Posted on March 26, 2008 by Dylan Anderson

Camrose hosted the Western Canadian Championships and Alberta Championships this past weekend.

This past weekend the Augustana biathlon team used their home course advantage to get a leg up on the competition. The Camrose range played host to the Western Canadian Championships and the Alberta Championships with a field of about 150 competitors, which also happened to be the largest this year.

In the Saturday sprint race athletes were challenged by high winds, which made for some tricky shooting. Our Augustana team prevailed with good technique, fast skiing and a few clean bouts of shooting. Katherine Stone capitalized on the day with her first gold medal of the season beating out Alicia Hurley (2nd) by 20.1seconds, followed by Betsy Mawdsley in 4th place in the junior women’s category. Anna Apel competed in the youth women’s category placing 4th in Westerns and 3rd in the Alberta Champs. For the senior women, Melanie Shultz placed 2nd with one clean bout of shooting with Jytte Apel coming 3rd in the Alberta Champs.

The senior men had a fast-paced race with the aid of their new mohawk hairdos. Johnny Forward had one of the best races of his season shooting 7 for 10 and coming 5th in Westerns and 2nd in the Alberta Champs. He was closely followed by Phil Eriksson placing 6th, and 3rd, Nils Anderson placing 7th, and 4th, and Connor Marsh finishing 11th.  The junior men also put in a good show with Paul Woloschuk coming in 4th, and Brad Croteau coming in 5th in both the Western and the Alberta Champs.  

Saturday evening Augustana campus played host to the year-end banquet where athletes were given the overall points trophies in each category and a few other special awards. Melanie Shultz, Alicia Hurley, and Paul Woloschuk each won the season trophy for overall points in their category. Jytte Apel won the Alberta Top Gun award for best shooting percentage of the year with an 88%.  Our coach, Jacqueline Akerman was awarded the Biathlon Alberta Female Coach of the Year.

Sunday’s mass start proved to be even more challenging due to a cold snap that made the course like ice in some areas. The day was filled with some crashes and a few close calls. In the junior women’s category both Alicia and Katherine took some hard falls and came into the range with either broken or missing rifle parts. They managed to overcome placing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The senior women put in some good skiing performances with Melanie finishing 2nd in Westerns, and 1st in the Alberta Champs, Jytte Apel came 3rd in Westerns and 2nd in the Alberta Champs. Anna Apel showed off her fighting edge finishing 3rd in Westerns and 2nd in the Alberta Champs.  

Augustana’s senior men were also challenged by the icy conditions on the largest downhill and up hills Camrose has to offer. Philip led the field in the mass start finishing 1st in the Alberta Champs and 4th in Westerns, followed by Johnny finishing 2nd in the Alberta Champs, and 5th in Westerns. Nils, overcoming a fall, finished a close 3rd in the Alberta Champs and 6th in Westerns. Connor finished off his first Western Championships with a overall 8th place finish.

Thanks to all the Augustana volunteers and fans who came out to help and cheers us on! This coming weekend the team will be off to North Battleford for the Saskatchewan Provincials.

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