U.S. Junior Relay Teams Take to the Tracks at World Championships

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 29, 2020, 11:04 a.m. (ET)

Lars Hammernes Leopold skis the opening leg of the junior men's relay in Lenzerheide on Jan. 29, 2020 (photo by Jeffrey Leopold)

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (January 29, 2020) – The second and final day of relay competition was held on Wednesday at the 2020 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide with both American squads finishing in the top-15 of the junior races.

The American 4x7.5-kilometer junior men's team of Lars Hammernes Leopold (Truckee, Calif./Asker Ski Club), Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca Biathlon/USBA Junior National Team), Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./U.S. National Guard/USBA Junior National Team) and Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Crosscut Biathlon) placed 14th in their race with two penalties and 11 spares, crossing the line 5 minutes, 33 seconds behind the winning team from Russia. Nielsen put together a strong final leg, using just one spare in prone and cleaning from standing. Leopold had a solid opening leg with just a single spare round in both prone and standing.

Joining Russia on the junior men's relay podium were the teams from Germany and France.

The junior women's 4x6km relay went off the line three hours after the men's race, and the U.S. foursome of Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./USBA Junior National Team), Ariana Woods (Bozeman, Mont./Crosscut Mountain Sports Center), youth competitor Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Anchorage Biathlon Club) and Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./College of Saint Scholastica) teamed up to finish 15th, 10:44.4 off the winning pace with two penalties and 13 spare rounds. Wilson enjoyed a superb third leg of the relay as she shot clean from prone and needed just one spare round in standing.

The team from France captured the gold medal with a 15.4-second win over silver medalist Russia. Norway took home the bronze medal.

Following a rest day on Thursday, the Youth/Junior World Championships resume on Friday with the youth men's and women's sprints, followed on Saturday with the junior men's and women's sprints. Competition concludes on Sunday with the youth and junior pursuit races.

Live coverage at https://www.biathlon.fans/.

Full results at biathlonresults.com.

Junior Men's 4x7.5km relay results


Russia (Bazhin, Serokhvostov, Istamgulov, Khalili)



Germany (Barchewitz, Grotian, Hollandt, Riethmueller)



France (Briffaz, Desmus, Bourgeois Republique, Mahon)



USA (Leopold, Beckrich, Cervenka, Nielsen)



Junior Women's 4x6km relay results


France (Bened, Boucaud, Chevat, Botet)



Russia (Khaliullina, Goreeva, Kudisova, Shevchenko)



Norway (Skrede, Wetterhus, Johansen, Arnekleiv)



USA (Levins, Woods, Wilson, Stertz)