Cowboy State Games

Casper teen to compete for US National Biathlon Team

Most high school seniors are busy filling out college applications, dreaming about prom or worrying about finals. Jake Pearson is taking on all of that — in addition to representing the United State in the Biathlon World Championships at the end of this month.

After taking second place in Youth Men at the US Biathlon/Junior World Team trials held in Vermont in December, Jake will go on to compete in the Junior World Championships Feb. 22-28 in Osrblie, Slovakia as a member of Team USA.

“I haven’t skied against anyone in Europe, so I’m just trying to get in a lot of hours right now,” Jake said.

Jake actually had a late start to skiing, beginning just four years ago, while most Europeans start skiing when they can walk. Though some of his competitors may have an experience advantage, Jake has been making up for lost time, training once a day when school is in session and twice during summer and Christmas vacations.

“Jake set this goal for himself to make the national team, and this year he did it. He’s put in hundreds of hours training, and a lot of it was by himself. Biathlon is a tough sport mentally and physically. He’s grown up and become quite the young man out there. It’s just been great to see all of his hard work pay off this year,” Jake’s mom, Kerri Pearson, said.

Before nationals, Jake will be competing in the upcoming Cowboy State Games Winter Biathlon Feb. 11-12 at the Casper Biathlon Center, and he encourages anyone interested in the sport to come watch. With a good view of the ski course, spectators will be able to see the shooting range. And you’ll get to preview a US National Athlete.

“I’m most proud of qualifying for the world team. It’s a great opportunity, and it’s super exciting to be able to go over there and compete,” Jake said.

To learn more about the upcoming Cowboy State Games, visit For more information on biathlon, go to