra shots. Today’s race was a 6 km. course for everyone, but with soft conditions it was again like skiing in oatmeal. Still all of the racers have to be commended for their drive to compete in two tough days of shooting and skiing.
Today’s race was the last race of the season for Maddie Phaneuf, she will be participating at the Junior Olympics in Minnesota during the New York Championships and Damon may decide to race, but with spring coming and high school sports starting that next week, he may decide to pass and get into the golf season early. No matter what happens the team has had a short, but great year. All of their races have taken place over a one month period. When ever I attend a race other coaches and skiers all seem to ask if any of the Polar Bear Biathlon team is coming. At this point we are young and growing, but will be a force in a few years. Here is to another great season on shooting and skiing. I have come to believe that a season is judged not by how many targets that have been knocked down, but by the growth of the individual skiers. We have shown tremendous growth this year! I look forward to next season for even better results!
For the first day of racing at the ESGs the competitors had their hands full with both shooting and skiing. Mother Nature decided to see how miserable she could make it for all involved. With about 8 inches on new snow on the ground and some pretty windy conditions the race was delayed from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The common conversation heard amount those present, racers, volunteers and spectators alike, related to the road conditions and road blocks near Lake Placid. When it was time for the zero to begin the snow was blowing hard enough to make it difficult for the shooters to tell where they were hitting their targets. Shortly before the race started it let up enough to zero our local team, Damon Kull and Maddie Phaneuf. After the first lap of the race everyone knew that it was going to be a rough day. As was heard from one athlete, “it was knee deep on all the hills!” Damon and Maddie skiied into the range almost together despite the minute and a half difference in start time. After the first round of shooting they both left the range with two misses, one of the best first rounds they have both had all season. On the second lap the wind picked up and everyone was finding it difficult to shoot. Damon was first in to the range and left with three misses, 50% on the day. Maddie was in shortly after Damon’s arrival and had a rough round missing all five targets. At that point it was a matter of skiing to see where she would finish. By the end of the race close to a foot of new snow had fallen and people were struggling into the finish. When all was said and done both Damon and Maddie had claimed a Silver Medal in their respective classes. All in all a good day for the Polar Bear Biathlon Team.
Day two will be an Individual Relay. This race will be 6 km. for all racers with two shooting stations. Unlike the first day, on each lap the shooters will have three bonus rounds that they can use if necesary to knock down their targets, 8 shots to hit five targets. The course should be soft again tomorrow which means that it will ski like a 10 km race. We will have another report after day two of racing!
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.
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.
Maddie Phaneuf had the best race of her young biathlon career today in Lake Placid. Phaneuf raced for the third time this season at the North American Biathlon Race Series #6 this past weekend. A pursuit race is a five lap, four shooting station race. Maddie was entered in the youth female class which meant that she raced a 1.5 km loop five times. She had to shoot prone after each of the first two loops and standing after the third and fourth loops. She hit a total of 45% of her targets during her race.
At race time the temperature was 14 degrees with snow falling during the race. The humidity was high, which made it seem colder than it actually was. There were 66 racers in the field today with about 50% of them from Canada.
Maddie Phaneuf has raced in four other biathlon races this season. The first being in Osceola on December 19th. Her next three races were in Jerecho, Vermont during the Christmas break from school. Those races were called the Junior Trials. There were several participants in those races that were trying to make the World Juniors team that were to take place in the Czech Republic during January.
On February 6th Maddie will join Colin Criss, Megan Greene and Damon Kull in the Old Forge Biathlon Race, one of the several Empire State Games Qualifiers. More after this coming weekends races.
The weekend of February 5th and 6th is Winter Carnival Weekend in Old Forge. The weekend will be highlighted by many family fun activities in the village as well as at McCauley Mountain. There will also be numerous nordic events on Saturday and Sunday for skiers of all ages.
On Sunday, February 6th at 11 a.m. there will be an Empire States https://buycbdproducts.com Qualifier in biathlon at McCauley Moutain. This race will be a 7.5 km and 10 km race for all those that cross the start line. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each class. Classes will be novice, non-carrying class; boy/girl, non-carrying class; youth; junior; open; master and grandmaster; all carring classes. These races will have competitors skiing three laps of a course with shooting stops between lap one and two, and also between laps two and three. Each competitor will shoot five shots prone and five shots standing.
We hope that you will come out and support our local Polar Bear athletes in their first home biathlon race of the season.
The weather didn’t come through for the Polar Bear Biathlon Club this year! Our races for January 1st have been cancelled due to lack of snow. We hope that everyone will come and race with us in February. Keep your calendar open for February 6th. See you then!