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IBU Keeps World Cup in Russia, Slated for March, On Schedule

At an Executive Board meeting at the Olympics, the IBU (International Biathlon Union) decided not to move a World Cup competition in March away from Tyumen, Russia, even though Russia is currently not compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Two second-tier IBU Cup competitions will also go on as scheduled, one weekend in Uvat, Russia, and the other in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

“Firstly, the IOC had no concerns that all the competitions awarded to Russia before RUSADA was officially declared non-compliant were to be organised and conducted according to the initial plans and schedules,” the IBU wrote in a press release as their justification for the decision. “The IBU decided on the schedule for the 2017/2018 season prior to RUSADAs non-compliance.”

But the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is still not deemed compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency and that’s very unlikely to change between now and March. And the IBU itself had previously downgraded the Russian Biathlon Union to provisional membership in its international federation; three biathletes were disqualified from the 2014 Olympics for doping.

In December, Biathlon Canada wrote a letter to the IBU stating that they would boycott the event if it was to be held in Tyumen.

“We have a nation whose anti-doping organization is non-compliant, WADA code non-compliant in the Russian Anti Doping Agency,” Biathlon Canada President Murray Wylie told FasterSkier at the time. “So our pitch has been — Biathlon Canada, the Canadian federation — if you are WADA non-compliant, then you should be not hosting any IBU events, major IBU events… We voiced that quite strongly and that essentially is what we are saying.”

There have already been some reactions regarding the decision.

“Hugely disappointed with the [IBU] decision today to, despite considerable pressure, to keep the [World Cup] in Russia,” Monday’s Olympic pursuit silver medalist Sebastian Samuelson of Sweden tweeted, according to a translation.

Having the event in Tyumen would be “a huge, huge affront to clean athletes,” U.S. biathlete (and World Champion) Lowell Bailey told ESPN’s Bonnie Ford in an article published on Tuesday. “That’s saying to the world, to the athletes on the World Cup, the IBU executive board has no problem with doping, and they actually, in a sense, reward federations that dope. Because that’s a reward. It’s a monetary reward, pride, all of those things.”

Samuelsson was rewarded with numerous twitter replies from Russian accounts telling him to stay home, one of which called him a baby and another of which said he was “not welcome in Russia”.

Along with the abuse and threats hurled at Czech women who gained a 2014 Olympic relay medal after Russia was disqualified for doping, that might partly explain why athletes are in fact reluctant to go to Russia.

“Tensions are so high right now, [competing in Russia] is not something I feel comfortable risking,” American biathlete Susan Dunklee said in the same ESPN article.

A similar fight played out differently last season, when the Czech and British teams led a boycott threat of that season’s scheduled World Cups in Tyumen. That time, the IBU relented and moved the competitions.

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U.S. Biathletes Plan a Racing Month in Norway, Seek Sponsors

With a month-long break in the IBU Cup schedule partly due to the Olympics, a group of American biathletes are planning a training and racing trip to Norway.

Jake Brown, Paul Schommer, and Max Durtschi are coming off of Open European Championships in Ridnaun, Italy, where Schommer had a top finish of 46th in the 20 k individual, Brown was 74th in the same race, and Durtschi was 56th.

“The trio comes from a diverse array of backgrounds ranging from professional cycling to collegiate track and field, however Nordic skiing has served as a common thread for all since high school,” the athletes write in a press release. “All three are current or former residents of the Olympic Training Center located in Lake Placid, NY where they train as members of the US Biathlon team… Having pushed each other in countless training sessions, Brown, Durtschi, and Schommer now look to be motivated by top level international competition.”

Schommer was US Biathlon’s fifth man on the World Cup at the end of last season and the beginning of this season, while Durtschi has been an IBU Cup regular and Brown has seen IBU Cup starts as well.

The group is seeking sponsors in exchange for logo space on race suits and rifle stocks.

Full information packet

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Biathlon Canada’s Olympic Team Announced

On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced the 10-athlete roster for Biathlon Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic team.

According to a press release, five women and five men were named to the team, which will race in PyeongChang, South Korea, next month.

The team includes Rosanna Crawford, who’s coming off her first career podium at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany. Three days after finishing third in the 15-kilometer individual, she placed fourth in the 12.5 k mass start this past Sunday.

“I’m extremely proud to be able to represent Canada at my third Olympics!” Crawford said, according to the release. “ The team has had a great season so far and I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Olympics!”

Also on the women’s team is another two-time Olympian Megan Tandy, as well as Julia Ransom (who has placed ninth on the World Cup twice so far this season), Emma Lunder (who notched her first World Cup top 20 last month), and Sarah Beaudry (who achieved a career-best 23rd in the last World Cup sprint).

The men’s team includes two-time Olympian Brendan Green, Nathan Smith (a 2014 Olympian and 2015 IBU World Championships silver medalist) as well as Scott Gow and Christian Gow (who earned bronze in the men’s relay with Green and Smith at 2016 World Championships). Macx Davies is also on the team, with a World Cup top 10 to his resume from 2015/2016.

Currently back in Canada, most of Biathlon Canada’s Olympic team will train at home in Canmore, Alberta, until Feb. 2. The PyeongChang Olympics open Feb. 9.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeBjKb1jTpL/?taken-by=rosannacrawford

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Nordgren and Currier Make Olympics as U.S. Biathlon Finalizes Team

American Russell Currier racing to 34th last season in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit in Oberhof, Germany. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

Leif Nordgren and Russell Currier have been named to U.S. Biathlon’s team for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. They will join Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, and Sean Doherty, meaning that the team will be identical to that at the 2014 Olympics. The women’s team for PyeongChang was finalized earlier this week.

The decision came after an IBU Cup sprint in Arber, Germany, on Saturday, that was the culmination of a four-competition selection series. The first two races were IBU Cup sprints in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, earlier this month, and the third competition was a time trial in Arber.

In that 10 k sprint, Nordgren finished 16th, 59.2 seconds behind race winner Vetle Sjastad Christiansen of Norway. It was a day after he had traveled to Ruhpolding, Germany, to fill out the U.S. men’s relay team, and then back to Arber again. Paul Schommer was 33rd in the Arber sprint (+1:53.9), Currier 40th (+2:07.6), and Jake Ellingson, the final short-listed man for the Olympic team, did not start.

In the same race, Matthew Hudec finished 72nd for Canada (+3:09.6), followed by Aidan Millar in 89th (+4:06.2).

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint in Arber on Saturday, Chloe Levins of the United States finished 22nd for a career-best IBU Cup result, with one penalty landing her 1:09.4 behind race winner Hilde Fenne of Norway. Maddie Phaneuf finished 42nd, also with one missed shot, +1:45.4.

For Canada, Megan Tandy led the way in 28th with two penalties (+1:14.1), followed by Nadia Moser and Megan Bankes in 45th (+1:56.8) and 46th (+1:58.2), respectively. Erin Yungblut finished 75th (+3:51.1).

Results: menwomen

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U.S. Names Women’s Olympic Biathlon Team; Dreissigacker 5th in Arber IBU Cup

The U.S. Biathlon Association has announced that Emily Dreissigacker, Maddie Phaneuf, and Joanne Reid will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Dunklee and Egan were already qualified for the team, with Dunklee winning a silver medal in the 12.5 k mass start at 2017 World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, and Egan having the next best results on the World Cup of any other American woman in December.

Dreissigacker, Phaneuf, and Reid were chosen based on two IBU Cup competitions in Slovakia and an IBU Cup and a time trial in Germany. Just missing out on an Olympic berth was Chloe Levins, who also made the short list and competed in the four races.

In the final selection race, Emily Dreissigacker notched a career-best IBU Cup finish of fifth place in the 15 k individual in Arber, Germany, on Thursday. She shot a perfect 20-for-20 to finish 2:00.4 behind race winner Karolin Horchler of Germany. In the same race, Phaneuf also cleaned to finish 11th, +2:58.6. Only Horchler, third-place Anna Weidel (also of Germany), Dreissigacker, and Phaneuf shot clean in a field of 73 finishers. Levins had three penalties to finish 37th, +5:59.3, and Reid missed five shots to place 45th, +6:25.9.

The men’s qualification competitions finish with a 10 k sprint in Arber on Saturday, after which point the men’s team will be announced.

Three Top-20’s for Canada in Arber

In the Arber 15 k, Canada’s Megan Bankes and Megan Tandy placed 15th (+3:24.4) and 18th (+3:34.9), respectively, with two and four penalties. Erin Yungblut was 48th with two penalties (+7:16.2) and Nadia Moser 53rd with five missed shots (+8:40.2).

The men’s 20 k individual was won by France’s Jean Guillaume Beatrix. Canada’s Carsen Campbell finished 20th (+3:33.0) with one missed shot, the same tally as Beatrix, for his best result of the season so far. Aidan Millar placed 55th (+8:42.3) with three penalties, and Matthew Hudec 73rd (+12:20.3) with six penalties, out of a field of 85.

Results:

Arber 15 k individual / Arber 20 k individual

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US Biathlon’s 2018 Youth/Junior Worlds Team

The U.S. Junior/Youth World Championship Trials took place Dec. 28-29 in Coleraine, Minnesota, with men’s and women’s sprint races both days, according to a US Biathlon press release. From those two-day trials, cut short due to frigid forecasts on Dec. 30-31, the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships team was named. This year’s championships are Feb. 26-March 4 in Otepää, Estonia.

Complete trials results

The teams named Dec. 30 are as follows:

Female Junior World Championship Team

  • Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./VT Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic Ski Club) – pre qualified from last season and IBU Cup Team
  • Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn./Loppet Nordic Racing/Michigan)
  • Lucy Hochshartner (Casper Mtn. Biathlon)
  • Nina Armstrong (Lake Placid, N.Y./Harvard College)

Female Youth World Championship Team

  • Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Grace Gilliland (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club)
  • Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)

Male Junior World Championship Team

  • Cody Johnson (Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute)
  • Jake Pearson (Casper, Wyo./Casper Mountain Biathlon Club)
  • Tim Cunningham (New Hampshire/St. Laurence Univ.)
  • Cam Christiansen (Pequot Lake, Minn./NNW)

Male Youth World Championship Team

  • Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley Biathlon)
  • Maxime Germain (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)

According to the same press release, “the following athletes have qualified for the Junior IBU Cup #3 to be held Jan. 25-27 in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, as well as the IBU Junior Open European Championships taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 4 in Pokljuka, Slovenia:”

Female Jun IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship 

  • Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./VT Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic Ski Club) – pre-qualified
  • Amada Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn./Loppet Nordic Racing Michigan)
  • Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Grace Gilliland (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club)

Male Junior IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship 

  • Vasek Cerenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Cody Johnson (Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute)
  • Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley Biathlon)

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US Names IBU Cup Team, From Which Final Olympic Selections To Be Made

Leif Nordgren (US Biathlon) skiing the second leg of the IBU World Cup men’s 4 x 7.5 k relay in Hochfilzen, Austria, this month. The U.S. men ended up ninth overall out of 26 teams; Nordgren will head to the IBU Cup circuit in January to battle for an Olympic roster spot. (Photo: IBU/NordicFocus)

The U.S. Biathlon Association has named the shortlist from which its final team for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be selected.

Lowell Bailey, Susan Dunklee, Tim Burke, Sean Doherty, and Clare Egan are already qualified, and will return to World Cup racing in Oberhof, Germany, in January, to make their final preparations for the Games.

The rest of the potential team members will compete at two IBU Cup weekends in January, in Brezno, Slovakia, and Arber, Germany. That includes Emily Dreissigacker, Leif Nordgren, and Paul Schommer, who are moving down after competing on the World Cup during the first period of racing, as well as Maddie Phaneuf, Joanne Reid, Chloe Levins, Russell Currier, and Jake Ellingson, who earned their spots after selection trials in Mount Itasca, Minnesota.

Nordgren had the best World Cup results of the group, contributing to a ninth-place men’s relay effort and racing to 56th in the sprint in Annecy-Le Grand-Bornand, France, before improving to 48th in the pursuit there.

Dressigacker had a top finish of 81st on the World Cup, coming in the 15 k individual in Östersund, Sweden. In the 20 k individual the same week, Schommer tied for 69th, his best finish of the racing period.

From the trials races in Minnesota, Phaneuf (US Biathlon) the first sprint – by 37.6 seconds over Reid (US Biathlon/Colorado Biathlon), with clean shooting to Reid’s one penalty – and last  sprint, by 16.5 seconds over Levins (US Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic), with each having three penalties. Reid won the Dec. 16 sprint by a whopping minute and 14 seconds over Levins, thanks to the only clean shooting in the field. And  Levins won the Dec. 17 mass start by 10.1 seconds over Phaneuf, with each missing three shots in the four-stage race.

Currier, of U.S. Biathlon and the Outdoor Sports Institute in Maine picked up two wins in the trials series: the Dec. 15 sprint, by 25.8 seconds over Alex Howe of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project; and the Dec. 17 mass start by 15.1 seconds over Ellingson (Mount Itasca/National Guard) despite three missed shots to Ellingson’s one.

Two men won trials races outright but didn’t make the team. Howe was the top finisher in the Dec. 16 sprint, beating Ellingson by 3.1 seconds despite an additional penalty. And the final men’s sprint on Dec. 19 had a surprise win by junior Vasek Cervenka (Mount Itasca), who bested Raleigh Goessling (NIA) by 27.9 seconds with each having two penalties. But Currier and Ellingson were more consistent in their performances, with Ellingson never winning but finishing on the podium three times.

From the IBU Cup squad, three women and two men will be selected. The races will be scored based on a ranking of only the U.S. athletes and their relative time differences, with the best two results from each athlete counting. The competition formats are two sprints in Brezno, and an individual and a sprint competition in Arber. More information on the scoring process can be found here.

Trials results:

Dec 15 / Dec 16 / Dec 17 / Dec 19

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Russian Biathlon Union Downgraded to Provisional Membership

IBU President Anders Besseberg speaking at a press conference regarding the IBU’s decision to relegate the Russian Biathlon Union to provisional membership on Sunday, Dec. 10. (Screenshot: IBU TV)

On Sunday at the conclusion of the World Cup weekend in Hochfilzen, Austria, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced its Executive Board decision to relegate the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) to provisional membership for the remainder of the 2017/2018 season.

Based on a press release, which refers to the IBU Rules outlined in its 2016 Constitution, and IBU President Anders Besseberg, who spoke at a press conference on Sunday, Russia can continue to enter athletes and host IBU events and competitions, including the season-ending World Cup in Tyumen, Russia, March 20-25.

The RBU can participate at IBU Congress meetings but it cannot vote — at least until the IBU Executive Board decides whether or not to restore its full membership next spring.

The decision came as a direct result of the IOC’s recent move to ban Russia as a delegation at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics.

“It means in practice, they [the RBU] have no right to vote at IBU Congress,” Besseberg said of the IBU’s decision at the press conference. “It means they have no right to bring motions to IBU Congress, they have no right to propose persons for election at IBU Congress. That is the three main things.”

According to the IBU press release:

“The IBU Executive Board will review restitution of the RBU to full membership at a later date but not before the end of the 2017/2018 competition season, subject to the following conditions:

(a) the IOC has lifted the suspension of the ROC [Russian Olympic Committee];

(b) no adverse analytical findings or other anti – doping rule violations (ADRVs) of Russian biathletes committed after 1 January 2017 have been reported;

(c) the RBU fully cooperates with any investigation of any alleged ADRVs in the context of, and the involvement of officials in, the alleged doping conspiracy that was described by the IP Report, Dr Rodchenkov’s affidavits and the IOC Dsciplinary Commission (‘Schmid Commission’) Report.”

Speaking with German media after the press conference, Besseberg said the decision does not affect the Tyumen World Cup or other IBU events, but that is subject to change at future Executive Board meetings or decisions at an extraordinary congress.

Besseberg also said that Victor Maygurov, first vice president of the IBU Executive Board and a member of the Russian Biathlon Union, will not be suspended since he was not mentioned in any of the reports by McLaren, Schmid, or otherwise. Other members of the RBU will be, but Besseberg declined to name them.

Since Besseberg had not heard anything from the RBU about the decision, he assumed it had accepted it. Besseberg said he was surprised that the team meeting wasn’t better attended; most teams were represented by one coach or official. He took that as a positive sign that athletes were focusing on their sport while leaving the politics to their representatives.

“There was some questions from the athletes and of course we were answering the questions the same way we are answering you,” he said during the press conference. “I think it’s very important that we are having informations meetings with those who are in the center … the athletes.”

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Herrmann and Fourcade Win Sjusjøen Sprints, Scott Gow 29th

The men’s podium in the season opening biathlon sprint in Sjujøen, Norway, on Saturday, where Martin Fourcade of France collected the men’s win. (Photo: Vegard Breie/sesongstartskiskyting.no)

Germany’s Denise Herrmann and France’s Martin Fourcade started the international biathlon season off with wins on Saturday, besting a diverse field in Sjusjøen, Norway.

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, Herrmann missed a shot in standing, but nevertheless took an 8.7-second victory over Nadezhda Skardino of Belarus. Irina Kryuko, also of Belarus, was third 22.6 seconds behind Herrmann, even though both she and her teammate shot clean. Kryuko narrowly made the podium: France’s Anais Bescond was close behind in fourth (+23.5), Norway’s Hilde Fenne in fifth (+26.4), Ukraine’s Julia Zhuravok in sixth (+26.6), and Belarus’s Darya Domracheva in seventh (+28.7).

In the men’s 10 k sprint, last year’s overall World Cup winner Fourcade took a convincing 13.2-second win over Erlend Bjøntegaard of Norway, with both men shooting clean.

It’s good for the confidence to have this result,” Fourcade told Norway’s NRK broadcaster. “I will try to get the same [results] this season as last year, although it may be difficult.”

Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Bø rallied for third place and despite two penalties, was just 27.6 seconds behind Fourcade. Italy’s Lukas Hofer took fourth (+30.4) and Norway’s Tarjei Bø fifth (+44.8).

Three Canadian men competed, with Scott Gow leading the way in 29th (+1:53.8) with one penalty. Brendan Green finished 45th (+2:17.3) and Christian Gow 47th (+2:21.9), with two and one penalties, respectively.

Results: menwomen

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US Biathlon Names World Cup Team for Trimester 1

Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project/USBA B-team) racing to fifth in the women’s sprint at 2017 US Biathlon Rollerski Championships on Aug. 12 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: John Lazenby/Lazenbyphoto.com)

(Note: The following has been updated to include comments from US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler and Joanne Reid.)

On Tuesday, US Biathlon’s International Competition Committee (ICC) met to finalize its team for the first trimester of International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup racing (World Cups 1, 2 and 3), selecting five men and four women.

According to a team press release, Paul Schommer (who was named to US Biathlon’s A 3 Team in April) will join Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Leif Nordgren, and Sean Doherty on the men’s team, while Kelsey Dickinson (who won US Biathlon’s rollerski trials) and B-team member Emily Dreissigacker will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan on the women’s team. Notably, Joanne Reid (A 3 Team), who was also in the running for World Cup starts, was not selected for the first trimester of racing.

In an email, US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler explained that the decision to take Schommer was more straightforward than choosing between Dreissigacker and Reid.

“[Schommer] was the clear winner of the trials and showed a good and improving level as well as really good attitude throughout the whole training season, so it was a very logical and clear call,” he Eisenbichler.

“It was very tight between Emily and Joanne,” he continued. “We collected a lot of data over the training period for both and looked at that as well as on all the races they competed against each other, especially on the last ones in Canmore. Analysing all of that together, Emily just a had a very tiny advantage over Joanne.”

Reid struggled with health issues during the offseason and “missed some key training” as a result, Eisenbichler explained. “But the last weeks in Canmore showed already that she is on the right track back to a good performance level. We feel that she needs still a good training block now to make sure she is on top of her game from Jan. – March. We all know about her potential and capacity and are not worried about her coming back strong in January.”

In an email, Reid focused on praising Dreissigacker.

“We are all incredibly proud of Emily, who absolutely, beyond a doubt, earned her stripes this year, Reid wrote. “The goal is to put the four women who will perform the best in World Cups 1-3 onto the World Cup team and Emily is one of those women.

“She’s a solid shooter, which is just as important as ski speed in this sport, and when the chips are down she performs,” she continued. “She’s a biathlete I would want on my relay team any day, and to come from last year (when we only started three women in the first world cups) and now to have four solid women and to be able to start a relay is a blessing and will really help out this team.  A World Cup start is a privilege, not a right, and I really admire the ICC for the tough choices they have to make -but this choice would have been an easy one.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the ICC determined the pre-qualification criteria for next season’s (2018/2019) World Cups 1, 2 and 3. Athletes who achieve at one top-25 result this World Cup season or at the 2018 Olympic Games will be eligible. The U.S. will pre-qualify up to three athletes per gender, unless three or fewer start spots exist. In that instance, “up to one less than the start spots can be pre-qualified (i.e. 2 can pre-qualify if only 3 start spots),” the press release stated.

The IBU World Cup opens Nov. 26-Dec. 3 in Östersund, Sweden.

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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

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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 two races this weekend. The top-ranked man and woman will join the prequalified athletes, and another athlete of each gender may also be selected by discretion. The top-ranked woman will also automatically qualify for the first period of World Cups. The selections also have important implications for Olympic team selection, as one part of the qualification process is based on early-season World Cups.

In the men’s 10 k sprint, Paul Schommer made a strong case that he should be one of those picks, finishing just four seconds behind World Champion Bailey despite missing a shot while Bailey went clean. Third place went to Doherty, 13.4 seconds back with three penalties, and fourth to Russell Currier, 42.2 seconds back with two missed shots.

World Cup trials, round 2. #usbiathlon #roadtopeyongchang

A post shared by Jonne Kähkönen (@jonnekahkonen) on

Dunklee had swept the August trials races but sat out this edition due to illness. In her absence, Dreissigacker used the best shooting in the field to race to a 13.1-second win over Kelsey Dickinson in the 7.5 k sprint; Dreissigacker had one missed shot, and Dickinson two. Egan finished third, 30.3 seconds back with three missed shots, and Joanne Reid fourth, 37 seconds back with four penalties.

Results

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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 just a missed shot from the podium, +50.4 with two penalties.

In the pursuit, Dunklee missed just two shots out of 20 and extended her lead to five minutes, 18 seconds. Reid emerged in second place with five missed shots, three coming in the final stage. Maddie Phaneuf of the national team missed just two shots and moved from sixth up to third, +5:39.0. Egan suffered six missed shots and crossed the line fourth, +6:03.9, ahead of fifth-place Emily Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing project (+6:29.8).

In the men’s pursuit, Bailey shot a perfect 20-for-20 and cruised to a big win of 2:22.5 over Nordgren, who had missed three shots. With six penalties, Currier held onto third (+2:37.7) and Schommer was again fourth (+3:12.3).

Finally, in the mass start Dunklee and Egan dueled to the end; Dunklee missed six shots and Egan four, but Dunklee managed to eke out a 7.7-second win over her teammate. Dreissigacker finished third (+1:20.6) with just two penalties, and Reid fourth with five (+2:07.3).

In the men’s mass start Bailey missed a shot in his first prone but was otherwise perfect, hitting 19 targets and picking up a 1:35.0 win over Nordgren, who had four penalties. Schommer finally climbed onto the podium — the first National Championships medal of his career — thanks to just three missed shots (+1:49.1). Currier was fourth (+2:33.4) and Travis Cooper of National Guard Biathlon fifth despite seven missed shots (+3:07.7).

Across age groups, the national champions are:

Sprint  (full results)

Russell Currier (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Marcus Gore (Youth Men)
Brian Bushey (Senior Boys)
Nate Livingood (Boys)
Jesse Downs (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Senior Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Veteran Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Senior Veteran Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Hannah Streinz (Junior Women)
Grace Gilliland (Youth Women)
Anna Sofie Vylka Ravna (Senior Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)
Rebecca Anderson (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Senior Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Veteran Master Women)
Ildiko Hynes (Senior Veteran Master Women)

Pursuit full results()

Lowell Bailey (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Timothy Cobb (Youth Men)
Ethan Livingood (Sr Boys)
Van Ledger (Boys)
Scott Betournay (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Sr Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Vt Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Sr Vt Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Hannah Streinz (Junior Women)
Kat Howe (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Sr Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Vt Master Women)
Ildiko Hynes (Sr Vt Master Women)
Chloe Levins (Youth Women)
Emma Stertz (Sr Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)

Mass Start full results()

Lowell Bailey (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Alex Kilby (Youth Men)
Ethan Livingood (Sr Boys)
Nate Livingood (Boys)
Jesse Downs (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Sr Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Vt Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Sr Vt Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Eve Racette (Junior Women)
Rebecca Anderson (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Sr Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Vt Master Women)
Ariana Woods (Youth Women)
Anna Sofie Vylka Ravna (Sr Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)

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North American/Canadian Biathlon Championships Recap

Race day at 2017 North American & Canadian Biathlon Championships in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Biathlon Alberta/Facebook)

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 Dickson of British Columbia placed second with two misses (1+1), and Caitlin Campbell (Prince Edward Island) finished third (+3:59.7) with six penalties (4+2).

Twenty women contested the youth women’s 6 k sprint, which Shilo Rousseau (Ontario) won by 1:44.8 in 19:55.0 with one penalty (1+0). Benita Peiffer (British Columbia) finished second with four penalties (2+2), and Gillian Gowling was third (+2:36) with one miss (0+1).

Thomas Hulsman (Alberta) shot clean in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint to win in 21:52.4, 1:16.4 minutes ahead of Adam Runnalls, also of Alberta, in second place with six penalties (3+3). Quebec’s Youth World Champion Leo Grandbois finished third (+1:18) with five misses (3+2).

Sprint results

***

In the individual races on Thursday, March 9, Kurtis Wenzel (Alberta) raced to a 40.2-second win in the men’s 15 k, shooting four penalties (0+2+1+1) and finishing in 44:20.2. Neumann reached the podium for the second-straight day despite six misses (2+1+2+1), as did Bowler in third (+1:45.9) with six penalties as well (1+2+2+1).

André Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) won the junior men’s 12.5 k individual with 19-for-20 shooting (0+1+0+0). He finished in 40:04.5, nearly two minutes faster than anyone else. Charles Pepin (Quebec) placed second (+1:55.4), with five misses (1+1+1+2), and Kiers returned to the podium in third (+2:43.2) despite seven misses (2+1+2+2).

Hulsman raced to his second-straight win in the youth men’s 10 k, finishing with three penalties (1+1+1+0) in 32:11.2. British Columbia’s Bobby Kreitz placed second (+38.2) with four misses (2+2+0+0), and Grandbois repeated in third (+45.9) with five penalties (0+1+3+1).

Sepandj won her second-straight race as well in the junior women’s 10 k in 41:16.6 with eight penalties (1+3+2+2). Campbell placed second (+2:22.4) with seven misses (4+1+2+0) and Alberta’s Ashley Runnalls was third (+10:57.6) with 11 penalties (3+0+5+3).

Peiffer took the win in the youth women’s 7.5 k in 30:08.7 with five penalties (1+1+0+3). Rousseau finished 1:04.1 back in second place with six penalties (2+4+0+0), and Australia’s Gabrielle Hawkins reached the podium in third (+2:43.4) despite seven misses (1+3+2+1).

Individual results

***

After a rest day, racers competed in pursuits of varying distances on Saturday, March 11. Alexandre Dupuis (Ontario) won the men’s 12.5 k pursuit by 39.1 seconds in 37:43 minutes after shooting four penalties (1+0+2+1). Durtschi finished second with seven misses (2+3+0+2), and Wenzel was third (+1:00.1) with three misses (1+1+0+1).

Hanna pulled out his second victory of the championships in the junior men’s 12.5 k, finishing 23.6 seconds ahead of Kiers in second with a winning time of 38:42.1. Hanna had six penalties (1+3+2+0), Kiers accumulated eighth (2+1+2+3), and Lucas Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) reached the podium in third (+3:59.2) with three penalties (1+1+0+1).

Adam Runnalls won the youth men’s 10 k pursuit by 1:09.7 over Hulsman, finishing first in 30:54.9. Runnalls shot five penalties (1+1+2+1), Hulsman had three (1+0+2+0), and Alberta swept the podium with Sergey Bochkarnikov in third (+1:14) with four misses (0+1+0+3).

Dickson continued to ascend up the podium in the junior women’s category, winning the 10 k pursuit in 36:52.5 with four misses (1+0+2+1). Sepandj finished 1:12.4 back in second place with eight penalties (2+2+2+2), and Campbell was third (+6:02.2) with 10 misses (4+2+3+1).

Rousseau notched her second win of the week in the youth women’s 7.5 k pursuit, which she took by 43.3 seconds over Peiffer in 28:31.7. Rousseau had four misses (1+1+0+2), Peiffer missed five (0+0+3+2), and Alberta’s Anna Sellers finished 2:48.2 back in third with four penalties (1+0+1+2).

Pursuit results 

***

Sunday, the final day of the championships, was co-ed relay day. The men and women teamed up in the senior category for a 3 x 6 k mixed relay, which Alberta 2’s Wenzel, Zina Kocher and Tyson Smith won in 56:08.2. Both Wenzel and Smith shot clean, and Kocher had a miss in each stage (1+1). Ontario placed second (+42.1) with Kiers, Dupuis and Erin Yungblut. After Kiers had three prone misses, Dupuis and Yungblut shot clean. Alberta 1 finished third (+1:45.7) with Matt Strum, Jessica Paterson and Nate Gerwin tallying just two misses on Strum’s first leg.

In the junior 3 x 6 k relay, Alberta 1’s Hanna, Sepandj and Chad Berling won by 46.5 seconds in 57:34.8. Hanna and Berling cleaned while Sepandj missed three (2+1). British Columbia took second with Angus Tweedie, Dickson and Jarod Algra tallying just two misses on Dickson’s second leg, and PEI’s Team Spud was third (+1:06) with Lucas Boudreau, Campbell and Andre Boudreau all shooting clean.

British Columbia raced to the win in the youth 3 x 6 k with Logan Sherba, Peiffer and Kreitz, all of which cleaned, in 56:57.7. Ontario 1 was second (+30.5) with Olivier Gervais, Rousseau and Tobias Quinn shooting clean as well, and Alberta 1 bested three other Alberta teams for third place (+3:30.8) with Hulsman, Sellers and Adam Runnalls combining for six misses.

Relay results

Complete results

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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 men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, Russia’s Alexey Volkov took a 4.6-second win over Norway’s Fredrik Gjesbakk. It was a close race with Russia’s Dmitry Malyshko third, +6.2 despite a penalty; Volkov and Gjesbakk had shot clean. Paul Schommer led the U.S. in 38th (+2:27.1) with two missed shots, followed by Jakob Ellingson 54th (+3:26.5), Alex Howe 57th (+3:31.9), and Russell Currier 65th (+4:30.1). For Canada, Carsen Campbell placed 41st with one penalty (+2:37.7), followed by Matt Neumann 44th (+2:49.4), Matt Hudec 49th (+3:07.4), and Aidan Millar 56th (+3:27.9).

On Saturday, Virolaynen had just two penalties to move up and take the 10 k pursuit win by 14.3 seconds over Lea Johanedisova of the Czech Republic, who had started in ninth position and cleaned every target. Herrmann was third, +21.2 with five missed shots (and the fastest course time by 52.5 seconds). Tam von Burg finished 35th for Canada with two penalties (+6:39.0), while Yungblut and Grossman were lapped.

In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, it was an all-new podium with Kristoffer Skjelvik and Tarjei Bø of Norway going 1-2 with zero and two penalties apiece, moving up from seventh and sixth place. The result was enough to net Bø — a world champion and former World Cup Total Score winner who has been struggling with health problems all season, and had only just begun racing at the international level — a World Championships nomination. Timur Makhambetov of Russia was third, +14.6, after accruing just one penalty and moving from fifth up to third.

Schemer finished 39th with four penalties (+5:36.6) and U.S. teammate Ellingson moved up to 45th with three missed shots (+6:45.7). For Canada, Neumann placed 42nd (+6:13.9) and Hudec 50th (+8:02.5). Howe and Millar were lapped, while Campbell received a two-minute time penalty for missing a penalty loop. That left him 51st (+9:18.9).

Sprint results: womenmen

Pursuit results: womenmen

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Open European Championships Finish Up in Poland

Alexander Loginov of Russia on his way to a win in the 12.5 k pursuit at Open European Championships. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Alexander Loginov of Russia on his way to a win in the 12.5 k pursuit at Open European Championships. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

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.

Paul Schommer (United States) climbing to 48th place in the Open European Championships pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Paul Schommer (United States) climbing to 48th place in the Open European Championships pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

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 48th and 51st in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Eastern Europe dominated the the results in both the men’s and women’s sprint and pursuit, with World Cup stars or athletes returning from doping bans topping the podiums.

The Russian teams were a formidable force for the relays on Sunday, winning both the regular mixed and the single-mixed formats. The highlight of the day was a bronze in the single mixed relay for the home nation by Polish couple Krystnya and Grezgorz Guzik, as well as the very loud crowd cheering for the Czech and Polish teams in the range.

Paul Schommer and Alex Howe of the United States skiing together at the start of the pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Paul Schommer and Alex Howe of the United States skiing together at the start of the pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

With two women at the championships, the U.S. did not field a team in the single mixed relay, while the Canadian sprinting duo of Sarah Beaudry and Aidan Millar sharing seven spare rounds to tie for the second-best shooting in the field. The pair skied to 13th place (+1:56.1).

In the regular mixed relay, the American quartet of Emily Dreissigacker, Hallie Grossman, Max Durtschi, and Jakob Ellingson all skied solid legs and avoided the penalty lap, finishing in 14th with nine spare rounds (+4:47.4). The Canadians (Erin Yungblut, Leilani Tam von Burg, Matt Neumann, and Carsen Campbell) had an exciting day, narrowly avoiding being lapped by the Russians; they tied the best-ever Canadian shooting in a relay with only three spare rounds total. With other nations and coaches joining in on the cheering and back-splits, they ended up 16th on the day (+6:39.9).

Most of the teams at now head to either to Osrblie, Slovakia, for the next IBU Cup, or on to Hochfilzen, Austria, for World Championships.

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First Report from Open European Champs

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

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 team. The IBU Cup is usually dominated by the Russians (with six in the top eight a common occurrence on the circuit), and Wednesday’s race was no different, with two athletes having recently served two-year bans for EPO use standing on top of the podium. The best North American women’s result was Emily Dreissigacker in 41st, while Russell Currier led the North American men in 51st. Both the Canadians and Americans had mediocre days on the range, with the top shooting being 18-for-20 for both teams.

The long downhill approach to the range in  Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The long downhill approach to the range in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The range had only a few light breezes throughout the day, but the long downhill approach finishing with a short punch into the range was deceptively difficult for most, arriving on the shooting mat with lead legs/lower-than-normal heart rates. The course in Poland is wide and designed for TV with many long one and two-skate sections and only one steep climb. The snow was soft and mushy, deteriorating throughout the day, making for a lot of work with little rest.

Overall, the atmosphere in Poland is bright with the locals working hard to make the event happen without a glitch — despite a half-finished stadium building — and the spectators were loud and excited. At only their third event of the team’s first IBU Cup tour this season, the Americans will build on their decent skiing for the sprint, pursuit and relays this Friday through Sunday. With members of the Canadian IBU Cup team rebounding from the third illness to strike the team so far this winter, the Canadians hope to sharpen up their speed leading into the weekend as well.

The Canadian team is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour.

The Canadian team at 2017 IBU European Championships is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour. (Photo: Sarah Beaudry/Instagram)

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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.)
  • Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) – 2015 & 2016
  • Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.)

IBU Open European Championships

Men

  • Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.)
  • Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine)
  • Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)
  • Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho)
  • Jakob Ellingson (Minnetonka, Minn.)
  • Mike Gibson (Stowe, Vt.)
  • ALTERNATE: Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.)

Women

  • Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)
  • Hallie Grossman (Vermont)

The U.S. Biathlon staff and the ICC congratulate all of the athletes on their performances to this point in the season, and wish them continued success in Austria and Poland!

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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.

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 penalty time, rather than a 20- to 25-second penalty lap – to have so many penalties. Loginov’s ski time was the fastest of the day by more than a minute over Norway’s Kristoffer Skjelvik, who ultimately finished sixth (+3:04.2) with five penalties. Third place overall went to Michail Kletcherov of Bulgaria (2:08.4) with three penalties.

Paul Schommer of the United States continued his strong IBU Cup showing this season, leading North Americans in 25th place (+5:58.7) with five penalties. For Canada Carsen Campbell led the way in 31st (+6:24.2) with three penalties. Other American finishers were Jake Ellingson in 37th (+6:41.6 with four penalties), Alex Howe in 64th (+9:58.3 with eight penalties), and Max Durtschi in 88th (+14:32.3 with ten penalties). Also for Canada, Matthew Neumann finished 60th (+9:08.3 with six penalties), Matthew Hudek 70th (+11:31.4 with seven penalties), and Aidan Millar 73rd (+11:47.8 with eight penalties).

In the 15 k individual, Starykh bested Russian teammate Daria Virolaynen by just 0.3 seconds; she had one penalty to Virolaynen’s two. Svetlana Sleptsova rounded out an all-Russian podium in third (+2:56.2) with four penalties. The podium finishers had the fourth-, first-, and third-fastest ski times of the day.

Sarah Beaudry finished 28th for Canada (+7:25.8), with just three penalties. Teammate Leilani Tam Von Burg finished 58th (+11:31.0) with seven penalties, and Erin Yungblut 64th (+12:31.6) with five penalties. For the United States, Emily Dreissigacker placed 71st (+13:26.1) with seven penalties, Siena Ellingson 79th (+15:38.5) with five penalties, and Hallie Grossman 86th (+18:30.1) with 14 penalties.

The circuit takes a one-week break before moving to Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, for Open European Championships.

Results: menwomen

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

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon "A" team) on her way to a three-minute win in the women's NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, in December. Phaneuf is now on her way to the World Cup. (Photo: Dan Guay)

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon “A” team) on her way to a three-minute win in the women’s NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, in December. Phaneuf is now on her way to the World Cup. (Photo: Dan Guay)

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 keep up the great shooting, and hopefully start skiing faster through the coming weeks. I’ve found that it usually takes me a few races to really get my ski speed up, so I’m not too worried.”

Friday’s sprint was won by Austria’s Fabienne Hartweger, who shot clean to take the first victory of her career. Also in Friday’s sprint, Siena Ellingson (Loppet Nordic Racing) and Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) finished 56th (+4:20.9) and 59th (+4:26.6) with three and four penalties, respectively. Hallie Grossman, also from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, finished 68th (+5:32.1) with six penalties. The lone Canadian to start, Leilani Tam Von Burg, finished 58th (+4:25.6) with four missed shots.

In the men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, another first-time winner emerged: Andreas Dahloe Waernes of Norway, who had two penalties but held off Austria’s Nikolaus Leitinger by 9.6 seconds. Max Durtschi (U.S. Biathlon “X” Team) led the way for the United States in 41st (+2:29.0) with four penalties. Paul Schommer (+2:57.5) and Jakob Ellingson (+3:04.1) went 54-55 with five and four missed shots, respectively, and Alex Howe finished 78th (+4:12.5) with six missed shots. For Canada Carsen Campell led the way in 56th (+3:04.6) with five penalties. Pearce Hanna finished 74th (+4:00.3) with six missed shots.

In Saturday’s 7.5 k sprint, a new winner took the podium with Julia Simon of France shooting just one penalty. Dreissigacker again made the top 60, and again had four penalties. She finished 56th (+4:04.3) to qualify for the next day’s pursuit along with Phaneuf. Not making the cut were Grossman in 63rd (+4:31.7) with seven penalties, and Ellingson in 83rd (+6:49.4) with eight penalties. Erin Yungblut of Canada, starting for the first time of the series, had just two missed shots but still finished 64th (+4:38.4). Tam Von Burg accrued five penalties and also missed the pursuit, finishing 78th (+5:59.3).

In the second men’s 10 k sprint, former Junior World Champion Alexander Loginov of Russia collected a 44.2-second win over Norway’s Martin Femsteinvik, who shot clean. Loginov is coming back from a suspension for using the blood-doping drug EPO. Schommer missed six shots but still managed a 42nd-place finish (+3:20.4). Ellingson had two penalties to finish 47th (+3:29.6), also qualifying for the pursuit. Howe was 77th (+5:15.8) with five penalties. Durtschi did not start. Canada put Campbell in the pursuit: he had four penalties to finish 49th (+3:36.7). His teammate, Hanna, did not finish.

Come pursuit day, the Russians swept the top four places. Virolainen dusted Simon by 55.7 seconds despite both having three penalties. In between them were Irina Starykh – also recently returned from a doping ban and skiing up from seventh place thanks to just one penalty – then Victoria Slivko and Svetlana Mironova. Starykh and Phaneuf were the only two finishers to limit their shooting errors to a single miss. And of the two Americans in the race, Phaneuf wasn’t alone to move up with good shooting. Dreissigacker had four penalties and skied up 11 places to 45th (+8:10.9).

The men’s 12.5 k pursuit was dominated by Loginov, who missed four shots but thanks to the third-fastest course time skied to a 53.4-second win over Emilien Jaquelin of France. Schommer had six penalties but still moved up 14 places in the field, finishing 28th (+5:12.2). He was followed by Campbell in 31st (+5:23.2) with three penalties. Ellingson missed seven shots and finished 46th (+7:18.5).

Results: 

Friday men / women

Saturday men / women

Sunday men / women

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