Bulldogs Help Minnesota Biathlon Team Win National Championships

Capt. Eric Nordgren, 148th Fighter Wing MN Air National Guard, fires on a target in the 15 kilometer Patrol Race during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009.  The Minnesota National Guard Biathlon Team won First Place Team Overall.  (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

Capt. Eric Nordgren, 148th Fighter Wing MN Air National Guard, fires on a target in the 15 kilometer Patrol Race during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. The Minnesota National Guard Biathlon Team won First Place Team Overall. (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

The Minnesota National Guard Biathlon Team won First Place Team Overall at the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009.  (US Air Force Photo)

The Minnesota National Guard Biathlon Team won First Place Team Overall at the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. (US Air Force Photo)

The Minnesota National Guard patrol team races through the woods during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009.  Minn. finished First Place in the 15 kilometer Patrol Race.   (US Air Force Photo by Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, MN National Guard.)

The Minnesota National Guard patrol team races through the woods during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. Minn. finished First Place in the 15 kilometer Patrol Race. (US Air Force Photo by Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, MN National Guard.)

Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing MN National Guard, fires on a target during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009.  Chandler was awarded a silver medal for 2nd place among the 18 Novice competitors in the field of 60 biathletes.  (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing MN National Guard, fires on a target during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. Chandler was awarded a silver medal for 2nd place among the 18 Novice competitors in the field of 60 biathletes. (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing MN National Guard, begins the 10k Sprint competition during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009.  Chandler was awarded a silver medal for 2nd place among the 18 Novice competitors in the field of 60 biathletes.  (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing MN National Guard, begins the 10k Sprint competition during the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. Chandler was awarded a silver medal for 2nd place among the 18 Novice competitors in the field of 60 biathletes. (US Air Force Photo by MSgt Greg Wohlfeil, MN National Guard.)

JERICHO, Vt. -- The Minnesota National Guard Biathlon Team won First Place Team Overall at the 2009 Chief National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships. Three races took place at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt., from March 1-7, 2009. 

MN earned First Place Overall for finishing First Place in the 15 kilometer Patrol Race.

The race was a nail-biter with Minnesota narrowly defeating the Vermont National Guard team in 50 minutes and 41 seconds with strong shooting at the range and a hard-fought team effort on the ski trails.

The members of the Patrol Race team were Maj. Paul Peterson , MN Army National Guard; Capt. Eric Nordgren, 148th Fighter Wing MN Air National Guard; Master Sgt. Greg Wohlfeil, 133rd Air Wing MN Air National Guard; and Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Gray 133rd Air Wing MN Air National Guard.

The South Dakota National Guard Team came in third. The relay race on the last day of competition was cancelled due to warming temperatures and deteriorating trail conditions.

"The team's performance on the range was stellar," said their coach Chief Warrant Officer 4 Roger Sorben. "Eric hit the target on his first shot, Nick knocked his target down on the first shot with a bullet that split when it hit the edge of the target, and Greg collected himself after his first shot was a miss and knocked his target down with a solid shot."

In the individual races earlier in the week of competition Capt. Eric Nordgren finished 9th in the 10k Sprint competition and 12th in the 20k Individual. Nordgren narrowly missed selection to the All Guard Biathlon Team, which is based on these performances.

Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing MN National Guard, finished 30th in the 10k Sprint and 24th in the 20k Individual. Chandler was awarded a silver medal for 2nd place among the 18 Novice competitors in the field of 60 biathletes.