BIATHLON: Baker wins Saturday at fall festival


ELK RIVER — Zean Baker of Nisswa won his age division in the Minnesota Biathlon’s 15th annual Fall Festival races last weekend.

Saturday was a 30-second interval start individual race with 40-second penalties. Baker won the Youth Men's Class and was third overall in the 15.12km men's event, shooting 1-2-1-1 and finishing in 47:06 with a final time of 50:26.

Ty Hadrits, Brainerd was fourth in Youth Men’s, shooting 1-2-1-3, finishing in 50:54, with a final time of 55:34.

Jenna Ruzich, Baxter, was second in the Youth Women's Class and second overall in the 12.2km Women’s event. She shot 4-1-3-1, finishing in 43:26 for a final time of 49:26.

Sunday was a head-to-head mass start race with 150-meter penalty loops. Baker was third in the Youth Men's 12.2km event, shooting 1-3-2-1 and finishing in 40:35. Hadrits was fourth, shooting 0-2-1-4 and finishing at 42:26.

In the last shooting, the winner, Tyler Gustafson of Grand Rapids, shot clean to put himself in the lead for the last ski lap. Zean skied 2:45 per km with Gustafson at 2:54.

Ruzich was second in the 9.8km Youth Women's event, shooting 3-2-2-2 and finishing in 39:24. She averaged a time of 3:10/km. The winner both days, Anna Kubek, Duluth, was named to the U.S. Youth Olympic Team for the Youth Olympic Games at Innsbruck, Austria, in January.

The next major event will be the U.S. Youth and Junior World Championship Team Trials at Anchorage, Alaska, Dec. 26-30. The top four in each class, based on an individuals’ best two of three races, will make the U.S. team that travels to the World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, in February.

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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