Sibling biathletes Aidan and Maren Sands of Mazama, representing the Methow Valley Biathlon Team in Casper, Wyoming, at the recent U.S. Biathlon Western Regional Championships, came home with gold medals both days.
Six teams with 49 athletes representing five states competed over the two-day race (March 20-21) that saw a wide array of conditions, from 50 degrees and sunshine on Saturday, to blizzard like conditions on Sunday with sub-20 degree temperatures.
The Casper Mountain Biathlon Range is located at nearly 8,100 feet, which combined with over 14 kilometers of racing represented a big challenge for competitors.
Nordic races earlier in the season in McCall, Idaho, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, helped prepare the Methow athletes, according parent/coach Colin Sands.
Saturday’s individual sprint resulted in 1st-place finishes for both 12-year-old Aidan Sands (U15) and 11-year-old Maren Sands (U12), with Maren shooting perfect for the day.
Sunday’s race held a Super Sprint Qualifier and Super Sprint Final in which both the Sands took home 1st place again (U15 and U13) despite challenging conditions.
Aidan Sands was headed to West Yellowstone on March 25-28 to compete in the U.S. Biathlon National Championships, and was joined by teammate Alex Tareski, also of Mazama. Look for results in next week’s issue.