Nordgren 19th in pursuit at Open European Championships

Feb. 01, 2015, 1:27 p.m. (ET)

Otepaa, Estonia (January 30, 2015) - Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) posted a top-20 finish Sunday in the men's pursuit at the IBU Open European Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. Nordgren covered the 12.5-kilometer course in 36:30.1 with three penalties. His time was 3:09.1 behind the winning time of Russia's Alexey Slepov (33:21.0/+3). Placing second was Bulgaria's Krasimir Anev (34:05.3/+3), while Russia's Anton Babikov was third (34:11.7/+4).

"Today was definitely one of the better races I've had in a while," said Nordgren. "Even though I didn't have to come to these championships, I wanted to get some extra races in after being sick over New Years and missing some of the World Cups. I've been trying to get rid of a nasty cough that I've had this week after racing in Antholz, that's what made me have to pull out of Thursday's individual race. It's been getting a little better all week, but finally today I'd say I made an improvement and was almost functioning normally."

Nordgren and his fellow competitors had to fight through some tough winds on the course in Otepaa.

"We received about five inches of fresh snow overnight and the wind was blowing pretty hard today, just like it has been all week," added Nordgren. "I knew with the strong winds that it would be a good opportunity to move up through the field today. My goal was to take the shooting pretty conservatively to make each shot count. I did that really well in prone, and moved up quite a bit on those two stages. In standing, I definitely got tossed around by the wind a little bit just like everyone else, but I was able to keep the momentum going and still move up a little more. Our wax tech Mathias did a really good job today. We had the fastest skis we've had all week which is really important in a group race like today."

Full men's pursuit results are available here.

Mikaela Paluszek (Saxtons River, Vt.) finished 45th in the junior women's 10km pursuit (53:06.4/+8), while Siena Ellingson (Minnetonka, Minn.) was 50th (55:14.2/+13). Full junior women's pursuit results are available here.

In the junior men's 12.kkm pursuit, Brian Halligan (Gansevoort, N.Y.) was 49th (45:02.6/+5). Full junior men's pursuit results are available here.

Racing continues Monday with the junior relays.

Men's 12.5 pursuit

1. Alexey Slepov (RUS) 33:21.0/+3
2. Krasimir Anev (BUL) 34:05.3/+3
3. Anton Babikov (RUS) 34:11.7/+4
19. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 36:30.1/+3

Women's 10km pursuit

1. Ekaterina Shumilova (RUS) 33:07.4/+2
2. Iryna Varvynets (UKR) 33:39.3/+2
3. Ekaterina Yurlova (RUS) 34:01.5/+3

Junior Men's 12.5km pursuit

1. Eduard Latypov (RUS) 35:19.5/+6
2. Rene Zahkna (EST) 35:24.1/+2
3. Alexander Povarnitsyn (RUS) 35:25.8/+6
49. Brian Halligan (Gansevoort, N.Y.) 45:02.6/+5

Junior Women's 10km pursuit

1. Anastasiya Merkushyna (UKR) 35:52.9/+4
2. Uliana Kaisheva (RUS) 36:13.3/+6
3. Dunja Zdouc (AUT) 36:48.3/+4
45.  Mikaela Paluszek (Saxtons River, Vt.) 53:06.4/+8
50. Siena Ellingson (Minnetonka, Minn.) 55:14.2/+13
DNS Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.)