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Wild Rumpus Sports

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

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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.