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April 26. 2014 8:34PM

Biathlon skiing star Doherty captures March honor


Conway's Sean Doherty -- seen competing in the Olympic Winter Games at Sochi, Russia, in February -- earned March Union Leader Athlete of the Month honors by winning three medals at the IBU World Youth/Junior Biathlon Championships.COURTESY 

Sean Doherty of Center Conway, a rising star in the world of biathlon skiing, became the youngest American to compete in his sport at the Olympics in Sochi in February.

There was more to come to his impressive season.

Doherty came back to the United States shortly after the Olympics and put on a show in the IBU Biathlon Youth/Junior World Championships at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle, Maine.

First, he won the 7.5 kilometer sprint event on Friday, Feb. 28. He followed that result with a dominating race on Sunday in the 10-kilometer pursuit for a second gold medal. He also collected a silver medal in the 12.5-kilometer individual race.

For his efforts, Doherty, 18, was named the New Hampshire Union Leader Athlete of the Month for March. The award is sponsored by Apple Therapy Services/Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center.

Doherty turned in a time of 28 minutes, 51.8 seconds and won the 10K race by more than a minute.

"It's awesome," Doherty told reporters after the Sunday win. "It's so incredibly satisfying when it comes together in a race like today. And to really have that, in front of the home crowd, just makes it better."

Doherty, who was also the Athlete of the Month for January 2013, competed in a relay race at the Olympics.

He received 36 points in balloting by the New Hampshire Union Leader Board of Judges to finish in front of a field of contenders that included wrestler Jean-Luc Lemieux of Londonderry High School, basketball player Eric Gendron of Manchester and telemark skier Cory Snyder of Sugar Hill. Wrestler Joe Chimelski of Nashua, hockey player Ian Beliveau of Manchester Central and basketball player Aliza Simpson of Londonderry were also among the leading point-getters.

Lemieux received 20 points and Gendron and Snyder had 16 apiece.

Lemieux, a senior, won state and New England wrestling championships at 132 pounds and dropped down to 126 pounds for the nationals and finished fourth. He had a 54-1 record for the season with the loss coming in the winners' bracket semifinals at nationals.

A 6-foot, 3-inch senior guard at Merrimack, Gendron averaged 25.3 points per game in the NHIAA Division I tournament and earned his second straight Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year honors. He had 32 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to Manchester Central in the championship game.

Snyder, 21, and a graduate of Profile Junior/Senior High School in Bethlehem and student at the University of New Hampshire, won the U.S. National Telemark Championship at Bromley and Haystack mountains in Vermont. He won four of six races over six days to win the title.

Chimelski received 14 points and Beliveau and Simpson 13 apiece.

Chimelski won state and New England titles at 195 pounds and advanced to the national quarterfinals.

Beliveau stopped 96 percent of the shots he faced in the NHIAA Division I tournament to lead Central to its first state championship since 1981.

Simpson, a senior point guard, came back from a knee injury to lead

the Lancers to the NHIAA Division I championship. She averaged 17.8 points a game and shined on defense in the tournament. She scored 16 points in Londonderry's 57-56 win over previously undefeated Bedford in the title game.

Previous monthly winners in 2014: January, Jana Hieber, Goffstown, track & field; February, Ashante Little, Seabrook and Wheaton College, track & field.

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