Ariana Woods, a high school junior, has had a long season of racing. Between nordic races with BSF and keeping up with the biathlon circuit, her winter has been filled with training, traveling and competing. Ariana ended the season with US Biathlon Nationals in Jericho, Vermont at the end of March.
After having a tough time on the shooting range during the Sprint and Pursuit, Ariana was ready to take on the Mass Start. As she put it, "the next race was the final race of the season, my last chance to put it all out there and get it together."
Despite realizing that she only had one loaded magazine in the first stage of a four stage race, Ari kept her cool. She skied smoothly and trusted that her coach would have three magazines for her the next time she entered the range. Keeping calm paid off, after shooting 1-1-2-2 (shots missed in each stage), Ari was able to hang on to the lead in the final lap.
Ariana fondly recalls the finish of the race, "I took off my skis and saw Susan Dunklee celebrating her win and joined her! Winning on the same day as my idol honestly couldn't have been any better! Meeting someone who is so determined and has gone through trial and error was really inspiring and it made winning after 2 rough races so much more meaningful!"