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Ledger headed to Youth Olympics

Van Ledger, of Lake Placid, competes in the Junior Biathlon World Championships and IBU Cup Team Trials in December 2018 in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Ledger placed 11th in the 10-kilometer sprint event. (Provided photo — Todd Westervelt)

Lake Placid resident Van Ledger was among the six young biathlete athletes from around the country who have been nominated by U.S. Biathlon for spots on the national team that will compete in the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2020.

Ledger earned the selection following the completion of the final two qualification events Aug. 17-18 in Jericho, Vermont.

The biathlon qualification featured eight races over the past nine months — six on snow and two on rollerskis. Each athlete counted his or her best four of eight results (with a maximum of one rollerski result). The eight-race series was one of the most competitive in U.S. Biathlon history with broad depth on both the women’s and men’s sides. In the final edition of the series, the U.S. Summer Nationals, more than 40 athletes filled out the youth field, which was by far the most participants in that category, ever.

“This was a remarkably competitive qualifying series to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games,” U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Lowell Bailey said. “We want to extend our congratulations to the team, and good luck this January.”

The nominations will be put forward to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), which will formally name the U.S. team that will compete in the Youth Olympic Games Jan. 9-22 in Lausanne, Switzerland later this year. The event is open to athletes 15-18 years old.

Van Ledger, of Lake Placid, competes in the Junior Biathlon World Championships and IBU Cup Team Trials in December 2018 in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Ledger placed 11th in the 10-kilometer sprint event. (Provided photo — Todd Westervelt)

Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 will be the third winter edition, following events at Innsbruck in 2012 and Lillehammer in 2016. In biathlon, there will be two individual events for men and two for women, plus two mixed gender relays.

Ledger will be joined by fellow men’s selections Etienne Bordes, of Tahoe City, California, and Cale Woods, of Bozeman, Montana. Women’s nominations included Kaisa Bosek (Alexandria, Minnesota), Maja Lapkass (Anchorage, Alaska) and Lexie Madigan (Truckee, California).