Local biathletes compete at world championships

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 12:46

Eagle River teens Grace Gilliland and Helen Wilson have taken their first shot at international biathlon competition in Slovakia.

Gilliland, 17, and Wilson, 15, are currently competing at the International Biathlon Union Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia.

On Wednesday, Gilliland finished 46th out of 90 finishers in the Youth Women’s 10-kilometer individual race, finishing 6 minutes, 28.9 seconds behind winner Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent of France. Wilson finished in 62nd place, 9:00.5 behind Laurent. Gilliland had four missed-shot penalties in the event, which combines Nordic skiing with target shooting. Wilson had six penalties. Winner Laurent was one of five skiers assessed just one penalty.

The two local athletes make up half of the four-person U.S. Youth Women’s team competing at the world championships. American Chloe Levins, of Elmira, New York, was 14th in the opening race with just three penalties, while Plymouth, Minnesota’s Amanda Kautzer finished 53rd with eight penalties. Levins and Kautzer are both 18.

The team is scheduled to return to competition Friday in the Youth Women’s 6-kilometer sprint race.

The competition continues through Feb. 28, with the Youth Women’s 7.5-kilometer pursuit race and the Youth Women’s 3x6-kilometer relay on Feb. 27.

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