Dunklee ends season with top 20 in mass start; 17th in World Cup standings

Photos from the men's and women's mass start event at the IBU World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, on March 22, 2015.

March 22, 2015, 9:28 a.m. (ET)

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia (March 22, 2015) - Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) capped off the 2014-15 season with a 19th-place finish in Sunday's women's 12.5-kilometer mass start at the IBU World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The result secured an overall 17th place in the final World Cup rankings for Dunklee as she led four Americans in the top 40.

Dunklee, along with Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.), were in the field of the top-30 women in Sunday's mass start. Athough conditions were calm and mild, both U.S. athletes struggled at the shooting range with neither posting a clean round in four attempts. Dunklee missed four targets in prone and another two in standing, but made up for it with some exceptional skiing. She posted the fifth-fastest course time for the day, including the fastest second lap, and finished with a time of 37:23.3, winning a pack sprint for 19th place.

Dunklee was also grateful to avoid a large crash on the first loop that hampered several of the competitors.

"(I) left it all out on the course today and I'm thankful I didn't get tangled in the big crash," Dunklee said. "We fought hard all the way through the end of the season and we are proud of our efforts. After four-plus months of living out of our duffle bags in Europe and Russia, it will be a real treat to see home again. Personally, I'm looking forward to a pancake breakfast with real Vermont maple syrup!"

Dreissigacker had three misses in her opening prone stage, but just one each in the final three shooting stages to place 26th in a time of 39:36.0. Germany's Laura Dahlmeier won the women's mass start in 35:08.2 with clean shooting. Second place went to Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic, also shooting clean, 7.1 seconds back. Marie Dorin Habert of France, a two-time world champion, finished third with two penalties, 19.9 seconds behind. Darya Domracheva of Belarus sealed her first-ever World Cup Total Score title in fourth place. Full women's mass start results are available here.

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) was the lone U.S. competitor in the men's 15k mass start. He hit 17 of 20 targets to finish 24th with a time of 40:11.7. Slovenia's Jakov Fak won the race with clean shooting in 38:09.8. Second place went to local hero Anton Shipulin of Russia, with two penalties, 10.3 seconds back, while Norway's Tarjei Boe finished third, with one penalty, 12.5 seconds back. Despite finishing 20th today, Martin Fourcade of France won his fourth World Cup Total Score title.

"The race was an O.K. race for me, not my best race, there was definitely opportunity for a better result, but I'm happy," said Nordgren. "On the tracks I could tell that it's the end of the season, my legs were completely out of gas again. Basically, I was just trying to hold on for as long as I could. Shooting was so-so. For me to be competitive in the mass start I really need to clean the first stage. Playing catch-up right away wasn't really good for me, especially considering my ski shape isn't the best right now. I'm maybe most happy about the points I got from today's race that jumped me up into the top-40 of the overall World Cup points. I wasn't even thinking about that. I've never even been in the top-60- before, I don't think, so it shows that I made a pretty big jump in performance this season. Now it's time to relax and recover for a little while before getting into the planning for next year."

In addition to Dunklee, other Americans in the top 40 of the final World Cup total score were Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) in 30th place in the men's standings, followed by Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) in 34th and Nordgren in 40th.

The final Nation Cup standings have the U.S. men in 13th place and the U.S. women in 15th. Full World Cup and Nation Cup final standings are available here.

Women's 12.5km mass start

1. Laura Dahlmeier (GER) 35:08.2/+0
2. Gabriela Soukalova (CZE) 35:15.3/+0
3. Marie Dorin Habert (FRA) 35:28.1/+2
19. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) 37:23.3/+6
26. Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 39:36.0/+6

Men's 15km mass start

1. Jakov Fak (SLO) 38:09.8/+0
2. Anton Shipulin (RUS) 38:20.1/+2
3. Tarjei Boe (NOR) 38:22.3/+1
24. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 40:11.7/+3

Women's World Cup Total Score

1. Darya Domracheva (BLR) 1,092
2. Kaisa Makarainen (FIN) 1,044
3. Valj Semerenko (UKR) 865
17. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) 458
53. Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 103
72. Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) 24
96. Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) 1

Men's World Cup Total Score

1. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 1,042
2. Anton Shipulin (RUS) 978
3. Jakov Fak (SLO) 883
30. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 280
34. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 239
40. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 149

Women's Nation Cup Score

1. Germany 78,535
2. Czech Republic 76,465
3. France 74,005
15. USA 47,645

Men's Nation Cup Score

1. Norway 80,965
2. Germany 80,015
3. France 78,125
13. USA  51,895