Top-10 Pursuits for Burke and Dunklee in Pokljuka

Photos from the men's and women's pursuit races on Dec. 19, 2015, at the BMW IBU World Cup 3 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Dec. 19, 2015, 8:33 a.m. (ET)

POKLJUKA, Slovenia (December 19, 2015) - The U.S. Biathlon Team enjoyed two top-10 finishes Saturday and earned three starting positions for Sunday's mass start races at the BMW IBU World Cup 3 in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) was ninth in the men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit, while Susan Dunklee(Barton, Vt.) raced to her second top-10 in two days with a 10th-place finish in the women's 10km pursuit.

Starting in the 14th position after Thursday's sprint race, Burke cleaned the prone stages to move up to 10th on the course. He maintained his 10th-place position even after a miss at the first standing stage, but went clean again at the second standing and jumped up to ninth place at the finish with a time of 32:08.4.

"Today I was finally able to match good skiing with solid shooting," Burke said. "I'm really happy with my entire performance today and I am looking forward to the mass start tomorrow. Today was an interesting race for me because I ended up skiing most of the race by myself, which is very unusual for a pursuit. Normally, I would expect to move up more with only one penalty but the guys at the front were not missing."  

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) started right behind Burke in the 15th position and also went clean at the first prone shooting stage. However, a miss at each of the three remaining stages dropped Bailey to 29th at the finish (33:32.5). The result was good enough to qualify Bailey for Sunday's 15km mass start alongside Burke.

"Not a bad day for me, but without near perfection, it's hard to compete with this field," said Bailey. "There was great overall shooting in the men's field today so I lost a few places with penalties in each of the last three stages. Looking forward to tomorrow. Congrats to Tim and Susan on some great races today."

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) moved up three spots from the start to finish 49th (35:35.9/+4). Clean-shooting Simon Schempp of Germany finished first in the men's pursuit with a time of 30:46.5. Martin Fourcade of France was second, 16.6 seconds back, with one penalty, while Russia's Anton Shipulin was third, 23.4 seconds back of Schempp with two penalties. Full results of the men's pursuit are available here.

Dunklee was the sixth skier off the line in the women's pursuit and battled to stay within the top-10 throughout the race. A miss at the first prone shooting stage knocked her down to 11th, but she regrouped to clean the second prone to jump back up to eighth. Another miss at the first standing stage bumped Dunklee back to 12th but she came through in the clutch with a clean round in the final standing to secure 10th place in a time of 31:44.3 and qualify for Sunday's women's 12.5km pursuit.

"Two top tens in two days and I am very satisfied," said Dunklee. "My legs felt a little heavy so I wasn't able to push the skiing as well as yesterday, but my shooting keep me in it. Cleaning that last standing stage is so important in a pursuit for securing a top finish. It felt wonderful to cruise on past the penalty loop and not go in."

Laura Dahlmeier of Germany had clean shooting to win the women's pursuit in 30:08.8. Marie Dorin Habert of France also shot clean, but after a tight battle with Dahlmeier finished 18 seconds back. Finland's Kaisa Makarainen was third, with one penalty, 55.2 seconds behind. Full results of the women's pursuit are available here.

The BMW IBU World Cup 3 concludes Sunday with the men's and women's mass start races. The men's 15km event begins at 6:00 a.m. EST, with the women's 12.5km race to follow at 8:30 a.m. Both races will be streamed live at www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu.

Men's 12.5km pursuit results

1. Simon Schempp (GER) 30:46.5/+0
2. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 31:03.1/+1
3. Anton Shipulin (RUS) 31:09.9/+2
9. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 32:08.4/+1
29.  Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
33:32.5/+3
49. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 35:35.9/+4

Women's 10km pursuit results

1. Laura Dahlmeier (GER) 30:08.9/+0
2. Marie Dorin Habert (FRA) 30:26.9/+0
3. Kaisa Makarainen (FIN) 31:04.1/+1
10.
Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)
31:44.3/+2