Total 1 - TbnCKCV
Wild Rumpus Sports
 

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 field, with 12 men finishing within 95% back of the leaders.

On the women’s side it was Maddie Phaneuf of USBA’s X Team who cruised to victory in the women’s 7.5 k sprint, despite three misses. Second place was Kaitlyn Miller of CGRP, a national champion skier who jumped into the world of biathlon for the weekend, and overcame 6 misses to finish 36.1 seconds behind Phaneuf. Her teammate Emily Dreissigacker finished just 1.1 seconds behind her with 4 misses.

The second day of racing dawned warm, which meant soft, sugary snow conditions out on course. This time the women were underway first with their 10 k pursuit. Once again it was Phaneuf who ran away with the win, beating second place Dreissigacker by 2:32.3. Phaunef also put in the third best shooting of the day, and the best by a woman, with just 3 misses. Mikaela Paluszek of the Maine Winter Sports Center moved up from fifth place to take third and the final spot on the podium with 6 misses on the day.

In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, it was Wynn Roberts of National Guard Biathlon who overcame the sloppy conditions. Roberts charged up from twelfth place to take the top spot with just two misses. Schommer dropped back to second place, just 13.3 seconds back despite his 7 penalty loops. Russell Currier of Maine Winter Sports Center also made a huge jump in the second day of racing, moving from ninth to third in spite 9 misses.

Athletes selected from these races will compete at the final IBU Cup of the season at Val Martello in Italy.

The final NorAm Cup of the season, slated for Lake Placid, has been pre-emptively canceled due to warm weather. The next major competitions are thus Canadian Championships in Valcartier, Quebec, March 17-20, and U.S. Championships (which double as North American Championships) in Fort Kent, Maine, March 24-26.

-Silke Hynes

Results: sprintspursuits

arthritis

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…

Norway Names Teams for World Champs, Canmore World Cups

Norway has named its teams for the next World Cup, and IBU Cup races, as well as for World Championships, which start on March 3 in Oslo. The World Championships squad consists of four women and five men: Tiril Kampenhaug Eckhoff, Fossum IF Synnøve Solemdal, Tingvoll IL Fanny Horn Birkeland, Oslo SSL Marte Olsbu, Froland IL Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Simostranda IL Johannes Thingnes Bø, Markane IL Tarjei Bø, Markane IL Emil Hegle Svendsen, Trondhjems Skiskyttere Lars Helge Birkeland, Birkenes IL Leading up to their home Championships, things haven’t gone perfectly for the Norwegians. Eckhoff, posed to become a star after winning a bronze medal in the 2014 Olympic mass start and then her first individual World Cup in 2015, only has one podium this year – third place in the mass start in Ruhpolding. In particular, she has been struggling with standing shooting. Eckhoff plans to focus on shooting in…

Germany Hosts Six Races in Eight Days: ‘Almost the Tour de Ski,’ Fourcade Says

After Ruhpolding, Germany, successfully hosted the last IBU World Cup races that were supposed to be held in Oberhof, Germany, athletes will be staying in Ruhpolding for another week for the originally scheduled fifth World Cup stop. Races will start Wednesday, with a men’s 15-kilometer individual competition. Ironically, it finally started to snow during the last week in Oberhof, while temperatures in Ruhpolding remained high, creating difficult conditions on a loop with artificial and stored old snow. “I could cry when I see images from Oberhof where everything is snowed in, and we have to step through the slurry here,” said German biathlete Arnd Peiffer. “This is just not my comfort-zone temperature.” “Three competitions in three days, we will have six competitions in eight days,” France’s Martin Fourcade said after Sunday’s mass start. “That’s almost the Tour de Ski, but we are not used to doing that. It’s perhaps the first time in my whole life I do…

Oberhof Canceled, Canmore Results, U.S. & Canadian Team Announcements

* With no snow in low elevation areas of central Europe and none in the forecast, Oberhof, Germany, has canceled its biathlon World Cups which were slated for the first weekend of the New Year. The International Biathlon Union is seeking alternative venues for a replacement, with Ruhpolding, Germany, and Pokljuka, Slovenia, reportedly in the mix. The IBU will announce the relocation by December 27. * There was plenty of snow in Canmore, though, so the Alberta venue hosted races which served as selection trials for various teams. On December 17, senior sprints were won by Patrick Johnson and Maddie Phaneuf of U.S. biathlon; junior sprints by Alexandre Dupuis and Kendall Chong of the Biathlon Alberta Training Center; and youth sprints by Leo Grandbois of Quebec Biathlon and Nadia Moser of the Biathlon Alberta Training Center (BATC). Results On December 19, senior sprints were won by Max Durtschi of U.S. Biathlon and…

Mäkäräinen Bests Yurlova in Early Season Sprint

Competing in one of the first biathlon races of the season, a sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland, hometown athlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen bested 2015 World Champion Katja Yurlova of Russia by a whopping minute and 23 seconds over 7.5 k. Billed as an “International Grand Prix”, the competitions featured primarily Finnish athletes but also those from Belarus, Russia, and Estonia. Yurlova, who trains independently from the Russian national team, has close ties to Kontiolahti as a training base. That didn’t help as both she and Mäkäräinen, the 2011 and 2014 World Cup Total Score winner, missed two shots in standing. “The conditions were difficult,” Mäkäräinen told Finnish website Kestävyys Urheilu. “The prone was good, and four standing shots were under control, even if one of them went high. The last shot was off completely, it was useless error.” Yurlova couldn’t keep up on the tracks and finished second. Annuka Siltakorpi placed third, also with two penalties, +2:36. Matti Hakola led an…

Biathlon Canada Finalizes World Cup/IBU Cup Teams

On Friday, three Canadian men and two women punched their tickets to start this season on the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup, after the second race of Biathlon Canada’s team trials at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta. While Nathan Smith and Rosanna Crawford won the men’s 10-kilometer and women’s 7.5 k sprint on Friday, respectively, the two national-team members were already prequalified for the first World Cup trimester. So was Brendan Green, who placed second, 10 seconds off Smith’s winning time of 31:44.3. But it was the men’s third- and fourth-place finishers, Christian Gow and Macx Davies, who earned two of the remaining three spots on the World Cup team, with Gow finishing 13.1 seconds back in third and Davies placing fourth (+17.1). None of the 19 men who finished shot clean during the two-stage race; Smith missed four targets, and Green had three penalties. Both Gow and Davies had…

Crawford, Smith Win First Selection Races

Rosanna Crawford and Nathan Smith won the first competitions of a two-race series in Canmore to determine which Canadian biathletes will be racing on the World Cup and IBU Cup circuits at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season. Crawford took a 34-second win over Zina Kocher, with Julia Ransom in third just five seconds behind in the 7.5 k sprint. In the 10 k sprint, Smith took an even bigger win, besting Scott Gow by 45 seconds. Brendan Green was third, +1:00.6. Smith, Green, and Crawford, as well as Megan Heinicke (who did not compete at the race), are pre-qualified for the first period of World Cups. The third and fourth members of the team will be selected based on results from today’s and Friday’s races. Meanwhile, Gow and his brother Christian, Ransom, Macx Davies, Emma Lunder, Sarah Beaudry, and Audrey Vaillancourt are guaranteed spots on the IBU Cup tour, although…

Summer Biathlon World Championships Recap

This past weekend, Summer Biathlon World Championships (SBWCH) took place in Cheile Gradistei, Romania, a resort town 180 kilometers from Bucharest, the capital of the country. The races began on Friday with a mixed relay, continued on Saturday with a sprint, and wrapped up on Sunday with a pursuit. Friday’s competitions started with excellent weather; the sun was out and the temperature was warm. However, by the time the senior competition started, winds began sweeping across the shooting range, affecting the accuracy of the competitors. The Russian team of Ekaterina Avvakumova, Olga Kalina, Sergey Klyachin and Sergey Korastylev was able to persevere through the tough shooting conditions to get the win. The team took the lead on the last leg when Korastylev needed only two spare rounds during standing to pass his competition, which were picking up penalties. Bulgaria took second on the day, 26.8 seconds behind the Russian team…