US Biathlon Team Opens 2013 Season This Weekend in Sweden
IBU Cup Kicks off 11/23 in Idre; IBU World Cup Begins on 11/25 in Oestersund
OESTERSUND, Sweden (November 21, 2012) - Following an outstanding 2011-12 season with four different athletes as top-6 World Cup finishers, the US Biathlon Team is set to kick-off the season this weekend in Sweden.
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY), Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) and Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) had the top finishes for the US Biathlon Team during the 2011-12 World Cup season. In her first season competing on the World Cup circuit, Dunklee worked her way into the team history book with her fifth place finish in the World Championship 15 km Individual. That represented a best-ever American finish at World Championships. The Individual race is a time-trial format race that lasted over 45 minutes. Susan finished just 7 seconds from the Bronze medal, a phenomenal performance by any athlete, an almost unheard of performance by a rookie.
"We have had a week of high quality training on 4 km of snow that Oestersund stockpiled from last year," said Dunklee this week. "After many months on rollerskis, I am feeling strong on skis and am hungry for the racing to begin. We have the potential to have our best ever mixed relay results this season, but for this weekend the focus is simply to ski hard and shoot straight, just like we have been practicing all summer."
A 2006 and 2010 Olympian, Baliey's breakthrough came with a ninth place finish at the Fort Kent, Maine World Cup in 2011. In 2012 he began the season with another ninth place finish and went on to also score two fifth place finishes. In race after race he was one or two shots from the podium. "I'm hoping to continue where I felt off last year," said Bailey. "The whole team is in high spirits after a great year of training and we are all ready to go for the opener on Sunday."
Burke was the first American ever to wear the yellow bib on the World Cup, symbolizing the best biathlete in the world. His 2010 season was a breakthrough for him and for the team. With a fourth place finish at the World Cup Final in 2012 he showed he is once again ready to lead the US Biathlon Team into the Olympic Games in Sochi. " I had a very solid year of training and I am looking forward to the start of the season. I have set a lot of personal bests in training this year and I am hopeful that this will carry over to the competition season.My main goal for the season is to get back to the podium," said Burke.
World Cup competition will begin Sunday, November 25th with the 2x6+2x7.5 km Mixed Relay, an event set to make its Olympic debut in Sochi. Competition will resume in Oestersund on November 28th and continue through December 2nd. World Cup competition will be broadcast live here. Please visit here for a complete World Cup schedule and results.
2012 Oestersund IBU World Cup #1 Team Roster
(athletes below have pre-qualified for World Cup #1)
Lowell Bailey * (Lake Placid, NY)
Tim Burke * (Paul Smiths, NY)
Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine)
Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT)
Sara Studebaker * (Boise, ID)
IBU Cup competition opens the season in Idre, November 23-25th, featuring 7km and 10km Sprint events for men and women. The following roster of athletes are scheduled to compete in Idre, and based on performance, will join their teammates for the IBU World Cup #1 in Oestersund, or continue to the next IBU Cup in Beitostolen, Norway. Results for IBU World Cup #1 will be available here.
2012 Idre IBU Cup #1 Roster
Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN)
Jeremy Teela * (Heber City, UT)
Lanny Barnes * (Durango, CO)
Tracy Barnes-Colliander * (Durango, CO)
Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY)* Olympian