Three Youth Team Members Qualify for Pursuit at World Championships

By Bill Kellick | Feb. 01, 2019, 7:24 p.m. (ET)

Garrett Beckrich youth sprint
Garrett Beckrich competes in the men's youth sprint on Friday in Osrblie, Slovakia (photo by Jeffrey Leopold)

OSRBLIE, Slovakia (February 1, 2019) – Tough, snowy conditions greeted the youth sprint competitors on Friday at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie. Battling through the nasty weather, three Americans qualified for Sunday's pursuit races that will cap off the week-long competition.

In the youth men's 7.5-kilometer sprint, Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca) and Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe, Vt./Craftsbury Biathlon) both finished in the top-60 of the 110-man field to earn berths in the pursuit. Beckrich finished 45th with three penalties, 2 minutes and 42.6 seconds behind winner Alex Cisar of Slovenia. Westervelt was 54th, 2:53.7 back with four penalties.

The silver medal went to Cisar's teammate, Lovro Planko, while the bronze medal was won by Finland's Otto Invenius. 

Other Americans competing in the youth men's sprint were Maxime Germain (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon) in 66th and Vincent Bonacci (Salt Lake City, Utah/Soldier Hollow Biathlon) in 74th.

In the youth women's 6km sprint held later in the day amid a mixture of snow and rain, Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon) was the lone U.S. qualifier for the pursuit. Wilson finished 55th in the field of 103 with just a single penalty in prone, 3:17.1 off the winning pace set by Norway's Maren Bakken who shot clean. Switzerland's Amy Baserga was second and Norway's Marte Moeller rounded out the podium.

Other American finishers were Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca) in 62nd, Lina Farra (Heber City, Utah/Team Soldier Hollow) in 70th, and Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club) in 73rd.

Competition continues on Saturday's penultimate day with the junior men's and women's sprints.

Full results at

Youth Men’s 7.5km sprint results


Alex Cisar (SLO)



Lovro Planko (SLO)



Otto Invenius (FIN)



Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)



Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe, Vt./Craftsbury Biathlon)



Maxime Germain (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)



Vincent Bonacci(Salt Lake City, Utah/Soldier Hollow Biathlon)



Youth Women’s 6km sprint results


Maren Bakken (NOR)



Amy Baserga (SUI)



Marte Moeller (NOR)



Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)



Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)



Lina Farra (Heber City, Utah/Team Soldier Hollow)



Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club)