BIATHLON - Shepard, Spector, and Nordgren Score a Hat Trick at US Nationals

March 22, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
Coleraine, MN, March 22. Walt Shepard (Brunswick, ME), Laura Spector (Lenox, MA), and Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN), scored a biathlon hat trick by winning their third National Championship in three days in the Mass Start competitions at the North American/US National Championships today. Shepard, after two strong performances on the shooting range, struggled with twelve penalties today, but still claimed his third US title in the Men's 15K Mass Start, finishing in 43:36.7. Brendon Green (Hay River, BC Canada) won the North American Title today, finishing in 41:23.8. He had six penalties while recording a time of 41:23.8. Robert Douglas (Honeoye Falls, NY) took the Silver US medal, with eight penalties, eight-tenths of a second behind Shepard. Jesse Downs (Jericho, VT) took third in the US Championships, with seven penalties, 2:43.1 back. Both Douglas and Downs compete for the National Guard. Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, MN) captured his first US title of the week over Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME). Roberts with a time of 43:55.4 had six penalties to Currier's 12, with Currier finishing 1:48.1 back. Newt Rogers (Fort Kent, ME), with seven penalties took third, 3:21.2 back. Nordgren continued to control the Youth Division with his third win of the week, in 37:43.8. He had six penalties, one less than second placer Ethan Dreissigacker (Morrisville, VT), who finished 1:12.6 back. Raleigh Goessling (Duluth, MN) with seven penalties was third, 1:22.8 back. Annilies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) took her second US Championship, although Ekaterina Vinogradova (Auburn, CA), with five penalties won the Women's 12.5K, in 38:37.3. Cook, with four penalties finished 1:49.2 back. Second and third place in the US Championships went to Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) and Carolyn Bramante (Minneapolis, MN). Studebaker had four penalties to Bramante's five, and finished 5.1 seconds ahead of her. Spector, in her third win of the week, just missed the fastest overall women's time, finishing in 38:47.8, 10.5 seconds back of Vinogradova. Nevertheless, Spector easily claimed the Junior Title, with a four-penalty day over Meagan Toussaint (Madawaska, ME). Toussaint, also with four penalties, finished 4:46.1 back. Brynden Manbeck (Grand Rapids, MN) with five penalties finished 4:58.6 back. Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) won her second title of the week in the Youth 10K, with eight penalties, in a time of 37:48.6. Addie Byrne (Bovey, MN) with six penalties finished 42.7 seconds back, while Grace Boutot (Fort Kent, ME) 1:56.7 back with nine penalties took third place. Ben Kremer (Minneapolis, MN) won his first Masters title in the 30-39 division (10K). He had six penalties and a time of 41:49.6. Ion Senchea (St. Cloud, MN), with eight penalties was 20.3 seconds back in second while Tom Moffett (Peru, NY) with seven penalties finished third, 57.7 seconds back. Paul Peterson (Hastings, MN), competing for the National Guard won the 40-49 division, in 41:25.5, with eight penalties. Aaron Scott (Spokane, WA), also with eight penalties earned his first medal of the week in second place, 2:22.1 back. Tony Carter (Coleraine, MN) with twelve penalties was third, 4:10.6 back. The 50 plus title went to Lou Chouinard (Minneapolis, MN) in 49:22.3, with five penalties. John Neal (Marshfield, WI) had one more penalty than Chouinard while finishing just 12.8 seconds back. Bill Quinlan (Boulder, CO) had thirteen penalties to take third place, 1:33.8 back. Jill Troutner (Matthews, NC) won her third 30-39 title today with a 40:02.1 to 41:35.7 win over Petra Cervenka (Grand Rapids, MN). Troutner had eight penalties to Cervenka's seven. Third went to Madeline Fairchild (Boulder, CO) with eight penalties, in 47:28.3. Judy Geer (Morrisville, VT) was the only 50 plus woman, with 18 penalties, in 53:57.9. US Biathlon Executive Director Max Cobb was pleased with the past three days of Championships at the Mount Itasca Biathlon Center in Coleraine. He commented,"The organizers here did an excellent job, providing excellent conditions and organization for these North American/US National Championships. The number of first-time competitors was very encouraging, as were the performances of many of our developmental athletes. It is exciting to see some of our athletes who have been in the sport for only 10 months or so to have solid biathlon performances. This shows that our work over the past eighteen months to recruit and train new athletes is paying off."The final competitions of the season begin next Thursday at the Whistler Olympic Park the site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Many of the best US Biathletes including Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) as Spector, Nordgren, and Currier will compete in the Canadian Championships there. 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