Craftsbury upgrades give biathletes a shot

CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) The Craftsbury Outdoor Center wants its biathletes to have a better shot at becoming more successful.

The center is building a 15-point biathlon range. In the spring, crews will pave the ski trail around the area for summer biathlon and roller ski training.

This won't be a full World Cup range, but center officials say it will dramatically help with the development of their athletes. Four of its alumni have been to the Olympics and this new addition could mean more in the years to come.

"We just want to bring up our level to be able to present the best environment for that level of competition and Olympic development. Biathlon requires a whole lot of infrastructure. So what we're doing here is building a range that allows us to host just about any race, domestically or with our neighbors up in Canada," said Ollie Burruss of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

There's also an event barn being built near the range. It will serve as an overflow space for racing and touring skiers. Craftsbury's next big biathlon race is Dec. 19, when it hosts the International Biathlon Union trials. The winners will represent the U.S. at the world competition in Europe.