News

2023-24 Youth and Junior Season Recap

by Sara Donatello

This year saw the highest number of participants at the Youth and Junior Trials in Mt. Itasca, MN, a sign of good things to come for the future of biathlon in the United States. Youth and junior athletes traveled to South Korea, Poland and Estonia to race against the top athletes from around the world, gaining valuable international racing experience as they work their way up the development pipeline. 


The season kicked off with six U.S. athletes traveling halfway around the world to Gangwon, South Korea for the 2024 Youth Olympic Games in January to race at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic biathlon venue. The team of Alex Taylor (Lincoln, MA/HSC Massachusetts Biathlon), Molly Maybach (Boise, ID/SVSEF), Emily Campbell (Park City, UT/Team Soldier Hollow), Elias Soule (Anchorage, AK/Anchorage Biathlon Club), John Lohuis (Anchorage, AK/Biathlon Alaska) and Noa Kam-Magruder (Anchorage, AK/Anchorage Biathlon Club) represented Team USA on the biggest stage in youth athletics. Of the six events, Maybach left South Korea with the top U.S. result of the Games, skiing to 27th in the youth women’s 6km sprint and shooting 1+2. 


February saw back-to-back race weekends in Jakuszyce, Poland for the IBU Junior Cup and Junior Open European Championships. Haley Finch (Anchorage, AK/Anchorage Biathlon Club), Evelyn Hudrlik (Forest Lake, MN/Saint Michael’s College) and Brenna Barton (Bozeman, MT/Team Crosscut) all made their IBU Junior Cup debuts in Poland. In the men’s 10km sprint, Etienne Bordes (Tahoe City, CA/Team Crosscut) and Van Ledger (Lake Placid, NY/Team Crosscut) both hit IBU Junior Cup personal best results in 32nd and 43rd, with Thor Sheppard (West Yellowstone, MT/Team Altius) racing to 42nd, his second best result of the season. Finch finished the weekend with clean shooting to land in 31st in the women’s 7.5km sprint with Hannah Chipman (Norwich, VT/Dartmouth College) racing to 43rd, IBU Junior Cup personal bests for both athletes. 


The following weekend, youth athlete Virginia Cobb (Westford, VT/Ethan Allen Biathlon Club) raced alongside the junior women at the 2024 Junior Open European Championships in Jakuszyce. The weekend was highlighted with all five U.S. women, Finch, Hudrlik, Chipman, Barton and Cobb, and three men, Ledger, Sheppard and Cale Woods (Bozeman, MT/Team Crosscut) toeing the line for the mass start 60 races. Chipman raced to her first top-30 result with her best four-stage shooting performance on an international level, Sheppard hit a personal best 37th and Woods shot 19 for 20, one of only three athletes to do so in the men’s mass start 60. 


The 2023-24 youth and junior racing season concluded in Otepää, Estonia for the 2024 Youth and Junior World Championships. Mirra Payson (Lexington, MA/HSC Massachusetts Biathlon) made her Youth World Championship and international racing debut alongside Cobb, Campbell and Taylor. Aiden Sands (Mazama, WA/Team Altius) joined the Anchorage, Alaska trio of Soule, Kam-Magruder and Lohuis to make up the U.S. youth men. The Youth World Championships highlight came on February 27th with Soule racing to 22nd in the youth men’s 7.5km sprint, shooting 9 for 10 on the range. 


On the junior side, Alexandra Rud (Oslo, NOR/Duluth Biathlon), Chipman and Lexie Madigan (Truckee, CA/Auburn Ski Club) shined on the range in the junior women’s 12.5km individual. Rud shot 19 for 20, holding the 5th best shooting time, Chipman shot 18 for 20 to land in 41st and Madigan hit 17 for 20, cleaning her final shooting stage. Racing wrapped up with the junior relays on March 2nd. The men’s relay team of Ledger, Sheppard, Nathan Livingood (Bethel, ME/Fort Kent Outdoor Center) and Matej Cervenka (Grand Rapids, MN/Mt. Itasca Biathlon) raced to 18th. Cervenka brought his A game on the range using just one spare in prone and cleaning his standing shoot. Rud, Madigan, Chipman and Dolcie Tanguay (Fort Kent, ME/Paul Smith’s College) made up the 16th place women’s relay team, the top relay result of the 2024 Youth and Junior Championships for Team USA to end the season. 


For all results from the Youth Olympic Games, IBU Junior Cup, Junior Open European Championships and Youth and Junior World Championships, visit biathlonworld.com/results. For information on U.S. Biathlon and the development pipeline, visit usbiathlon.org

About Us

  • About U.S. Biathlon
  • History of U.S. Biathlon
  • Hall of Fame
  • U.S. Biathlon Foundation
  • Membership
  • Our Partners
USA Biathlon and US Olympic & Paralympic Committee Logo
  • Accessibility
  • Site Map
  • Contact Us
  • Careers
  • Financials
  • Terms of Use , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy

© 2024 United States Biathlon Association - All Rights Reserved.