Levins, Leopold Earn Berths in Junior Pursuit Races at World Championships

By Bill Kellick | Feb. 02, 2019, 1:03 p.m. (ET)

Chloe Levins junior women's sprint
Chloe Levins races in the junior women's sprint on Saturday in Osrblie, Slovakia (photo by Jeffrey Leopold)

OSRBLIE, Slovakia (February 2, 2019) – The U.S. will be represented by five athletes in Sunday's pursuit races at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships after Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) and Lars Hammernes Leopold (Truckee, Calif./Asker Ski Club) raced to top-60 finishes in their respective junior sprint races on Saturday.

Levins finished 29th in the junior women's 7.5-kilometer sprint with just a single penalty in standing. She crossed the line 1 minute, 16.8 seconds off the winning time. Teammate Maja Lapkass (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon Club) finished just outside the qualifying cutoff in 62nd position with two penalties, 2:40.2 back. Ariana Woods (McCall, Idaho/Bridger Ski Foundation) had seven penalties on the range to finish 88th, 6:37.6 behind.

Ekaterina Bekh of Ukraine was 12.1 seconds faster than Kamila Zuk of Poland, and 14 seconds faster than Hanna Kebinger of Germany to win gold in the junior women's sprint.

Leopold had two standing penalties to place 54th and qualify for tomorrow's pursuit. His time was 2:59.1 back of clean-shooting winner Vebjoern Soerum of Norway. Just missing the cut for the pursuit was Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn.) in 63rd place, also with two penalties, 3:08.2 back. Cody Johnson (Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute) finished 72nd, 3:20.8 behind, while Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley) was 92nd, 5:48.4 back. Both had two penalties on the shooting range.

Soerum won the gold ahead of Russia's Said Karimulla Khalili and Soerum's teammate Sivert Guttorm Bakken.

On Sunday's final day of competition in Osrblie, Levins will compete in the 10km junior women's pursuit, while Leopold will race in the 12.5km junior men's pursuit. The 10km youth men's pursuit will feature Americans Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca) and Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe, Vt./Craftsbury Biathlon), while Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon) will compete in the 7.5km youth women's pursuit.

Full results at biathlonresults.com.

Junior Women's 7.5km sprint results

1.

Ekaterina Bekh (UKR)

21:03.6/+0

2.

Kamila Zuk (POL)

+12.1/+2

3.

Hanna Kebinger (GER)

+14.0/+0

29.

Chloe Levins(Rutland, Vt.)

+1:16.8/+1

62.

Maja Lapkass(Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon Club)

+2:40.2/+2

88.

Ariana Woods(McCall, Idaho/Bridger Ski Foundation)

+6:37.6/+7

 

Junior Men's 10km sprint results

1.

Vebjoern Soerum (NOR)

25:42.9/+0

2.

Said Karimulla Khalili (RUS)

+14.4/+0

3.

Sivert Guttorm Bakken (NOR)

+36.3/+1

54.

Lars Hammernes Leopold(Truckee, Calif./Asker Ski Club)

+2:59.1/+2

63.

Vaclav Cervenka(Grand Rapids, Minn./)

+3:08.2/+2

72.

Cody Johnson(Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute)

+3:20.8/+2

92.

Eli Nielsen(Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley)

+5:48.4/+2