Wasatch athlete aims high in quest for U.S. Biathlon slot

Heber City native Lina Farra’s dream of competing on the U.S. biathlon team has carried her far from home, all the way to training in New York, but it also brought her home.

Her showing at the trials earlier this month at Midway’s Soldier Hollow Nordic Center earned her a spot on the roster on U.S. Biathlon’s roster for the European preseason camp. She’s one of nine women, not including an alternate, on the team, and the lone member from Wasatch County.

The 10 women will soon travel to Finland, where the camp is to take place from Nov. 5 to 19, in Vuokatti. Farra believes the camp could transform her career in the sport that includes endurance, sprinting and then calming down quickly enough to hit targets while shooting with a rifle. Basically, it’s cross country paired with shooting. Despite her upbringing, she still had to battle with elevation and the challenges it presents, especially in this sport.

“To be able to go to Finland, and have an opportunity to try for both the IBU Cup and the World Cup spots is a really exciting place to be,” she said. She views making the slightly-lesser IBU Cup team as a positive step in her long-term quest of making the 2026 Olympic team.

Farra poses for a photo while training on snow.
Photo courtesy of Lina Farra

Farra said improvements within U.S. Biathlon are making being a part of their teams even more enticing, including the move of its headquarters from Main to Midway, very close home for her.

“We’ve got a lot of growth going on,” she said, referring to U.S. Biathlon, “and it’ll, potentially, be amazing to be a part of that.”

On an individual level, Farra is thrilled to see her own growth out on the snow, following two years out of international competition due to health complications. A personal favorite stop for her on this year’s upcoming tour would be the IBU World Cup at Soldier Hollow from March 8 to 10 next year.

“It would be awesome,” she said. “I would love to have my Mom there.”

She also took note of much improved facilities at Soldier Hollow.

Farra and the rest of the preseason team will learn their roster fates on Nov. 19. With two men’s and women’s athletes already coming in prequalified, there are only two spots available for each of the IBU World Cup rosters, and five for the IBU Cup ones.

The BMW IBU World Cup will begin on Nov. 25 with a competition in Ostersund, Sweden, which runs until Dec. 3, and the IBU Cup will begin on Nov. 30 with a competition in Kontiolahti, Finland, which also runs until Dec. 3.

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