National Development Group, X Team and Junior National Team Gear Up to Join Senior National Team for Training Camp in Lake Placid

by Sara Donatello

Monday, June 3 marks the beginning of the largest U.S. Biathlon summer training camp with over 30 athletes from the Junior National Team, X Team, National Development Group and Senior National Team congregating in Lake Placid, NY for a two-week-long team camp.

The team will reside at the Lake Placid Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (LPOPTC) for the duration of the camp. Training will take place at Mount Van Hoevenberg, the 1980 Olympic venue for biathlon, cross-country skiing, bobsled, skeleton and luge, with the opportunity for training sessions on the Whiteface Mountain toll road, biking and hiking in the Adirondacks, and strength training and recovery at the LPOPTC. Physiological testing for senior athletes will be conducted by Montana State University to measure VO2, threshold, motion capture, and force analysis. 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this diverse group of athletes and coaches together for a collaborative camp,” said U.S. Biathlon Director of High Performance Lowell Bailey. “It is our firm belief that all athletes will benefit from the mutual atmosphere. It is especially exciting to have the Montana State University physiology department back for a second year of performance testing. The knowledge we gain from these tests helps each athlete improve in specific areas and we could not achieve this level of impact without the MSU partnership.”

This will be the first team camp of the season for the X Team and National Development Group, which is new to the program. The National Development Group aims to support athletes who have not yet met National Team criteria, and provide a pathway that eventually can lead to a National Team nomination. Having the ability to train alongside the Senior National Team and work with the National Team coaches, provides hands-on experience for athletes working towards that next level.  

U.S. Biathlon’s X Team provides a pathway for high-level cross-country skiers with extraordinary potential for success to be selected for a special training team that will quickly accelerate their development in a highly challenging and dedicated environment. 

“We are incredibly excited to have two exceptional athletes, Margie Freed and Luci Anderson, on the X Team. U.S. Biathlon has had much success with this program in the past, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with these two athletes,” said U.S. Biathlon Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke. “We hope to have more athletes join the X Team in the future after they have an opportunity to try biathlon through our Project X program, a program that creates opportunities for top-level cross-country skiers, such as Margie and Luci, to try biathlon and learn more about this great sport.” 

In addition to the larger pool of senior athletes training together, the Lake Placid camp will also be an opportunity for junior athletes to train with senior athletes and experience a Senior National Team camp first-hand.

“It’s very important for our junior athletes to have the opportunity to shadow the seniors in this way,” added U.S. Biathlon Junior National Team Coach Brian Halligan. “Even though the juniors have goals and priorities of their own, being able to see the work ethic and discipline by the older athletes is crucial for long-term success. Not to mention the fact that bringing all the athletes under one roof really unites us as a team: The U.S. Biathlon Team!”
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