‘Still in the run­ning’

Camp­bell com­pet­ing for berth on Team Canada for Win­ter Olympics

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIMMONDS

There is a lot at stake for Carsen Camp­bell dur­ing the next few months.

The 22-year-old son of Robert and Ch­eryl Camp­bell of Bed­eque is train­ing with Team Canada at the Na­tional Biathlon Train­ing Cen­tre in Can­more, Alta. Camp­bell is in con­tention for a spot on the Cana­dian team for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“I’m still in the run­ning,” Camp­bell said re­cently.

“We have four start spots for the Olympics for the men’s side. They are go­ing to take four starters and one al­ter­nate, but un­for­tu­nately I’m sixth at the mo­ment, but that can change.”

Camp­bell, the youngest of the top-six con­tenders, has been train­ing year-round in Can­more since he was 18. Team mem­bers re­cently com­pleted a Tes­ti­val, which in­cluded three phys­i­cal tests and two shoot­ing tests. The tests in­clude an up­hill run and two up­hill roller ski races. Camp­bell won the run­ning race.

“It was my first time I ever won any of the events,” he said. “Un­for­tu­nately, my shoot­ing test­ing did not go so well, so I couldn’t win the over­all (ti­tle).”

Camp­bell is look­ing for­ward to a sum­mer visit home later this. He is ex­cited to be host­ing a fundrais­ing run, which is sanc­tioned by the P.E.I. Road­run­ners, in Strat­ford on July 22.

The Tea Hill 8K for Carsen Camp­bell will start at 9 a.m., and the en­try fee is by do­na­tion.

It won’t be long af­ter that and it will be back to busi­ness for Camp­bell as the qual­i­fy­ing process for the Olympics heats up.

In mid-Novem­ber, he will take part in the trial races for the World Cup team, which is a crit­i­cal stage in mak­ing the Olympic squad.

“If I can qual­ify for the World Cup team then there would be a pretty rea­son­able chance I will make it. . . If I don’t qual­ify for the World Cup team and am rac­ing on the IBU (In­ter­na­tional Biathlon Union) Cup in the early sea­son then it will be very dif­fi­cult to qual­ify for the Olympics. It would still be slightly pos­si­ble, but the odds would be pretty low.”

Camp­bell has raced on the World Cup be­fore, but has more ex­pe­ri­enced on the IBU cir­cuit.

“The IBU Cup tour is also a pro­fes­sional cir­cuit, but ba­si­cally it’s a level be­low the World Cup.”

Canada’s biathlon ros­ter is not ex­pected to be of­fi­cially fi­nal­ized un­til about two weeks be­fore Olympics, which runs from Feb. 9 to 25.

“All the World Cups from the start of last year, right up un­til the last one be­fore the Olympics, are in that se­lec­tion cri­te­ria. It’s ba­si­cally who­ever has the best World Cup re­sults in that pe­riod. That’s how the team will be se­lected.”

Tre­mere is look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to work with McCarthy, who played 759 NHL reg­u­lar sea­son and play­off games with Calgary, Tampa Bay, Philadel­phia, Carolina, New York Rangers and Bos­ton from 199394 through the 2003-04 cam­paign.

“Sandy has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence as a player and coach, and his hockey knowl­edge is ex­tremely high,” said the son of Ted and Shel­ley Tre­mere.

“It will be a very good op­por­tu­nity for me to learn the game from him, and try to im­prove my­self as a coach.”

Tre­mere, who has pre­vi­ous coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in mi­nor hockey, ad­mits “it will cer­tainly be a tran­si­tion” go­ing from player to coach at the ju­nior A level.

“I’m sure there will be lots of times I wish I could get back on the ice,” chuck­led Tre­mere, who played one sea­son at the Royal Mil­i­tary Col­lege in Kingston, Ont., fol­low­ing his ju­nior ca­reer.

Tre­mere, a 2008 grad­u­ate of Kinkora Re­gional High School, said he and McCarthy have al­ready had con­ver­sa­tions about the type of team they hope to build.

“We agree on a lot of things,” said Tre­mere, who grad­u­ated from UPEI with a bach­e­lor of science de­gree in 2015.

“We are ex­cited about the up­com­ing year, and putting an ex­cit­ing prod­uct on the ice.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Carsen Camp­bell fo­cuses on his shoot­ing. Camp­bell is train­ing at the Na­tional Biathlon Cen­tre in Can­more, Alta.

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