Levins Leads Five Juniors in Pursuit Qualifying at Worlds

By Bill Kellick | Feb. 01, 2020, 10:38 a.m. (ET)


Chloe Levins leaves the range after shooting clean in prone during the junior women's sprint in Lenzerheide on Feb. 1, 2020 (photo by Jeffrey Leopold)

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (February 1, 2020) – Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./USBA Junior National Team) led five U.S. juniors in qualifying for Sunday's pursuit races during today's sprints at the 2020 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide. The five juniors will join five youth athletes who qualified on Friday, giving Team USA a total of 10 pursuit starts tomorrow.

In Saturday's junior women's 7.5-kilometer sprint, Levins had just one penalty in standing to place 28th, 2 minutes, 6.1 seconds back of gold medalist Anastasia Shevchenko of Russia. Joining Levins in Sunday's 10km junior women's pursuit will be Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./College of Saint Scholastica), who went 10-for-10 on the range in Saturday's sprint to finish 52nd, 3:38.7 back. Ariana Woods (Bozeman, Mont./Crosscut Mountain Sport Center) rounded out the U.S. team with a 74th-place finish.

Shevchenko also shot clean and skied the second-fastest time of the day for the gold medal in the junior women's sprint. Aasne Skrede of Norway, with one miss, finished 40.9 seconds behind, while Milena Todorova of Bulgaria, with three penalties but the fastest ski time, finished third for her second medal at these world championships.

The U.S. junior men's team put three athletes in the top-60 of today's 10km sprint to qualify for Sunday's pursuit race. Lars Hammernes Leopold (Truckee, Calif./Asker Ski Club/USBA Junior National Team) paced the way in 32nd place, 2:10.9 back with two penalties. Joining Leopold in Sunday's 12.5km pursuit will be Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca Biathlon/USBA Junior National Team), who finished 38th with three penalties, 2:21.1 behind, and Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./U.S. National Guard/USBA Junior National Team) in 53rd, 3:03.4 back with four penalties. Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Crosscut Biathlon) was 92nd, with four penalties and 6:11.1 back.

Vebjoern Soerum of Norway defended his junior sprint title with a single standing penalty to finish 25.1 seconds faster than silver medalist Jakub Stvrtecky of Czech Republic, and 31.5 seconds faster than bronze medalist Dzmitry Lazouski of Belarus.

The IBU Youth/Junior World Championships come to a close on Sunday with a full slate of races as all four divisions will be racing the pursuit.

The youth men will be first off the start line for their 10km race at 5:00 a.m. EST, featuring Americans Maxime Germain (Anchorage, Alaska/Anchorage Biathlon Club/USBA Junior National Team), Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe, Vt./Craftsbury Biathlon) and Sam Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca Biathlon). Germain won the bronze medal in Friday's sprint and will start just 11 seconds behind the leader, while Westervelt will go off the line just 24 seconds back of the lead thanks to his ninth-place finish in the sprint.

At 6:00 a.m. EST, the youth women take to the tracks for the 7.5km pursuit. Kaisa Bosek (Alexandria, Minn./Minnesota Biathlon Wolfpack) and Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Anchorage Biathlon Club) will represent Team USA in that race.

Next up will be the junior men's 12.5km pursuit at 8:15 a.m. EST, featuring Leopold, Beckrich and Cervenka, followed at 9:20 a.m. EST by the junior women's 10km pursuit with Levins and Stertz.

Follow all the pursuit races live at https://www.biathlon.fans/.

Full results at biathlonresults.com.

Junior Women’s 7.5km sprint results

1.

Anastasia Shevchenko (RUS)

23:19.3/+0

2.

Aasne Skrede (NOR)

+40.9/+1

3.

Milena Todorova (BUL)

+48.4/+3

28.

Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./USBA Junior National Team)

+2:06.1/+1

52.

Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./College of Saint Scholastica)

+3:38.7/+0

74.

Ariana Woods (Bozeman, Mont./Crosscut Mountain Sport Center)

+6:17.9/+4

 

Junior Men’s 10km sprint results

1.

Vebjoern Soerum (NOR)

24:02.7/+1

2.

Jakub Stvrtecky (CZE)

+25.1/+0

3.

Dzmitry Lazouski (BLR)

+31.5/+0

32. Lars Hammernes Leopold (Truckee, Calif./Asker Ski Club/USBA Junior National Team) +2:10.9/+2
38. Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca Biathlon/USBA Junior National Team) +2:21.1/+3

53.

Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./U.S. National Guard/USBA Junior National Team)

+3:03.4/+4

92.

Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Crosscut Biathlon)

+6:11.1/+4