Caitlin Campbell, Lucas Boudreau finish strong to make Team Canada

Jason Malloy
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Biathletes Caitlin Campbell and Lucas Boudreau are going to Romania in January as part of Team Canada’s contingent for the world youth and junior championships.

It is the teenagers biggest accomplishment in the sport, which combines cross-country skiing and shooting targets with a rifle.

“It’s been a goal for a few years now to make the world junior team, so it’s huge for me,” Campbell said Tuesday. “It’s so awesome to have two of us from P.E.I.”

She is the first female from Prince Edward Island to make the team for the competition. Her brother, Carsen, went to the event four times.

Campbell said to have a chance to wear the Maple Leaf is “fantastic.

“It just proves, even from P.E.I., with all of our disadvantages, if you want it, if you work hard enough, you can do it,” she said.

Campbell and Boudreau earned their spots on the national team through three races during the last week in Canmore, Alta.

Boudreau started the week with an 12th-place finish on Thursday, but followed it up with a fifth and second.

“On the Saturday and Sunday everything finally came together and I was able to lay it all out there and have two really good races,” he said. “To be able to do that when it matters is unbelievable and hopefully I can take that into the rest of the season.”

He said he skied well and hit 29 of 30 targets during the final two races.

Campbell finished third out of four competitors on Thursday and won the final two races. She pointed to her standing shooting, where she went 34 of 35, as a key.

“It just finally clicked,” she said. “I’ve been training all summer and never have been that good and I pulled it out when I needed it.”

Campbell thought she had done enough to make the team, but it was not official until she received an email from Biathlon Canada late Monday night.

“All the stress for the whole year, just wondering what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen? Now (it’s) just gone,” she said. “It’s a huge relief.”

Campbell said the scores were really tight between the four athletes. Three of them made the national team. They will join an athlete who had been pre-qualified for the worlds.

Boudreau finished fifth out of 36 in the youth men’s standings, but two of the athletes ahead of him are attending the Youth Olympic Games and are unable to go to Romania.

The Island athletes said being in Canmore about 10 days before the event was important, helping them getting acclimatized to the altitude and get their body prepared for the event.

“The first week I was there my legs were super heavy and I couldn't find the speed skiing,” he said.

Boudreau added he has been fortunate to work with great coaches, including Judy and Stephen Hale and Darlene MacDonald, as well as have supportive friends and family.

The world youth and junior championships take place Jan. 25 to Feb. 1.

 

By the numbers

A look at the Biathlon Canada world youth/junior trials from Dec. 17, 19 and20 in Canmore, Alta. All scores are percentages and the total is determined by using the top-two races.

Junior women

                                Day 1              Day 2              Day 3        Total (best 2 of 3)

1. Caitlin Campbell    97.22              103.5              104.32            103.91

2. Kendall Chong       102.34            95.35              101.21            101.77

3. Charlotte Hamel    100.58            101.52             94.94              101.05

4. Ashley Runnalls     0                   80.04                85.99              83.02

Youth men

1. Leo Grandbois       101.46             98.31              99.72              100.59

2. Teo Sanchez           97.48             102.97            97.65              100.31

3. Zachari Bolduc       100.01            97.02             100.56             100.29

4. Ben Churchill          94.85              98.84              99.23              99.04

5. Lucas Boudreau     91.57               97.38              99.73               98.56

9. André Boudreau    94.74               84.50              92.51               93.63

Organizations: Team Canada, Biathlon Canada, Youth Olympic Games

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Romania, Canmore Canada Maple Leaf

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