Friday, 25 December 2015

News & Updates

 So! Some big news again this year!

Once again, I ahave been selected to compete at the World Junior Championships, which this year are in Cheile Gradistei, Romania! I am super excited to be competing at this event for my final year as a junior man, and will do my best to out perform all WJCH performances I have had before!

In other news, the first races of the season were in Canmore this year, and after some difficulties coming into the race season, I was able to bang out a few very good races.

I raced in the Mass Start at XC Noarm #1, which was a 16km crazyfest.  I had a crash on the big corner of the 3.3km loop (yeah, that one - yikes) which slowed me down a bit and lost some positions, but otherwise it was a good race to start the season off with.

Trials races were next.  From Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th, I underwent three races that would decide the course of my season.  Thursday was a sprint disipline race, as was Saturday, and Sunday was a Pursuit.

Thursdays race was less than optimal. Missing three prone and one standing target, I finished well back of my teammates Aidan and Alex, almost 3 minutes in fact.

However, I didn't let this affect my races on the weekend.  Despite having the stress of performance and qualification, on Saturday I triumphed over the Junior Mens category! I hit 9/10, missing one shot prone.

Sunday was almost as successful, with a second place finish in the pursuit.  I hit 15/20, one miss prone and four standing.

With my performances last weekend, I was able to secure the last spot on the World Junior Championships team.  I am once again excited and honoured to compete for Canada internationally at such a prestigious event.

I have a new sponsor! Exel poles and Canadian Winter Sports through Peter Rozmovits. Thanks so much Peter for supporting me this year by supplying top quality poles!

I would also like to thank Phil Villeneuve with Salomon Canada for his continued support this season, as well as a big thank you to Clint Cawsey for supporting me this year!  If you are interested in sponsoring me this year, send me an email at and I will get in contact with you!

All the photos in this post are from Sunday 20th
Onwards and upwards from here!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

IBU #6

So Slovakia is pretty nice.

I mean at least the Osrblie area.

And this area hosted the sixth IBU cup of the season, in which I was able to compete in for Canada, among some of my teammates.  It was a Sprint-Pursuit weekend, and Canada fielded a team of 6 athletes, 4 men, and 2 women, primarily made up of the World Junior Team. 

Osrblie range and stadium
Everyone did fairly well, considering three of the men (myself included) were participating at their first international circuit race.

Race course from the hotel window
In the men's category for the Saturday sprint race, I was ranked third Canadian at 56th, 6 seconds behind Aidan Millar in 55th, and Stuart Harden finished 40th as the top Canadian.  Carson Campbell was 61st, just missing out on the pursuit.

Nice range
My race felt fairly good. Not a perfect race, but I shot 8/10 and skied well on the steep, hilly trails.

Brutal snowfall (trust me, it was pretty bad) on the day of the Pursuit
I was super excited and happy with my result in the sprint, as before the race I did not think I would be able to make the pursuit. However, I outperformed my expectations and made my goal of qualifying for the pursuit race on Sunday.

Sarah during the sprint
The women did well in their sprint as well. Sarah Beaudry was 43rd and Erin Youngblut was 51st, both also qualifying for the Sunday race.

Erin killing it on the hill
The Pursuit day went well for the women as well. Sarah made up 15 positions to finish 28th, ad Erin finished 41st.  They were faced with some rough wind and a little bit of snow early on.

Pre-race run through the town
The Men's race however was pretty crazy. Near the end of zero, 20 minutes before the start, the weather turned and it stared to just dump wet, heavy snow everywhere. At one point you couldn't see the end of the range from the firing line. but everything started as planned.

I felt alright skiing, but certainly not amazing, and by the end of the second lap my legs were burning (not literally, don't worry).  Shooting was also fairly good, until the second prone, where the snow and wind started to do that thing where the targets disappear and large amounts of snow, wind, water and other stuff was blowing directly into my shooting eye. That was probably the low point of the race.

But everything finished off well, I managed to shoot clean my last bout standing, which felt good after missing so many.  In the end, I moved up 2 positions, but lost almost 7.5 minutes to the leaders. Probably no my best race, but it was a great experience to be racing people like Lars Birkeland who has raced for a long time on the World Cup circuit.

The other Canadian men had better races than I, both Aidan and Stuart moved up a few positions and seemed to be happy with their races.

So ends my racing experience in Slovakia for now.  I have had a good time and the experience is amazing.  To race for Canada is an honour, and I hope to represent my nation well in the events to come.  Next stop will be Minsk, Belarus for the Junior World Championships, which will also be very interesting and new.  Looking forward to those races!

Hanging out in the Amsterdam airport
I would just like to recognize those who have supported me in my dreams and have donated to help get me where I am right now.  Thanks to:
Clint Cawsey
Graham Low & Family
Erik and Ann
Troy Delfs
Barbara Clemes
Pauline Nadlersmith
The XCBC Ski Club
Nana and Pop
And Mom and Dad for all the support!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Back into Racing

So recently, after about a month long hiatus, we are finally back into racing again! Two weekends ago, I raced in the Cross country Western Canadian Championships in Canmore in the sprint and 20km skate races.

My better day was Saturday, the sprint day, which is very unusual for me because I have never been much of a sprinter.  Both the quarter and semi finals went well, and although it was far more aggressive on the part of my competitors, I think the A-final was a success.  I ended up placing 4th, which is far better than I have done in a sprint race in many years, so I am very happy about it.

Saturday Quarterfinal
Sunday's race was a 20km skate race on the world cup trails. That race was not quite as good for me, because of some poor snow conditions (it was dumping all night before our race) and general fatigue.  I wasn't feeling 100% after the sprints - only today did I stop coughing stuff out of my lungs - so really I didn't expect to be on top of the standings.

Dumping snow on the 20k
All in all a good race weekend.

I was also in Edmonton last weekend for the Biathlon Western Canadian Championships.  There ended up being only one race, due to lack of snow.

It certainly wasn't my best race ever - probably the worst this year. However, I don't really see this as a failure or what have you, but rather as a learning experience, for me to figure out what I need to work on.

And all this is gearing up towards my trip to Europe! I leave on the 3rd of February, where I will compete in IBU Cup 6 in Oserblie, Slovakia, and then to Minsk for World Junior Championships. I am super excited and proud to have this opportunity to race for Canada at international events like these, and I will update more frequently during my trip.

I also have a crowd funding initiative going on right now at Make-A-Champ, where you can support my trip to Europe.  Any and all donations are greatly appreciated. I only have 7 days left in the campaign, and I am 18% there! Help me reach my goals!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Recap post!

Finally back in the swing of things. I haven't posted in a while because of school, training with a new team, as well as other aspects of life holding me back. I will however attempt to do more posts, possibly on a monthly or bimonthly basis.

ANYWAYS! Lots of news! I joined the Biathlon Alberta Training Center, which is one of the best of its kind in Canada.  I am really happy to be a part of that group so that i may improve and compete to the best of my ability.

Most of the pictures shown are from World Junior Trails in Canmore earlier this month
Over the summer I trained with them, and also competed at both the Biathlon Canada Testival events, which is basically a week of testing both physical fitness and shooting skill.  I feel pretty happy with the results, and the second Testival week I improved.

So, now we are in racing season. The first races of the year were the Biathlon Canada IBU Cup Trials held in Canmore.  During both of the races I shot pretty well, like 80-90%, and was ranked 12th overall, and 2nd Junior.  Super happy with the result, I went on to Noram #2, also in Canmore and the first official race of the season, due weather Noram #1 was canceled.  Noram #2 was also World Junior Championships Trials. Now, for those of you who don't know, last year's Trials were very disappointing for me, because as the only youth male returning from qualifying last year, I did not make the team, finishing 6th overall in the averages. Not so good.

Junior Men Mass Start, Noram #2 - Photo credit: Jake Ellingson
Trails went really well for me! I had a couple very good races, felt like I skied my best in all of them, and shot clean in every one! Woo chocolate! All the training and shooting over the summer and fall have started to pay off.

And then I qualified! I am so stoked to be going to Belarus to represent Canada at the Junior World Championships. I have worked so hard to bounce back from last year's disappointing result, but I have made it.

Junior Men Mass Start Podium - 1st Stuart Harden, 2nd Matt Strum, 3rd Matt Hudec
In addition to competing at World Juniors, I have the opportunity to race at IBU Cup 6, in Slovakia, and tentatively Open European Championships in Estonia.  It will be a great adventure of over  a month in Europe, with lots of racing and traveling.

Speaking of traveling, it can be super expensive. So, to combat this expense, I have created a page on the crowd funding website Make-A-Champ, so that people like you can donate and help send me to Europe to compete for Canada. The link for the page is here, and I appreciate any and all donations.

Anyways, there is the recap. I will update more often now, with more info pertaining to recent events. And Europe will be super awesome, so I will get more info up about that.  Thanks for reading!

Photo credits to: Roy Strum, Jake Ellinson

Thursday, 18 December 2014

News Update

Hey! There will be a new blog post as well as some exciting news going up this weekend, regarding where I have been and what I have been doing since April.

I have started a page on the crowd-funding website Make-A-Champ! I have created it so that I can fund future racing and tours. If you want to support me, you can donate at my make-a-champ page and the funds will help support my goals of being a high level athlete!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Thank You Salomon Canada

I would like to thank Salomon Canada for being a part of my recent racing successes.
I placed well at both National Championships, and Salomon Canada was a big part of these successes. Thank You Salomon Canada and Phil Villeneuve

Monday, 31 March 2014

Thank you One Way

I would like to thank my sponsor One Way Poles in relation to the successes I have had at my recent competitions.
I placed 2nd in all four of the races at Biathlon Nationals
Thank you One Way