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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Bailey and Egan Hold Solid for Pursuit Wins at NorAm Championships

NorAm Championship racing continued on Friday in Fort Kent, Maine, with pursuit competitions for all age categories.

In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, Lowell Bailey held onto his lead from the sprint despite three penalties, all coming in standing. (A recent analysis by the blog Real Biathlon revealed that Bailey is the athlete on the World Cup with one of the biggest disparities between prone and standing shooting: in prone he hit 94.2 percent of his shots, but in standing just 79.8.) National team buddy Tim Burke missed only one shot, also in standing, and maintained almost exactly the same gap from the sprint: he made up one second to finish 48 seconds behind Bailey.

Sean Doherty again earned bronze, +1:39, after a successful World Cup season. Patrick Johnson of the USBA X Team moved up to claim fourth, +6:00, while Ethan Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project shot three penalties to move all the way from eleventh up to fifth (+6:44).

In the women’s 10 k pursuit, Clare Egan of the U.S. national team cruised to a big win with three penalties. That put her 2:24 ahead of Joanne Reid of Auburn Ski Club and Colorado Biathlon, who had also finished as the runner-up in the sprint and had four penalties on the day. With three penalties, Annelies Cook of the U.S. national team moved from fourth up to third place (+3:31), followed by Maddie Phaneuf of the USBA X Team (+5:09) and Emily Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (+7:38).

In the junior division, Brian Halligan won the men’s race and Hannah Streinz bested Caitlin Campbell by 2:31 of the women’s win.

In the youth division, Chloe Levins and Brendan Cyr repeated their wins from the sprint by 6:30 and 1:23, respectively.

The competition series concludes Saturday with mass start races.

Results

Morning races (including youth categories)

Later races (including junior and senior categories)

Bailey, Egan Win NorAm Champs Sprints

The U.S. biathlon community is converging on Fort Kent, Maine, this weekend for combined U.S. Nationals and NorAm Championships. For the first time in several years, the World Cup circuit ended a week before and the senior national team is in attendance, growing the size of the field and the prestige of the titles. In the men’s 10 k sprint on Thursday, Lowell Bailey topped the standings in 25:07.3 with only one penalty, coming in prone. With fast skiing despite the long World Cup tour, that put him head and shoulders about fellow national-teamers Tim Burke and Sean Doherty. With two penalties, Burke’s time was 49.1 seconds back, narrowly edging Doherty, who had one penalty, by just half a second. Casey Smith of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project was fourth, +1:48.0, followed by USBA X Team athlete Patrick Johnson, +1:56.9. Both also had one penalty. In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, national team member Clare Egan missed just a…

Gow and Vaillancourt Earn Mass Start Wins; Albertans 1-2 in Nationals Relay

Canadian National Championships continued over the weekend in Valcartier, Quebec, with mass start competitions for juniors and seniors on Saturday and then mixed relay competitions on Sunday. In the men’s 15 k mass start, Christian Gow took his second title of the week, an 8.9-second win over fellow national team member Scott Perras. Gow had four penalties to Perras’s six over the course of four shooting stages; and crucially, one fewer in the final shooting stage. Matthew Neumann was also in the mix, finishing third with four penalties, +11.5. There was a break before Matthew Hudec crossed the line in fourth, +1:32.6, and Carsen Campbell in fifth, +2:19.7. The junior men had a 12.5 k mass start, with Aidan Millar picking up a big win, a minute and six seconds ahead of Alexandre Dupuis though both had three penalties. In the women’s 12.5 k mass start, Audrey Vaillancourt earned her first title of the week after being on the…

Canadian Biathlon Nationals Kick Off in Valcartier

Canadian national championships for biathlon kicked off in Valcartier, Quebec, on Wednesday, with national team veteran Scott Perras earning a national title in the 10 k sprint. With a single penalty over two shooting bouts, Perras held off Christian Gow – newly returned from World Championships in Oslo, where he earned relay bronze with the rest of the Canadian team – by 25.4 seconds, thanks in part to Gow’s two penalties. Also with a single penalty, Matthew Neumann finished third, +1:22.7. In the junior men’s sprint of the same distance, Aidan Millar earned a 19.4-second win over Pearce Hanna despite three missed shots to Hanna’s one. In the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint, Adam Runnals won by 40.4 seconds over Ben Churchill, likewise with three penalties to Churchill’s one. In the afternoon the women hit the course with Emma Lunder claiming the 7.5 k sprint crown. Lunder had three penalties,…

European Championships Roundup: Tyumen Pursuits and Mass Starts

By Harald Zimmer It would be understandable if this week, Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko experienced the type of nightmare where you are trying to run away from someone, but your legs seem to idle and you just cannot gain any ground. The figure chasing her in her dreams might be a young woman in the bright red spandex race suit of the Norwegian ski team. Saturday was the windiest day of the competition week at the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia. Nadezda Skardino of Belarus managed to cope best with the difficult conditions, shooting clean in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit until the final standing stage, when she incurred two penalties narrowly missing her first and last shot (0+0+0+2). Regardless, she came out of the penalty lap and back on the course with a small lead to Germany’s Karolin Horchler who had shot clean in her last shooting,…

Sisters Lead German Sprint Sweep; Garanichev Wins Second Gold in Tyumen 

By Harald Zimmer Three German biathletes swept the podium in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) 2016 Open European Championships, which are held this week in Tyumen, Russia. That in itself would be a great result for the team, but not extremely unusual. It even happened this season at the IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria. What made Thursday’s race more special: gold medalist Nadine Horchler and silver medalist Karolin Horchler are sisters. And for the older Nadine, it was her biggest success at age 29, being rewarded for years of racing on the IBU Cup level after her biathlon career had stagnated. At first, the 26-year-old Karolin had set the best time in the finish thanks to two clean shootings and a good course time that ultimately would be the sixth-best overall. Then her older sister bested that time by 12.7 seconds, despite a penalty lap…

European Championships in Russia: Home Team Tops Both Mixed Relays in Tyumen

By Harald Zimmer In each of the next two seasons, Tyumen in Western Siberia, Russia, is scheduled to host an International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup. This week, the new biathlon complex that has been mostly used for local events and invitational races so far is hosting the 2016 Open European Championships as a dress rehearsal. Just ahead of the upcoming IBU World Championships in Oslo, Norway, from March 3-13, most of the best World Cup athletes did not make the long trip to Russia, allowing other athletes to shine there for a highlight of their season. The “Pearl of Siberia” (Zhemchuzhina Sibiri) biathlon arena in the fairly remote location in the middle of large forests is impressive, with broad tracks, stands for thousands of spectators, many floodlights (so races can be held in the evening to also fit the broadcast schedules of TV networks in central Europe), and a large utility building with…

Schommer, Phaneuf, & Roberts Take Wins at Jericho NorAms

U.S. Biathlon headed to Jericho, Vermont this past weekend for North American Cup #5. While the races were attended by Americans and Canadians alike, there was slightly more pressure on the American athletes, as the races were being used for selection to the team for the final IBU Cup of the season. The prospect of one more ticket to Europe brought out a strong field, and led to some fast racing. The weekend opened up Saturday with the men’s 10 k sprint. Despite taking 4 laps around the penalty loop, Paul Schommer of Moose Nordic emerged victorious on day one, with a time of 26:30.9. Right on his ski tails was Bill Bowler, who finished just 3.5 seconds back with 3 penalty loops. The day one podium was rounded out by Casey Smith of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project 6.4 seconds back with 2 misses. Overall it was a tight…

Dunklee Second in Presque Isle World Cup Sprint

Susan Dunklee climbed up onto the second spot on the podium in Presque Isle, Maine, today, setting not only a personal best mark but also tying the best-ever finish by a U.S. woman. Dunklee shot clean and finished 17.8 seconds behind Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic in the 7.5 k sprint. After crossing the line early – she was the 13th of 90 starters – Dunklee had to wait to see whether her time held up. It did, despite charges from Krystyna Guzik of Poland (third place, +19.1) and Marie Dorin Habert of France (fourth place, +20.5). Joan Smith place second in a World Cup sprint in 1994, and Anna Sonnerup second in a World Cup race in 1991. Dunklee’s previous best, and her first podium, came in March 2014, when she placed third in a World Cup sprint in Oslo, Norway. Stay tuned for a full report. Results

Blackhawk Ski Club Dominates Third Race of Wisconsin Biathlon Series

(Submitted by Ted Burns) Mark Mehler (Blackhawk Biathlon Club) won the men’s race and Stephanie Osborne (Blackhawk Biathlon Club) won the women’s race at the the third race of the Wisconsin Biathlon Series held at Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton, Wis., on Sunday, Jan. 31. The 12-kilometer time trial was shortened to 9.8 k due to thin trail conditions and pending rain but still drew a dedicated crew of biathletes from across the Midwest. Racers were spared the heavy rain, and were instead treated to slippery but warm conditions. The time-trial format on the revised circuit still provided racers an opportunity to shoot a complete set of four stations and ski through the penalty loop for the entire race. Mehler beat out fellow Blackhawk skier Marc Class with strong skiing and improved shooting. “Conditions were a little slick,  fast, and I shot well,” Mehler said. “I shot 1-1-3-2, 65 percent, which…