Special to The Tribune/Weekend Advisor
Fast-paced cross country skiing and precision target shooting.
That’s what three Williams Lake army cadets — Joshua Tucker, Olund Mork and Noah Brenner — were up to this past weekend when they competed at the Cadet Provincial Biathlon Championships at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island Feb 1.
The competitors were on edge with the recent closure of Mt. Washington late last week due to insufficient snow fall.
Cadets were instructed to pack running shoes along with ski gear, and in the event that it didn’t re-open, they would have to adopt a summer biathlon model and “run and shoot.” By some miracle (and a snow dance or two), snow started to fall on Friday, Jan. 31 and the Nordic centre was re-opened with minimal trails available for skiing.
Cadets were ecstatic and embraced the few cm of snow that fell.
The race kicked off late Saturday morning after a period of zeroing the rifles; ensuring they were adjusted properly and shooting accurately, and equipment check to confirm that individual equipment met the race standards for length of skis and poles.
The competition was fierce with a mix of 68 Army, Air and Sea Cadets from across B.C. racing in various age related categories for a chance to step onto the podium and secure a place for the Cadet National Biathlon Championships in Martock, N.S. in March.
Our team made an excellent effort and results were as follows:
Cadet Olund Mork placed seventh overall out of 18 in the Senior Male category with a time of 29 minutes and 40 seconds. Cadet Joshua Tucker place seventh in the Youth Male category racing in at 30 minutes and 58 seconds. Newcomer to biathlon Cadet Noah Brenner finished strong and placed 13th in the Junior Male category racing a shorter course coming in at 30:01.
Even though our boys did not secure any hardware, they really did well and I’m proud of them says team Coach Captain Irene Berns.
Williams Lake cadets were fortunate to have Bull Mountain for ski training north out of town, and the Williams Lake Rod and Gun club for marksmanship south out of town. What would be ideal and makes a huge difference is being able to practice all in the same location like the lucky cadets who get to train on a regular basis at world class facilities like Whistler Olympic Park, Mount Washington, and newly designed Canada Winter Games venue in Prince George. My dream would be one day to have a civilian biathlon club started in Williams Lake.
The Williams Lake Army Cadets would like to thank the following for their support of our athletes. 3064 Army Cadet Sponsoring Committee, Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club, Williams Lake Sportsman’s Association, Barking Spider, Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, Mr. Scott Thompson, and the parents for their commitment in driving to all the practices!