Cadet Warrant Officer Christina Matchett skis as fast as she can in a cadet biathlon race. (Photo courtesy Capt. Cheryl Major)

Sidney cadet takes home gold at South Island Zone biathlon

‘Rising star’ sets her sights on provincials

A cadet based in Sidney blew away the competition during the South Island Zone Biathlon at Mount Washington in early January.

Cadet Warrant Officer Christina Matchett and 66 other competitors took part in races on Jan. 12. Matchett claimed first place in the Youth Female category.

Cadet biathlon – also an Olympic sport – is intense, she explained. The sport involves a fast-paced cross-country skiing race followed by a marksmanship test. Once the athletes have skied up to 10 kilometres as quickly as they can, they must relax and focus on taking precise shots at targets using a rifle. In one race, cadets can be asked to shoot up to 20 targets. All this is done while the clock is running.

The race on Jan. 12 included a 5.1 kilometre stretch of cross-country skate skiing followed by the shooting of up to 10 targets. Matchett finished in 33.53 minutes – a personal best – and hit seven targets which she noted was the second-highest of the competition.

Matchett, originally from Comox, has been a cadet for seven years and a biathlete for four. When she moved to Saanich to study earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences at the University of Victoria, she transferred to the 676 Kittyhawk Royal Canadian Air Squadron (RCACS) in Sidney.

Matchett noted that everyone in her family has been a cadet – her parents even met in the cadets program – so it’s in her blood. However, the young athlete doesn’t see herself continuing on in biathlon to the Olympic-level as she hopes to one day work for Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a researcher and pilot.

Aside from being a student, athlete and cadet, Matchett is also a cadet coach and team captain for the 676 RCACS seven-person biathlon team. The squadron had no biathlon team until Matchett transferred and started one.

Capt. Cheryl Major, public affairs officer for the Regional Cadet Support Unit, emphasized that Matchett is one of 676 RCACS’s “rising stars.”

Following her win at Mount Washington, Matchett and her team have set their sights on the provincial competition which takes place in Vernon in February. She’s hopeful that she’ll qualify for nationals to represent B.C. in Valcartier, Que. in March.

Matchett encourages anyone interested in trying biathlon to attend a civilian introductory day through the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club at Mount Washington.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

cross country skiingMount WashingtonskiingUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

University of Victoria profs takes home prestigious national teaching award

Brent Mainprize and Edōsdi–Judy Thompson recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellows

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Alice Munro among Nobel Prize winners urging Trudeau to deny oilsands project

Alberta premier says Teck’s Frontier mine would create 7,500 jobs, $70 billion in government revenue

Folk-roots duo play Metchosin’s music coffee house

Event takes place at 4430 Happy Valley Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Most Read