ICWG: Locals take a shot at biathlon competition

Saranac Lake’s Bella Wissler, left, Jordanna Samburgh, of Gabriels, and Max Flanigan fire at targets at the Olympic Jumping complex in Lake Placid during Tuesday’s International Children’s Winter Games’ biathlon race. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

LAKE PLACID — The International Children’s Winter Games biathlon race featured more than a dozen kids from around the world, and although the shooting rounds were a mixed bag, local skiers enjoyed the experience.

Skiing short laps at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid on Tuesday afternoon, 10 boys and six girls skied around the lodge three times while stopping at the base of the 90-meter jump to fire air rifles for two shooting rounds. Missed shots were followed by penalty laps.

Team Lake Placid member Abigail Van Dorn took second place in the girls race with a time of 9 minutes, 6.3 seconds. Slovenia’s Zala Repe won the race with a finish time of 6:35.9, while locals Jordanna Samburgh (9:20.6) placed fourth, Sophia Kelting (9:25.9) was fifth and Bella Wissler (9:508) placed sixth.

On the boys’ side, Slovenia’s Domen Gomilar won the race in 6:53.2. Team Lake Placid members went 4-5-6, with Saranac Lake’s Owen Keal leading the local contingent across the line in 8:33.3 for a fourth-place finish. Luke Moffett (9:01.4) was next, Liam Nobles (9:10.6) was sixth and Max Flanigan (9:55.2) placed eighth in the field of 10.

Flanigan, who compete on Lake Placid’s high school cross-country skiing team, said he didn’t shoot well, but had fun anyway.

Owen Keal, of Saranac Lake, eyes the target during a biathlon race at the International Children’s Winter Games at the ski jumps in Lake Placid. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

“It was pretty rough, I’m not very good at shooting,” he said. “I was skiing pretty good and I felt really good going up the hills, but coming out of the shooting range I came out behind everyone. But that’s alright, you get better with each one.”

Wissler, an eighth-grader in Saranac Lake, said she also struggled with the shooting, but enjoyed her first-ever biathlon race.

“The conditions are really great over here, and the shooting was fine. I just think (with) the adrenaline I just tried to rush through it,” she said. “It’s fun, I like it a lot. It’ a little more challenging than skiing because you’ve got the shooting part to throw another element in there.”