Burke 14th, Bailey 15th in Pokljuka Sprint

Photos from the men's 10km sprint on Dec. 17, 2015, at the BMW IBU World Cup 3 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Dec. 17, 2015, 12:08 p.m. (ET)

POKLJUKA, Slovenia (December 17, 2015) - Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) and Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) hit a combined 19 of 20 targets en route to two top-15 finishes in Thursday's men's 10-kilometer sprint on the opening day of the BMW IBU World Cup 3 in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Burke hit nine of his 10 targets and skied across the line in a time of 23:57.1 to place 14th, while Bailey's time of 24:01.6 put him right behind Burke in 15th place. Bailey went clean in shooting, hitting all 10 of his targets and giving him his third straight top-15 World Cup finish.

"I'm very pleased with the race today," said Burke. "This has always been one of my favorite courses and I have many good racing memories from here. I went out pretty hard today and just tried to hold on as long as possible. Of course this race was a little bittersweet because I missed my last shot of the day, which potentially cost me a podium. I'm looking forward to an exciting pursuit where everything is still possible.  

The men's sprint was held under sunny skies and ideal conditions with a fair amount of snow and light winds. Clean-shooting Simon Schempp of Germany won the 10km race in 23:02.5. Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished second, 15.2 seconds back, while Russia's Evgeniy Garanichev placed third, 25.1 seconds back. Both Bjoerndalen and Garanichev also shot clean.

Bailey was helped by his quick shooting at the range, which tied for the fifth-fastest in the 102-man field.

"I was happy with the shooting for the race today," Bailey said. "I didn't feel at my best on the tracks and I definitely suffered a bit on the first lap, but I was happy to have a decent ski time on the last lap. I like the course here in Pokljuka and I hope to feel a little quicker on the skis for Saturday's pursuit."

Burke and Bailey will be joined in Saturday's men's 12.5km pursuit by Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) who finished within the top-60 qualifying cutoff in 52nd place (25:04.5/+1). Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) struggled in the prone position with three misses but regrouped in standing by hitting four of five targets. He finished 71st (25:33.8/+4). Full men's sprint results are available here.

Competition in Pokljuka continues Friday with the women's 7.5km pursuit. In action for the U.S. will be Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.). Live streaming coverage of the race can be seen here starting at 8:30 a.m. EST.

Men's 10km sprint results

1. Simon Schempp (GER) 23:02.5/+0
2. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) 23:17.7/+0
3. Evgeniy Garanichev (RUS) 23:27.6/+0
14.
Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)
23:57.1/+1
15. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 24:01.6/+0
52. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 25:04.5/+1
71.  Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) 25:33.8/+4