Top 10 Finish for U.S. in Youth Men’s Relay

By Bill Kellick | Feb. 28, 2018, 2:32 p.m. (ET)

OTEPAA, Estonia (February 28, 2018) – Team USA posted a top-10 finish on Wednesday as the youth relays took center stage at the 2018 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. The youth men’s relay team of Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca), Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley Biathlon) and Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca) placed ninth in the 20-team field in the 3x7.5-kilometer race. The U.S. was seven minutes, 19.9 seconds off the winning time, with three penalties and 15 spares. Nielsen had the best day on the range with just three spares needed to knock down his 10 targets.

The Russian team of Denis Tashtimerov, Andrei Viukhin and Mikhail Pervushin posted the winning time in the youth men’s relay. Behind Russia, the Czech Republic took second place while Norway captured the final podium spot.

A sunny but cold day with temperatures around -15C greeted the relay teams at Tehvandi stadium. Wind gusts at the shooting range were a challenge for many of the young athletes.

In the women’s 3x6k relay, Sweden won in a photo finish over Finland, with Norway taking the bronze medal. The U.S. team of Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon), Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club) and Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca) placed 18th, 8:24.6 back with one penalty and 12 spares. Wilson and Stertz both needed only three spares during their legs.

Competition continues on Thursday with the individual races for the junior men and junior women. The men will ski 15 kilometers while the women will race the 12.5k distance.

Full results at

Youth Men’s 3x7.5km relay results


Russia (Tashtimerov, Viukhin, Pervushin)



Czech Republic (Hornig, Mikyska, Karlik)



Norway (Gerhardsen, Alfheim, Andersen)



USA (Cervenka, Nielsen, Beckrich)


Youth Women’s 3x6km relay results


Sweden (Lundstroem, Halvarsson, Oeberg)



Finland (J. Keranen, K. Keranen, Nikkinen)



Norway (Johansen, Vig, Arnekleiv)



USA (Wilson, Madigan, Stertz)