News: Missouri Guard biathlon team competes in 2013 events
Story by Airman 1st Class Nathan Dampf
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri National Guard’s biathlon team recently placed 5th in the National Guard Bureau’s Biathlon Championships held between Feb. 22 and March 1, at Camp Ripley, Minn.
Team captain, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mitch Simpson, finished 4th in the regional competition in January, and was recognized as the top military shooter in the 10k Sprint race, hitting nine of 10 targets.
“These soldiers and airmen set the standard for the Missouri Guard,” said retired Lt. Col. Pete Bergstrom, coach for the Guard team. “They are superb athletes and marksmen who can rapidly adapt to some of the most challenging environments and excel. This is marksmanship training at its best.”
The Missouri Guardsmen competed against more than 70 competitors in January’s regional event, beating several northern ‘snow’ states. Weather conditions were near extremes with a starting race temperature of minus four. The temperature, snow and ice presented some challenging ski conditions for the Guardsmen.
Simpson’s 4th-place finish in the Western/Central-regional event was in the Men’s 10 km Sprint. He finished 2.5 minutes behind the 3rd place medalist and 7.3 minutes behind the 1st place skier, who is a ranked U.S. national team member.
“I was excited with the results,” said Simpson. “We were so close to medaling, so I was a little disappointed. But, we have a lot of new skiers, so I’m confident we will do well in future competitions. Missouri is getting better each year. We have several northern states watching over their shoulder for us. They know we are coming.”
In the National Guard Bureau Championships, the team finished 5th out of 17 teams in the 15 km Patrol race, beating Ohio, Montana and several other northern snow states.
Simpson again received honors as honorable mention by finishing 5th in the one km Super Sprint event.
Overall, the 2013 Missouri Biathlon Team consisted of six soldiers, two airmen and the team coach. Four competed as veteran skiers while four others competed as novice skiers. The team consisted of the following Guardsmen:
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mitch Simpson (team captain)
1st Sgt. Kris Schlichting (v)
Staff Sgt. Justin Neihart (v)
Officer Candidate Tim Glavin (v)
Capt. Paul Leoni (n)
Master Sgt. Carl Garrison (n)
Tech. Sgt Travis Smith (n)
Spc. Ramon Crayton (n)
Retired Lt. Col. Pete Bergstrom (coach)
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: www.facebook.com/Missouri.National.Guard; www.twitter.com/Missouri_NG; www.youtube.com/MoNationalGuard; www.myspace.com/missouri_ng; www.flickr.com/photos/missouriguard; www.moguard.com/blog; www.pinterest.com/monationalguard/