Biathlon community converges over the weekend at world-class facility on Casper Mountain - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Biathlon community converges over the weekend at world-class facility on Casper Mountain

The Casper Mountain Uphill Rollerski Challenge, June 27, 2020 (Wayne Petsch, Casper Mountain Biathlon Club, Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo — The Casper Mountain Biathlon Club’s (CMBC) fourth Summer Races took place over the weekend in Casper, finishing off at the world-class class biathlon range off East End Road on Sunday.

According to Rob Rosser, president of the CMBC, the facility is one of only 3 or 4 such ranges in the country. Built to International Ski Federation and International Biathlon Union standards, the decades-long vision finally took shape in 2015 through extensive fundraising and land swap agreements, including a 40-acre donation from the McMurray family.

The events Sunday including running, rollerski, and bike races around the asphalt paths interspersed with two rounds and a total of 10 shots at targets on the 50-meter shooting range.

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Jean Marie leads the competition into the range on Sunday (Greg Hirst)

“It’s all about the breathing,” said Jerimiah Washut, 15, on what it takes to make a shot after competing a loop with an elevated heart rate.  

“You can’t think,” said Tristan Wickland about the ideal moment to pull the trigger. “It’s like nature: harmony and chaos.”  Wicklund is 17 and comes from Evergreen, Colorado, and competed in the 22+ age division to hone his edge.

The Summer Races began Friday with a roller ski race from Lord of Lords Lutheran Church Parking lot to the top of the mountain. Saturday saw speed and agility races at Casper College. 31 people, some from New York, Idaho, and California, converged for the Summer Races.

John Crawford from Denver said he was a little rusty and had to take several 100-meter runs around the penalty track for missed shots. Nevertheless, he had fun and enjoyed the competition. “Biathlon is a small world,” he said. “It’s nice to see everyone here.” 

Mason Vincents rounds the corner on Sunday at the Biathlon course on Casper Mountain (Gregory Hirst)

“The team here is super tight and welcoming. It’s like a tribe,” Wicklund added.

The biathlon community converges on FIS (International Skiing Federation)-certified facilities like Soldier Hall near Salt Lake City and in Lake Placid, New York.

Competitors take their 50-meter shots before hopping back on the bikes for another lap Sunday at the biathlon range on Casper Mountain. (Oil City staff)

“This facility is right up there with those. It’s a great staff and great facility,” said Adam Farabaugh, who is from upstate New York. He’s spending his summer in Wyoming to hunt, fish, recreate and train for the US Biathlon Association’s National Team. Farabaugh met Rosser at Soldier Hall, where Rosser invited him to participate in the CMBC Summer training camps.

“Being able to have the camp is a relief with everything that’s going on in the world,” Farabaugh said. “It’s nice to see everyone. With biathlon, there’s community wherever you go.”

View race results and more photos on the Casper Mountain Biathlon Club Facebook page.