Local biathletes to take on the world

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 13:35
  • Eagle River biathletes Helen Wilson, left, and Grace Gilliland recently qualified to represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Biathlon Championships in Europe. (Photo courtesy of Craig Gilliland)

Local biathletes Grace Gilliland and Helen Wilson have been named to the U.S. national team that will compete at the Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships Feb. 20-28.

The two earned their way onto the Youth Women’s team with their performances in qualifying Dec. 28-30 at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vermont.

Gilliland, a homeschooler who lives in Chugiak and skis for South High, qualified fourth and Wilson, of Eagle River High, made it as the first alternate. However, third-place Lexie Madigan is below the age requirements to compete at the world championships, meaning Wilson will get the final spot.

The location of the international event will be determined later this month. In December, the original location of the event, Ostrov, Russia, forfeited the right to host the event due to the Russian doping scandal.

Alaskan biathletes will have an oversized presence on the national team. Also making the team with their showings in Vermont were Kenai’s Travis Cooper (Junior Men) and Anchorage’s Alex Kilby (Youth Men).

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously stated Gilliland attends Chugiak High.

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