Lake Placid’s Van Ledger places 12th in biathlon

Team USA’s Van Ledger, of Lake Placid, skis toward the shooting stage during Saturday’s Winter World University Games men’s biathlon competition. (Enterprise photo — Parker O'Brien)

LAKE PLACID – When Lake Placid’s Van Ledger hit all five targets during the first shooting stage, it was clear he was in for an exciting finish during Saturday’s men’s 15K individual biathlon race at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

“That was awesome. That first stage kind of sets the tone for the rest of the race,” Ledger said. “Having to come in and shoot all five starts off well.” 

His efforts were good enough to finish as the top U.S. athlete in the World University Games race. He placed 12th overall in a time of 46 minutes, 22.8 seconds. 

“Skiing was a little tough,” Ledger said, “but I think I made up for it on the range.”

After shooting clean on his first stage, Ledger went three-for-five on the next stage from the standing position, setting him back a bit with a penalty time of 1:40.3. 

Alexandr Mukhin, of Kazakhstan, shoots from the prone position during Saturday’s WInter World University Games men’s biathlon competition.  (Enterprise photo — Parker O'Brien)

However, Ledger was able to recover in his next two shooting stages, shooting clean in the third, while missing just one in his stage. 

As the lone Lake Placid athlete competing in the FISU Winter World University Games, fans roared each time Ledger passed by the Mount Van Hoevenberg base lodge.

“It was great having people cheer, especially coming up and hearing everybody in the start lane. I could hear everybody getting louder. It was so cool.”

Kazakhstan’s Vadim Kurales claimed the gold medal in 42:37.4, while Norway’s Oerjan Moseng (43:20.0) and France’s Axel Garnier (43:53.9) took second and third place, respectively.

American athletes Cale Woods (47:12.9) and Matej Cervenka (47:41.0) finished in 16th and 17th place, respectively. Tim Cobb, the son of former U.S. Biathlon CEO Max Cobb, finished in 24th place in 49:40.9.

Paul Smith’s Nathan Livingood was the final U.S. biathlete to finish. He took 33rd overall in 54:36.2. Livingood said he wasn’t happy with his result.

“(My) skiing was slow,” Livingood said. “Skiing here is a very tough place. Shooting was not any better. But I did my best.”

Biathlon will continue at the World University Games on Monday with the single mixed relay event. The men’s individual races will pick back up on Wednesday with the men’s 10K sprint race.

“I’m going to have a good recovery session in the OTC and hopefully have some good training days,” Livingood said. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified a biathlete in a cutline. The athlete was Alexandr Mukhin, of Kazakhstan. The Enterprise regrets the error.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today