OTTAWA (CIS) – The first leg of the 2015 Winter Universiade gets underway this weekend in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia, where a squad of six student-athletes will represent Canada in the sport of biathlon. The team includes two Augustana student-athletes, in addition to Head Coach, Lowell Niven.
The Nordic events of the Universiade will take place in Slovakia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, prior to the start of the main Games, which run from Feb. 3 to 14 in Granada, Spain. Canada will only compete in biathlon during the initial segment.
In that sport, Canada’s team includes three students who competed at the 2013 Games in Trentino, Italy. The returning members are Evan Girard (Oxbow, Sask.) from the University of Saskatchewan, Keely MacCulloch (Calgary) from the University of Alberta – Augustana, as well as Jessica Paterson (St. Albert, Alta.) from the University of Alberta.
Paterson had the best individual result for Canada in Trentino, finishing the women’s 15-kilometre race in 31st position. Along with MacCulloch, she was also part of the ninth-place mixed relay.
The returning trio is joined by Sasha Eccleston (Hinton, Alta.) from the U of A – Augustana, Regan Mills (Truro, N.S.) from the University of Prince Edward Island and Sam West (Grand Prairie, Alta.) from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Eccleston, Mills and West are veterans of the Canadian championship circuits. MacCulloch competed in the 2012 junior world championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, while Paterson has numerous top 10 placements on the Canadian championship circuit as well.
Team leader Lowell Niven from the University of Alberta – Augustana also has previous Winter Universiade experience, as he served as the technician in Trentino. Joel Gervais will be the Team Canada technician in Slovakia.
The contingent will compete for Canada’s first medal in biathlon at the Universiade.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Strbske Pleso/Osrblie website: http://www.tatry2015.sk/
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
University of Alberta – Augustana Biathlon Team website: http://www.vikings.ualberta.ca
TEAM CANADA BIATHLON ROSTER
Name – School – Hometown
Keely MacCulloch – University of Alberta – Augustana – Calgary, Alta.
Jessica Paterson – University of Alberta – St. Albert, Alta.
Sasha Eccleston – University of Alberta – Augustana – Hinton, Alta.
Evan Girard – University of Saskatchewan – Oxbow, Sask.
Reagan Mills – University of Prince Edward Island – Truro, N.S.
Sam West – University of Northern British Columbia – Grand Prairie, Alta.
Team Leader: Lowell Niven (Camrose, Alta. / University of Alberta – Augustana)
Technician: Joel Gervais (St. Albert, Alta.)
Women’s events: 15 km Individual – 7.5 km Sprint – 10 km Pursuit – 12.5 km Mass Start – Mixed Relay
Men’s events: 20 km Individual – 10 km Sprint – 12.5 km Pursuit – 15 km Mass Start – Mixed Relay
Jan. 25: Men’s 20 km individual & Women’s 15 km individual
Jan. 27: Men’s 10 km sprint & Women’s 7.5 km sprint
Jan. 28: Men’s pursuit & Women’s pursuit
Jan. 30: Mixed relay (Men 2 x 7.5 km & Women 2 x 6 km)
Jan. 31: Men 15 km mass start & Women 12.5 km mass start
About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow: