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Bailey and Egan Capture Last Wins of U.S. Biathlon Trials Series

Lowell Bailey and Clare Egan won the final sprint competitions of a four-race rollerski biathlon series held in Jericho, Vermont. The races, organized by the U.S. Biathlon Association, serve as trials to select teams for an on-snow camp later this fall in Canmore, Alberta, and eventually for the first period of World Cup racing.

Both Bailey, the 2017 World Champion in the 20 k individual, and Egan, who notched her first World Championships top-20 last season, are pre-qualified for that trip.

Bailey shot perfectly in Sunday’s 10 k sprint, winning by 27 seconds over Sean Doherty and making it a clean sweep as the top American in all four of the trials races (two were held in August, and one on Saturday). Doherty and third-place Leif Nordgren each had three penalties, but Doherty was quicker; Nordgren finished 42.3 seconds behind Bailey. Paul Schommer missed two shots and finished fourth (+1:14.0), the top non-prequalified athlete ahead of fifth-place Russell Currier (+1:21.6 with four penalties).

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, Egan missed one shot in standing, as did second-place Emily Dreissigacker, who finished 18.4 seconds behind. Maddie Phaneuf shot clean to snag third place, +23.4, and Joanne Reid missed three shots to take fourth (+1:17.5).

Based on the results of the trials series, USBA’s International Competition Committee will recommend a roster for the Canmore camp. Bailey, Doherty, Nordgren, Tim Burke, Egan, and Susan Dunklee – who did not race this weekend due to illness – are prequalified, and two to four more athletes will be named.

Results

Bailey, Dreissigacker Win Jericho Sprints as Part of Trials Series

Lowell Bailey and Emily Dreissigacker claimed wins at the Ethan Allen Biathlon Range in Jericho, Vermont, on Saturday, as the U.S. Biathlon Association held rollerski sprint races as part of a trials series that will help them select teams for the World Cup this winter. Another sprint race will be held on Sunday, after which point at least two and possibly up to four athletes will find out that they are invited to attend an on-snow training camp in Canmore, Alberta, later this fall, from which the team for the first period of World Cups will be chosen. These athletes will join those which are prequalified for the camp and the World Cups: Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Bailey, Tim Burke, Sean Doherty, and Leif Nordgren. The additional athletes will be picked based on their best three of four results from the trials race series: two races in August, and the…

Dunklee, Bailey, Currier Are National Champions

The U.S. biathlon season concluded this weekend, with Susan Dunklee picking up three national titles, Lowell Bailey two, and Russell Currier one as the domestic and World Cup fields converged in Jericho, Vermont. 90 athletes competed in the season finale, with an open and eight age group champions crowned for both men and women. In the senior field, Dunklee dominated, picking up a 1:54.5 win over Joanne Reid in the sprint. Their World Cup teammate Clare Egan took third, +2:17.5. Dunklee’s win came despite three penalties; Reid and Egan each had four. Kelsey Dickinson of the College of Saint Scholastica took fourth with two penalties, the best shooting in the women’s field, +2:20.4. In the men’s sprint, Currier of Maine’s Outdoor Sports Institute took the first win of the weekend by 10.8 seconds over Bailey, despite two penalties to the World Champion’s one. Leif Nordgren was third, +39.0 with three missed shots. Paul Schommer of the national team and Moose Biathlon was…

North American/Canadian Biathlon Championships Recap

The 2017 North American and Canadian Biathlon Championships were held as a single event last week in Canmore, Alberta, with sprints, individual races, pursuits, and relays taking place March 8-12. On Day 1, Matt Neumann of British Columbia took the victory in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint, beating American Max Durtschi of US Biathlon by 18.9 seconds in 29:28.5 minutes. American Bill Bowler finished third (+46.5), and all three of the podium finishers shot 9-for-10, with Neumann and Durtschi missing a standing shot and Bowler missing one in prone. In the junior men’s 10 k sprint, Pearce Hanna (Alberta) shot clean to win in 29:22.9, while Trevor Kiers (Ontario) finished 1:20.6 back in second with one penalty (0+1). Also shooting clean, Teo Sanchez (Quebec) finished third (+3:36). Four junior women raced 7.5 k, with Alberta’s Darya Sepandj taking the win by 1:23.2 minutes in 26:40.8. Sepandj won despite four penalties (1+3), Emily…

Dreissigacker Snags Top 30s on IBU Cup

Emily Dreissigacker led the way for the U.S. biathlon team in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, last weekend, with a pair of top-30 results on the IBU Cup. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project athlete started with a 27th-place finish in the 7.5 k sprint, missing one shot to finish +2:22.1. She followed that up in the 10 k pursuit by collecting just three penalties and moving up one spot to 26th. Germany’s Denise Herrmann won the sprint on Friday – her second IBU Cup win. The former cross-country skier failed in her bid to make this year’s biathlon World Championships on a strong German women’s team, but is still a force to be reckoned with. She bested Russia’s Daria Virolaynen by 18.6 seconds despite having one penalty to Virolaynen’s clean shooting. Among other North Americans, Canada’s Leilani Tam von Burg was 41st (+3:37.9) and Erin Yungblut 44th (+4:06.4), each with three penalties. Team USA’s Hallie Grossman finished 48th (+4:40.0) with six missed shots. In the…

Open European Championships Finish Up in Poland

By Erin Yungblut DUSZNIKI-ZDROJ, Poland — After a rough start for North America in the 15/20-kilometer individual races last Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Open European Championships continued in Poland with extremely high-calibre racing and tight fields for the sprint, pursuit, and mixed relays over the weekend. With many World Cup biathletes donning bibs, the sprint fields were tight and fast with little room for error. For North America, Paul Schommer and Alex Howe squeaked into Saturday’s pursuit, placing 58th and 59th, respectively, in Friday’s 10 k sprint. The North American women were undone by shooting woes and none qualified for the pursuit — the downhill range approach made for good shooting overall in the field, but a few bouts in all the races over the weekend seemed to be affected by shaky legs in a number of athletes. After some tough prone shooting, both Schommer and Howe shot well standing and moved up to to…

First Report from Open European Champs

By Erin Yungblut It was a tough start to racing in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at the IBU Open European Championships (OECH) for the North Americans. After a week-long hiatus from IBU Cup, the 15/20-kilometer individual on Wednesday was fast with perfect shooting a must for a decent result on a grey, calm day. The Canadians trained for a week on the fresh snow in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, while the Americans enjoyed a sunny week in Dobiacco, Italy, before the event. With some nations using the OECH event as selections for World Championships in February, there were many World Cup regulars racing. Every nation can enter six athletes at OECH, and the event is often considered the “world championships” of the IBU Cup level. The Canadian wax technicians jokingly coined the individual on Wednesday “Russian Nationals” after yet another strong showing at the top of the results sheet by the Russian…

US Biathlon Names Teams for IBU Worlds and Open European Champs

(Press release) NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (January 21, 2017) – U.S. Biathlon is proud to announce the rosters for the upcoming IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, beginning on February 6. The International Competition Committee also named the team for next week’s IBU Open European Championships in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, beginning on January 25. Below are the named athletes, including their previous World Championships and Olympic Games appearances. IBU World Championships Men Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) – 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; Three-time Olympian (2006, 2010 and 2014) Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) – 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; Three-time Olympian (2006, 2010 & 2014) Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) – 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian Women Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) – 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)…

Starykh & Loginov Win Arber IBU Cup, Schommer 25th, Beaudry 28th

The IBU Cup competitions got off to a difficult start in Arber, Germany, as the women’s individual was postponed on Friday due to bad weather. In the end, the men’s and women’s 20 k and 15 k individual competitions were held on Saturday and the mixed relay and single mixed relay scrapped. Due to bad weather conditions (strong winds and snowfall), the Women's Individual was rescheduled for tomorrow 13:30.#IBUCup #biathlon pic.twitter.com/BpuYFyFPrZ — IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 13, 2017 Come Sunday, the Russian team was ready, taking four of the six available podium spots. Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov, both returning from bans for using the blood-doping drug EPO, took the wins. In the 20 k, Loginov racked up a monster win of 1:12.2 over Italy’s Jeremy Finello, despite four penalties to Finello’s two. It’s unusual for the winner of an individual competition – where each missed shot accrues a minute of…

Phaneuf 10th in IBU Cup Pursuit, Gets World Cup Promotion

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon “A” Team) made her IBU Cup debut for the season this weekend in Martell, Italy, and showed she meant business with a pair of top-12 finishes. In Friday’s 7.5 k sprint, Phaneuf was 39th (+3:00.4) with three penalties. But she improved her shooting for the weekend, scoring 12th in Saturday’s sprint (+59.6) with clean shooting, and then moving up to 10th (+2:06.0) in Sunday’s 10 k pursuit with a single missed shot. That earned Phaneuf a call-up for next weekend’s World Cup races in Ruhpolding, Germany. The U.S. has fielded a three-woman World Cup team all season, and besides competing in a sprint with the possibility of a pursuit, Phaneuf will also join Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, and Joanne Reid for a relay. “I’m excited to race the relay in Ruhpolding, the atmosphere there is amazing…so many people!” Phaneuf wrote on her blog. “I’m hoping to…