Local biathlon stars heading back to World Championships

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 14:14
  • Eagle River’s Grace Gilliland, left, and Helen Wilson, right, pose for a photo while shopping during their trip to the International Biathlon Union World Youth/Junior Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. (Photo courtesy of Craig Gilliland)
  • Helen Wilson, left, and Grace Gilliland are representing the United States at the IBU World Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. (Photo courtesy of Craig Gilliland)

Helen Wilson and Grace Gilliland are going back to Europe.

The local biathlon stars will represent the United States at the World Biathlon Championships in Otepaa, Estonia in February after stellar performances at the U.S. Youth/Junion Team Trials Dec. 28-29 in Coleraine, Minnesota.

Wilson, 16, won the combined youth/junior women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint race on Dec. 28 and finished second in the 6-kilometer sprint race Dec. 29. Gilliland, 18, was sixth overall on Dec. 28 and third on Dec. 29.

Chugiak’s Gilliland skis for South High, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club and the Anchorage Biathlon Club; Wilson, of Eagle River, races for Eagle River High, Alaska Nordic Racing and the Anchorage Biathlon Club. Both competed in the world championships last year in Slovakia.

Also named to the women’s youth team were California’s Lexie Madigan and Minnesota’s Emma Stertz.

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