BIATHLON - Spector 24th in Junior 15K Individual
Ruhpolding, Germany, January 30. Laura Spector (Lenox, MA) finished 24th in the Junior 15k Individual competition today. The Junior Women competed in the afternoon today on what was generally a good day for biathlon. The only change from the morning Youth Individual were some bursts of brisk wind that hit the shooting range periodically and the softening snow conditions. Spector's performance was the top US result today. With six penalties, she finished 6:06.1 behind Susann Konig of Germany, who won in 47:39. Konig, with three penalties overtook Marie Laure Brunet of France on the final 3K loop. The German, only two-tenths of second behind her French rival after the final standing stage, rocketed to a 23.8-second advantage at the finish. Brunet, with two penalties was more than a minute ahead of Iris Waldhuber of Austria who took Bronze. Waldhuber, with one penalty picked up the first medal of these Championships for Austria. Brynden Manbeck (Grand Rapids, MN) finished 3.7 seconds and three places behind Spector in 27th place, 6:09.8 back. Manbeck, with four penalties had the best shooting result for the US in both the Junior and Youth Individual competitions today. At the finish line, she commented,"I felt a little bit better today and shot better. Now I am pointing towards the relay (on Saturday)."Meagan Toussaint (Madawaska, ME) did not start due to illness. Conditions for the Youth Women 12.5K Individual competition in the morning equaled those the men experienced yesterday: calm winds, fast tracks and no precipitation. Unfortunately, the three US entrants were not able to capitalize on the conditions. Both Addie Byrne (Bovey, MN) and Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) started well, with clean shooting in the first prone stage. This put McNamee among the leaders after that stage, as she was skiing very well. Both she and Byrne picked up three penalties in the next stage, which virtually knocked them out of contention for a finish in the top 30. McNamee, who continued to ski well despite the seven penalties, finished 46th, 7:58.8 behind Dorthea Wierer of Italy. Wierer, with one penalty, claimed victory with a time of 36:10.9. It looked like there would be no medals for the German team until a late starter, Nicole Wutzel, with two penalties and 13 seconds out of second after the final shooting stage, charged through the final 2.5K to take Silver. She finished 1:06.4 behind Wierer. Third went to Natalia Prepokova of Slovakia, with one penalty. 2:08.4 back. Byrne finished 56th, with eight penalties, 10:17.2 back. Grace Boutot (Fort Kent, ME) had only one penalty in the first prone stage, but mistakenly shot prone in the next stage, where she was supposed to shoot standing. This error resulted in her disqualification. Live streaming video coverage of all of the competitions at the Youth and Junior World Championships competitions as well as archived highlights of the World Cup season, is available by clicking the athlete photo at the top of the news column at www.usbiathlon.org. The website also has an RSS feed, available by clicking the RSS logo on our homepage to get the address and all of the latest biathlon news. The United States Biathlon Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of biathlon in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Biathlon Union. The US Biathlon Association supports the US Biathlon Team and development of the sport on all levels within the United States. TD Banknorth is the title sponsor of the US Biathlon Team. Lapua, adidas, and Exel Ski Poles are supporting sponsors of the US Biathlon Team.