Taking on the world
Campbell, Boudreau looking forward to world championships
Caitlin Campbell, Lucas Boudreau leave Friday to join Team Canada for the world youth and junior biathlon championships.
Caitlin Campbell doesn’t have a lot of free time and she’s not complaining.
She trains with her Biathlon P.E.I. teammates five or six days a week and trains 15 hours a week on her own — year-round.
“It takes up my life, basically,” she smiled Wednesday, “between that and school and work.”
But the 19-year-old Central Bedeque native’s dedication has paid off.
Campbell and Emyvale’s Lucas Boudreau leave Friday to join Team Canada for the world youth and junior championships in Romania from Jan. 25 to Feb. 2.
“It was a goal to make this team this year, so it’s nice to achieve that goal with the work you put in,” Boudreau said.
The sport combines crosscountry skiing and shooting targets with a rifle in an outdoor range.
“This year I feel I’ve taken big leaps with my skiing and my shooting,” Boudreau said. “This is the first year I’ve ever (reached the podium) outside the Maritimes. I’m starting to see results now.”
Last year, Boudreau said, he would have struggled to hit 80 per cent of his targets. This year, he has only missed hitting 80 per cent twice.
“It makes a difference whenever you don’t have to ski penalty loops,” Boudreau said.
Campbell also has set 80 per cent shooting as her goal for the worlds.
The Islanders are unsure what the competition will be like, but they want to put their best foot forward on the international stage.
“You can’t really think about it too much,” Campbell said of the other athletes. “Ski my own race and hope for the best.”
Boudreau is looking forward to new competition.
“I’ve been racing against a lot of the same guys,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to see what it’s like racing against so many other new faces.”
Boudreau said he expects the other competitors to be strong and the atmosphere to be intense.
He pointed to other Islanders, including Mark and Menno Arendz and Caitlin’s brother, Carsen, who have excelled in the sport as trailblazers for Island biathletes.
“It helps that we’ve have numerous athletes go through before and do it,” he said. “It’s just nice to have those guys to look up to and see that it is possible whenever you put your mind to it.”
Campbell is competing in the junior women’s division and Boudreau in the youth men’s competition. They both have three Canadian teammates in their respective category.
Campbell and Boudreau are both hoping to make Canada’s relay team.
Biathlete Lucas Boudreau takes a shot during Wednesday’s practice in Brookvale.
Biathlete Caitlin Campbell skis down a hill towards the range during Wednesday’s practice in Brookvale.