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Vancouver Island biathlete leads Zone 6 team with silver at BC Winter Games

The Zone 6 biathlon team, including silver medalist Tobin Kerr (fourth from left) posed for their own podium shot at the BC Winter Games in Prince Gearoge. Photo submitted

Getting to and from the BC Winter Games was anything but a perfect experience for the Vancouver Island (Zone 6) biathlon team members, but once they arrived, Comox biathlete Tobin Kerr had a nearly perfect performance.

With heavy fog cancelling their initial flight to Prince George, and a mechanical issue causing a lengthy delay on their way back, the 10-member (seven athletes and three coaches) biathlon team had plenty of opportunities to practice patience and dealing with adversity.

Despite missing the first race due to these travel hiccups, there was a silver lining for the team as Comox athlete Tobin Kerr hit 15 of 15 targets in the individual race, winning the silver medal.

“I felt really fast on the skis and really focused on the range. It was pretty close to a perfect race,” stated Kerr.

Zach Mills (Courtenay) also had a strong race finishing fourth, just eight seconds off the podium. Other results in the Junior Boys category included Angus Preston (Shawnigan Lake) finishing ninth and Tycho Thibault (Nanaimo) placing 15th. In the Junior Girls category, Stella Nadler (Campbell River) and Victoria Milner (Courtenay) had top-10 results, finishing eighth and ninth respectively, while May Finch (Nanaimo) placed 13th.

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle marksmanship. With practice, biathletes are able to lower their heart rate before each shooting bout. Competitors must ski additional distances for each missed target, or receive a time-penalty, putting intense pressure on every shot.

“I am really proud of our team, how hard they competed during the races, how they cheered on the other athletes from across the province, and how well they represented Vancouver Island at the Games,” said former Olympic biathlete and Zone 6 assistant coach, Yvonne Visse.

Head coach Jonathan Kerr (Comox) and assistant coach Charles May (Nanaimo) rounded out the team from Vancouver Island.

The team will soon be heading to the Biathlon BC Championships at Whistler Olympic Park for its final competition of the season.