Gunning for success
Tilton biathlete off to national event in Quebec
April Squires will be the first female from the 2372 Avalon Army Cadet Corps in Bay Roberts to take part in the national cadet biathlon championships, scheduled for March 5-12 in Quebec City.
The Tilton native has been involved with her local cadet corps for two years, and took up biathlon when she first joined. The sport combines cross-country skiing with marksmanship.
“It’s really fun,” says the 13-year-old Squires, whose brother Jordan also takes part in biathlon with the cadets.
She competed in the zone event at Butter Pot Provincial Park, placing first in both the individual junior category and in the team competition alongside Kelsey Barrett and Emily Hurley. Moving on to provincials, she finished fourth in the individual race, third in the team relay event, and first in the junior race.
Those results allowed her to make the female composite team that will be a part of the 12-person Newfoundland and Labrador contingent travelling to Quebec. The rest of the team includes representatives from St. John’s, Gander, Lewisporte and Stephenville.
“I’d done some downhill at White Hills (in Clarenville), but nothing like cross-country,” says Squires, who finds the skiing portion can be especially hard on the legs.
As for target shooting, she has also been a marksman for two years, and placed third at a provincial cadet event last year.
Combining the two sports into the biathlon, Squires says she enjoys the challenge that comes with competition. Outside of her academic responsibilities at Holy Redeemer in Spaniard’s Bay, Squires has a full-time schedule of sports commitments that includes basketball, figure skating, volleyball, softball, and ball hockey. She also helped coach junior volleyball at school, and was its athlete of the year for 2009-10.
And how does she manage to fit everything in?
“I don’t sometimes,” she says with a laugh, adding she hopes to continue to manage fitting them all into her busy schedule.
The trip to Quebec will be Squires’ first, and she’s looking forward to attending the popular Quebec Winter Carnival, which coincides with the biathlon championships.
Squires says her French language skills are also decent, and she expects there will be opportunities to put those skills to good use during her stay in the province.
Being a national event, Squires expects the competition will be tough, and says her goal will be to avoid finishing last.
As for her achievement of going to the national championships, Squires says she owes gratitude to coaches Wendy Barrett and Marilyn Barrett. Wendy will also travel to Quebec as the composite team’s coach.
“Even when I wasn’t in the mood to ski, like when it was stormy and we’d have to practice, they still supported me,” says Squires.