(Submitted by Ted Burns)
Mark Mehler (Blackhawk Biathlon Club) won the men’s race and Stephanie Osborne (Blackhawk Biathlon Club) won the women’s race at the the third race of the Wisconsin Biathlon Series held at Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton, Wis., on Sunday, Jan. 31. The 12-kilometer time trial was shortened to 9.8 k due to thin trail conditions and pending rain but still drew a dedicated crew of biathletes from across the Midwest. Racers were spared the heavy rain, and were instead treated to slippery but warm conditions.
The time-trial format on the revised circuit still provided racers an opportunity to shoot a complete set of four stations and ski through the penalty loop for the entire race. Mehler beat out fellow Blackhawk skier Marc Class with strong skiing and improved shooting.
“Conditions were a little slick, fast, and I shot well,” Mehler said. “I shot 1-1-3-2, 65 percent, which is better than normal.”
Despite strong shooting Class could not match Mehler’s speed on the snow or on the range.
“The first couple laps, I had trouble getting my head into it, after that it was fine,” Class said. “I haven’t skied in conditions like this yet this year, but once I got into it I felt like I got my heart rate up real good. The shooting went well. I shot slow and it paid off but I have work on shooting faster.”
With a late start Osborne was forced to fight through increasingly slippery conditions but still cruised to the win with fastest women’s time of the day.
“This was a fantastic day,” Osborne said. “Great snow, fast snow and lots of smiles from all of the participants.”
When asked how she fared on the range Osborne laughed and replied, “Oh goodness, we’ll have to work on some paper a bit at practice.”
The fourth race of the Wisconsin Biathlon series, which will also be a USBA event, will take place at McMiller Sports Center in Eagle, Wis., on Feb. 13. For more information on the Wisconsin Biathlon Series visit the Blackhawk Ski Club Biathlon page.
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