Susan Dunklee, Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke took wins at the US Biathlon National Rollerski Championships in Jericho, Vt., this past weekend.
All members of the US Biathlon Association (USBA) A-team, the trio of Olympians outcompeted the field in sprints on Saturday, Aug. 13, and then mass starts on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Dunklee took a 13.3-second win over Joanne Reid of Colorado Biathlon and USBA’s X-team in the 7.5-kilometer sprint, despite four penalties to Reid’s one. A-teamer Clare Egan picked up third with three penalties, a minute and one second behind Dunklee.
In Sunday’s mass start, Dunklee again picked up penalties – this time five – but cruised to a 26.7-second victory over Egan, who had three missed shots. Reid made her second podium by placing third, +1:19, with four penalties.
In the 10 k sprint, Bailey dueled all the way to the end with teammate Burke, who started two bibs behind and shot four penalties to Bailey’s two. That gave Bailey the win by just three tenths of a second. Jake Brown, of USBA’s X-team and Moose Nordic, was third, +59.2 with three penalties.
In the next day’s mass start, Burke got revenge and took the win from Bailey by 24.3 seconds, despite four penalties to Bailey’s three. It was Russell Currier of the Outdoor Sports Institute (OSI) claiming the final spot on the podium, finishing third with seven missed shots, +2:29.4.
Results from the competitions, as well as another pair of races to be held in Jericho in October, will be used to fill a pre-World Cup training camp roster and the pick the team for World Cup 1. Dunklee, Egan, Bailey, Burke, Sean Doherty, and Leif Nordgren are pre-qualified; the rest of the field are fighting for top billing in a best-3-of-4 scoring system. The trials winner for each gender will attend the pre-World Cup camp, as well as up to one more athlete per gender to be named on discretion.