Athletes of the Week: Soule siblings star at Team USA Biathlon Trials
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Soule siblings stole the show at the 2022 Team USA Biathlon Trials as the best youth and junior biathletes from around the U.S. competed at the Kincaid Range with a shot to represent the country at upcoming international events.
Sixteen-year-old Elias needed his best performance yet on the final day of competition if he wanted a shot on Team USA, securing a spot on the roster with a top-three finish on Saturday.
”I had a lot of pressure coming in on this race because I was sitting in that fourth spot, that fourth and final spot, and I was really tight, close, with this kid Logan [Selander] who is an incredibly good competitor,” Elias said, who will now be competing at the Youth and Junior Biathlon World Championships in Kazakhstan in March. “We battled it out, I needed to shoot well, I needed to ski well and both of those things came together for me today and I was able to bring it all together and have a good race.”
”It is a huge deal, I love this sport, I love to ski and I am excited to show what Alaska and the U.S. has to offer on the world stage.”
Meanwhile, his 13-year-old sister Reine was competing up in age division against the top 15- to 18-year-old biathletes in the country and more than held her own, placing in the top 10 in each of the three races.
”Basically I just tell myself, it’s all for experience, it is all for opportunity, it is only for yourself, you’re not racing against them, you’re just racing with them.” Reine said.
The Romig Middle Schooler’s performance garnered the attention of the top biathletes in the country, like Eagle River’s Helen Wilson of Team Crosscut, who will be competing at the Junior World Championships.
”I think she is getting a ton of experience and lots of opportunity, and she is ahead of her game so I am excited to see what she can do in the future,” the 21-year-old Elias said of Reine.
While Reine’s three-day performance that couldn’t be ignored, she won’t be the first to brag about it — leave that up to her big brother.
”She is underselling herself, she went crazy this week,” Elias said. “As a 13-year old, she is competing against 18-year-olds mostly, and these are some of the best athletes in the country at this sport, and she had multiple top 10 finishes — it is insane, insane.”
Following the Team USA Biathlon Trials Saturday, Elias packed his gear and hopped on a flight to Houghton, Michigan for the U.S. Senior National Ski Championships. He will continue to ski for Service High School this season ahead of the Youth and Junior World Championships in March.
Reine will compete in local ski races as she prepares to compete in the biathlon at the Arctic Winter Game 2023 in Wood Buffalo, Canada in March.
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