Out of the last 40 days Megan Tandy has only been in Prince George for five. While she’s been home since Monday she’s not getting too comfortable. After all she’s only making a quick pit stop before heading to Germany.
The 17-year-old has spent most of 2006 traveling around the continent. She started off with the North American Cup biathlon race in Canmore, Alberta. After the NorAm Tandy made her way to the Team Canada Qualifier in Valcartier, Quebec. She had only one goal there, a spot on the national junior team. Tandy opened the weekend off with a seventh place finish in the sprint. On day two she was fourth in the pursuit. She capped off the weekend winning the individual 10-km race. From there it was time to prepare for Maine and the World Junior Championships.
Tandy travelled with the team of 16 to Presque Isle, Maine, where they trained for a week leading up to the event.
“It was really good to go through the course and get to know it. Every little thing adds up, so if you know there is a corner where you need to cut wide it will save time,” said Tandy.
Competing in the youth lady division, Tandy will one of the younger competitors in her group. She started off with a 32nd place finish in the sprint, shooting just 60 per cent. She was disappointed with her result, finishing 39th overall and shooting the worst in her group.
“Everyone has a bad race. I just wish mine wasn’t that one.”
She was able to regroup for the 10-km individual race, finishing eighth, thanks in part to the best shooting percentage.
“I seem to somehow pull it together for the individual. I think I put more pressure on myself because every missed shot cost me a minute,” said Tandy.
With that eighth-place finish Tandy qualified for the European Championships in Germany. There she will be competing in the 21 and under division.
“I’ll have a bigger range of competitors than I had at the Worlds. In Europe cross-country skiing and biathlon is like hockey in Canada. There are people coming to watch. That’s exciting and new for me. I’m not used to people cheering when I’m racing,” said Tandy, who’s goal for the European Championships is very simple.
“If I finish the race and I feel like I’ve given my best I’ll be happy with myself. But I think this is definitely going to be more of a challenge. I don’t expect to see myself on the podium or in the top 10,” said Tandy. “The two year age difference is going to be huge. There will be some girls who are four years older than me and have that much more training under their belts.”
The European Championships will begin on February 23 and run through March 6.