By Katie Smith Lone Peak PR
BOZEMAN – Bridger Biathlon Club athletes Ariana and Cale Woods of Bozeman competed March 20-22 at the U.S. Winter Biathlon National Championship in Truckee, Calif. Ariana, 15, earned a silver medal in the sprint competition on Friday, while 12-year-old Cale picked up gold in the novice competition on Saturday.
“This is such an incredible moment for these two athletes, and for Bozeman,” said BBC coach Stuart Jennings. “The amount of drive and effort they put in over this past season really paid off.”
Arianaearned her first silver medal in biathlon during the 7.5-km sprint race, despite having trouble with a malfunctioning target. After she believed she missed all five shots during her prone shooting stage, Ariana raced to make up time penalties. She skied into second place after officials ruled the target malfunctioned and adjusted her score accordingly.
On Saturday, Cale competed in the novice division, where participants ski without rifles during the race and shoot twice in the prone position. He was one of the youngest competitors in the novice class and won the race both on his shooting – nine out of 10 hits – and skiing.
“Ariana and Cale have really set the stage for a resurgence of biathletes coming out of Bozeman,” Jennings said. “We couldn’t be more proud of these two, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.”
Ariana and Cale spend their winters training with the BBC for biathlon instruction, and the Bridger Ski Foundation for skiing technique. This was their first biathlon national championship, and it will not likely be their last. Their successes should motivate their BBC teammates and fuel growth of biathlon in Bozeman.
Visit bridgerbiathlonclub.org for more information about the Bridger Biathlon Club and the programs offered.