Team USA 7th in Relay
SOCHI, Russia (February 21, 2014) – Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.), Sara Studebaker (Boise, Idaho) and Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) placed seventh in the women's 4x6-kilometer biathlon relay, the best ever Olympic women’s relay finish.
Team USA posted a time of 1:12:14.2 (0+13), which was 2:11.7 behind the winning time of 1:10:02.5 (0+5) by the Ukraine team (Semerenko, Dzhyma, Semerenko and Pidhrushna). Russia (Romanova, Zaitseva, Shumilova, Vilukhina) took the silver medal in a time of 1:10:28.9 (0+4), while Norway (Horn, Eckhoff, Flatland, Berger) won the bronze medal in 1:10:40.1(0+5).
Dunklee raced the opening leg for Team USA, placing the team among the top three for the first two shooting stages. “The team is at the best place we’ve ever been,” said Dunklee. “It’s really cool to be a part of that.”
Dunklee tagged off to Dreissigacker for the second leg. “I felt good skiing, the shooting was not awesome, but at least I didn’t have a penalty,” said Dreissigacker. “We all love the relay. It’s really fun and it takes some of the pressure off yourself, but you also want to do well for your teammates. It’s a group effort and right now we are doing really well.”
Studebaker raced leg three and shot clean at both stages. “Today was a really great day to make it (clean shooting) happen,” said Studebaker. “Seventh is our best finish ever, so to do that at the Olympics, that’s pretty good. To finish up this Olympic experience together with a solid result is fantastic.”
Skiing the anchor leg, Cook was happy to be back out on the Olympic course feeling strong after overcoming illness earlier in the Games. “I was really happy with the race today,” she said. “I felt really confident in how the girls were going to do, and when they tagged off to me in sixth I felt like that was where we should be.”
Olympic biathlon concludes in Sochi on Saturday with the men’s 4x7.5km relay. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) will lead off for Team USA, followed by Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine), Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH) and anchored by Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN). Racing starts at 9:30am(ET). Watch the race live here.