Arctic Winter Games

PJ Bragonier pushes off the starting line during Saturday's Arctic Winter Games Trials at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. 

Fairbanks’ PJ Bragonier and Ben Kassof competed in this weekend’s Arctic Winter Games biathlon trials at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, making their last push to qualify for Alaska’s 2020 Arctic Winter Games team.

The Games is a circumpolar sports competition held every two years for Arctic and northern athletes from Alaska, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Northern Alberta, Nunavut, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

This year’s games will be held March 15-21 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

The trials typically consists of four races, but this year’s fourth race, scheduled for Sunday, was canceled as temperatures dropped to 10 below. The first two races were hosted by the Fairbanks Biathlon Club at Birch Hill on Nov. 16 and 17.

After combining the scores from the trials’ three races, the top two boys and girls in both age divisions of the ski and snowshoe competitions will represent Alaska in Whitehorse.

Bragonier finished Saturday’s ski biathlon in fourth place out of the juvenile boys division (ages 14 and under). The 13-year old finished the course in 20 minutes, 45.83 seconds, which was second best out of the six athletes competing in his age division. 

However, since he missed 11 of the 15 total targets, his adjusted time was 28:05.83.

Bragonier finished the Nov. 16 race in second place and the Nov. 17 race in first.

Elias Watson, who was the only athlete on Saturday to finish the day with perfect shooting, finished first in the juvenile ski competition with a time of 25:40.99.

Kassof was the only athlete competing in the boys junior division (ages 15-17) of Saturday’s snowshoe biathlon. He finished the course in 41:54.94 and posted an adjusted time of 41:54.94.

Kassof finished first out of two snowshoers in both days of trials at Birch Hill.

Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.