CANMORE, Alberta – Amidst windy conditions and challenging competition in the biathlon middle distance races today, Army veteran Andy Soule earned his third top-10 finish at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup in Canmore, Alberta.
Soule, a Vancouver 2010 Paralympic bronze medalist, finished the 12.5-kilometer sit-ski course in 47 minutes, 10.4 seconds.
Air Force veteran Sean Halsted, also a 2010 U.S. Paralympian, was just behind Soule in 11th place with a time of 49:16.3. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen, who was Team USA’s highest finisher in Saturday's sprint biathlon events, had a strong start in Sunday’s race but did not finish due to an equipment malfunction. The Russians were dominant in the men’s sit-ski division, earning five of the top six spots.
In the women’s sit-ski race, the U.S. women struggled against a strong Russian team, as Oksana Masters and Beth Requist finished seventh and eighth respectively out of the eight-person field.
Also competing for Team USA on Sunday were Kevin Burton and guide Greg Rawlings, who finished ninth out of ten competitors in the men’s visually impaired classification, and Omar Bermejo and John Oman, who finished 12th and 13th respectively in the men’s standing division. On the women’s side, Shawn Cheshire and guide Jesse Crandall finished fourth out of four in the visually-impaired division.
The IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup continues on Tuesday with long-distance biathlon events. Full results can be found at AlbertaWorldCup.com.
The U.S. Team that will compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be named no later than Jan. 31, 2014, and will be determined on a points system that includes world cup results throughout the season.
Team USA will send 17 athletes in total to compete in Nordic skiing events in Sochi, a significant increase from the six-member team that competed at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.