P.E.I. biathletes hope to take advantage of home site

Jason Malloy
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Campbell, Arendz looking for spots on national teams during trials at Brookvale park

P.E.I.’s Carsen Campbell will compete at this week’s Canadian youth and junior world trials at the Brookvale Provincial Park Biathlon Facility. The competition starts Friday.

Wednesday’s soft snow may have provided Carsen Campbell a little advantage heading into the opening day of competition for the Canada biathlon youth and junior world trials at Brookvale Provincial Park.

“In this soft snow, it’s going to have to be a little bit more finesse and less about power,” the Central Bedeque native said Wednesday. “When it’s real soft, it’s good to be light.”

The 19-year-old weighs about 140 pounds while others guys in his junior division are about 160 pounds.

“I’m pretty excited. I think the course couldn’t be any better suited to me,” Campbell added. “It’s up to me, but I just have to go out and ski well.”

About 100 of Canada’s top biathletes between the ages of 17 and 21 will compete at the Brookvale nordic site beginning Friday and concluding on Sunday. The top four male and female biathletes in junior and youth divisions will make up Team Canada’s 16-member squad for the world championships in Presque Isle, Me., from Feb. 26 to March 7.

Menno Arendz, 21, is also looking for a spot on the junior team.

“I definitely feel I have a home-field advantage,” said the Hartsville native, who grew up 10 minutes from the site and has been skiing there since he was 10.

Both have moved to Canmore, Alta., during the past year to train full time. They both went to the worlds last year in Austria with Campbell in the youth division and Arendz in junior. They are in the same age division this time around.

Each have turned in strong performances during this season and said there is a friendly rivalry that helps push each another. Traditionally, Arendz holds an advantage shooting with Campbell being the faster skier.

“It’s fun,” Campbell said. “I definitely don’t like to lose and neither does he.”

Arendz added it would be “amazing” to have two Islanders qualify for the worlds at home.

Arendz said it is the first time many of the competitors will be skiing the course and shooting at the range. He added it is an older style course that follows the terrain as opposed to being a man-made course.

“I’ve been hearing some rave reviews from some of the

athletes,” he said. “It’s going to

be a showcase for P.E.I., Brookvale, Biathlon P.E.I., our athletes and our volunteers.”

Arendz and Campbell encourage Islanders to get out and watch the athletes compete.

“What they will see is Canada’s future Olympians in biathlon,” said Arendz, who aspires to being one of those athletes wearing the Canadian colours in the future.  “That is the highest level of competition a person can reach.”

Schedule

A look at the start times for the Canadian youth and junior world trials at the Brookvale Provincial Park Biathlon Facility:

Friday

12 p.m.– World Trials Sprint.

Saturday

10:30 a.m. – World Trials Sprint.

1:30 p.m. – Eastern Canadian Sprint.

Sunday

10 a.m. – World Pursuit.

1 p.m. – Eastern Canadian Pursuit.

 

Venue

The Brookvale Provincial Park Biathlon facility is located a kilometre from the downhill ski site and is the home to both the cross-country and biathlon venues. Built prior to hosting the Canada Winter Games in 1991, the range has undergone several upgrades in 2008 and again in 2010 and now has a shooting range of 24 mechanical targets. The course consists of all the required lengths of trails and varying degrees of difficulty.

Source: Organizing committee

 

Quote

“The Brookvale facility is kind of hard to believe until you see it. Everyone thinks P.E.I. is flat and they look at the evaluation and they go, oh, 91 metres, it can’t be steep. Other than the fact, it’s at sea level, it’s probably one of the toughest course in the country.”

- Carsen Campbell

Organizations: Team Canada, Brookvale Provincial Park Biathlon Facility

Geographic location: Brookvale, Canada, Central Bedeque Presque Isle Hartsville Canmore Austria

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