Area biathlete competes at national trials

Justin Hansen, a senior at River City Academy in Soldotna and cross-country skier for Soldotna High School, competed at the U.S. Biathlon Youth and Junior World Championships Team Trials at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31.

Hansen, a Youth skier competing in the races for Juniors and Youths, started the competition with a 10-kilometer sprint on Dec. 28. In a sprint, competitors have one prone and one standing shooting session of five targets each. A missed shot results in a penalty loop.

Bjorn Westervelt of Stowe, Vermont, had one shooting error and finished first at 28 minutes, 11.4 seconds. Hansen finished 33rd at 54:12.0. He missed five shots in the prone session and two shots in the standing session.

Dec. 30, Hansen competed in a 10-kilometer pursuit. In the biathlon pursuit, there are four five-shot shooting sessions — two prone and two standing. The missed shots result in a penalty loop.

Westervelt crossed the line first again, stopping the clock at 34:29.1. He made five shooting errors.

Hansen finished 32nd at 1:05:06.8. He made two and five errors in prone shooting, and one and three errors in standing shooting.

Dec. 31, the competition finished with a 7.5-kilometer sprint.

Westervelt again came out on top, crossing at 24:14.3 with four shooting errors. Hansen finished 32nd at 39:44.5, making three prone shooting errors and two standing shooting errors.

At the conclusion of the competition, Hansen was not named to Team USA at the 2022 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships, which will be held in Soldier Hollow from Feb. 23 to March 2.