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

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read