World Cup Season Begins in Rancho Mirage

Feb. 23, 2011, 6:22 p.m. (ET)

The 2011 Modern Pentathlon World Cup season gets underway on Thursday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. It marks the first time in 12 years that a World Cup has been held on American soil.
The event will also mark the debut of laser shooting as an environmentally-friendly replacement to the pellet shooting of the past. Laser shooting made a successful trial at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and will now be used at all UIPM international competitions and at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"This is an historical moment that this competition will be organized with the new laser technology that is the future of our sport," said UIPM President Dr. h.c. Klaus Schorman. "I am also very excited that we are back in the USA, who will now be a partner for major highlight competitions in the future."

Favorites in the men's competition include world #1 Alexsander Lesun of Russia and former world #1 Adam Marosi of Hungary. Women's favorites include world #1 Lena Schoneborn of Germany and three-time world champion Amelia Caze of France.

The 24-member U.S. team is led by world #7 and 2008 Olympian Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) in the women's field, and Pan American champion Will Brady (Howell, Mich.) in the men's competition.

The UIPM will broadcast the finals on Pentathlon TV at on Saturday and Sunday. The broadcast will feature highlights of the fencing and swimming events as well as live coverage of the riding and combined event.

The USA World Cup is the first in a series of five events, culminating with the World Cup Final in London, July 9-10.

Competition Schedule:
Thursday, Feb. 24 - Women's Qualification
Friday, Feb. 25 - Men's Qualification
Saturday Feb. 26 - Women's Individual Finals
Sunday, Feb. 27 - Men's Individual Finals

The U.S. team consists of the following athletes:
Samantha Achterberg (Littleton, Colo.)
Emily Andrews (Absecon, N.J.)
Caitlin Flathers (Rixeyville, Va.)
Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Michelle Kelly (Chatham, N.Y.)
Christine McGrath (Manheim, Pa.)
Rendy Lynn Opdycke (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Rosalie Purvis (Montgomery City, Mo.)
Ashley Ridge (San Diego, Calif.)
Rachael Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.)
Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.)
McKenzie West (Sedalia, Colo.)

Brendan Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas)
William Brady (Howell, Mich.)
Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.)
John Gibbons (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Wayne Miller (Colfax, Wash.)
Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.)
Lucas Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.)
Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.)
Marshall Stymer (Philomath, Ore.)
Andrew Tapia (Novato, Calif.)
Matt Wyble (Wallace, Mich.)

You can view bios on the U.S. team HERE > >