Dunklee With Career-Best 6th In Mass Start

Photos from the men's and women's mass start races on Jan. 10, 2016, at the BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Ruhpolding, Germany.

Jan. 10, 2016, 10:06 a.m. (ET)

RUHPOLDING, Germany (January 10, 2016) - With just one miss on the shooting range, Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) skied to a career-best sixth place in Sunday's women's 12.5-kilometer mass start at BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Ruhpolding, Germany. Her best finish in a mass start before today came at the 2014 Olympic Games where she was 11th. Her best World Cup finish in a mass start was 16th on this same Ruhpolding course a year ago. She also placed 16th at the 2012 world championships.

In Sunday's race, Dunklee quickly moved up 10 places to 13th at the first split, and then improved to seventh at the second time check, just five seconds behind the leaders. Clean shooting at the first prone stage put her a mere 0.3 seconds back of the lead in second place. She held that position with another clean round in the second prone stage and then smartly let other skiers set the pace on the course. 

Her only miss came at the first standing shooting which put her 21 seconds back of the lead in sixth place. Dunklee jumped up to fourth place with clean shooting at the last standing stage and held on for sixth place at the line with a time of 33:49.1, just 31.4 seconds back of winner Laura Dahlmeier of Germany.

"I have felt great on skis in past years but I had never fully felt in control in head-to-head shooting situations," said Dunklee. "This year I've taken a huge step in speeding up my shooting times and in maintaining my same calm mental approach on the range no matter what craziness is happening around me. Today was a great performance for me. I didn't quite have enough gas left to fight for third place on that last loop and I lost a couple places, but I'm confident my skiing will get a little sharper later in the season. Once again, our staff put together some blazing fast skis and I'm thankful to be a part of this team."

Clean-shooting Dahlmeier won the race in 33:17.7, giving her four wins this season. France's Marie Dorin Habert was second with one penalty, 15.3 seconds behind. Tiril Eckhoff of Norway, with two penalties claimed third in a photo-finish with France's Anais Bescond; both 21.9 seconds back of Dahlmeier. Full women's mass start results are available here.

In the men's 15km mass start held earlier in the day, Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) finished 16th with a time of 35:22.4 and three penalties. Bailey cleaned the first prone to move up to eighth place, just 5.7 seconds back of the lead pack. Another clean round at the second prone stage moved him up to fourth, only 2.5 seconds out of third. However, a miss at the first standing stage set Bailey back to ninth, but still only eight seconds our of fourth place. Two more misses at the final standing stage pushed him out of the top 10 and he hung on to finish 16th, still just 45 seconds from third place.

"So close," Bailey said. "Nothing more, nothing less. I have to be better in the final stage."

France's Martin Fourcade won the men's mass start in 34:07.2, with one penalty. Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic, the only clean shooter in the field, finished second, 13.7 seconds back. Norway's Tarjei Boe, despite three penalties, finished third, 29.7 seconds behind. Full men's mass start results are available here.

Athletes will stay in Ruhpolding this week for BMW IBU World Cup 5, held on the same course next weekend starting with the men's 20km individual race on Wednesday.

IBU Cup 4

NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic (January 10, 2016) - U.S. teams were also in action this weekend at IBU Cup 4 for a pair of sprint races in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. 

Rookie Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) started her international biathlon career with a 16th-place finish in Saturday's women's 7.5km sprint (22:15.5/+1), and followed that up with a clean-shooting 23rd place in Sunday's sprint (21:14.4). Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) paced the men's team with a pair of 25th-place finishes in the men's 10km sprints. See below for other U.S. team results. Full results of IBU Cup 4 are available here.

BMW IBU World Cup 4

Women's 12.5km mass start results

1. Laura Dahlmeier (GER) 33:17.7/+0
2. Marie Dorin Habert (FRA) 33:33.0/+1
3. Tiril Eckhoff (NOR) 33:39.6/+2
6. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) 33:49.1/+1

Men's 15km mass start results

1. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 34:07.2/+1
2. Ondrej Moravec (CZE) 34:20.9/+0
3. Tarjei Boe (NOR) 34:36.9/+3
16.
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
35:22.4/+3

IBU Cup 4 (Nove Mesto, Czech Republic)

Women's 7.5km sprint results (Jan. 9)

1. Olga Iakushova (RUS) 21:02.1/+1
2. Anastasia Zagoruiko (RUS) 21:08.9/+1
3. Celia Aymonier (FRA) 21:11.9/+1
16. Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) 22:15.5/+1
60. Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 24:10.7/+5
66. Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.) 24:39.4/+2
75. Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 25:51.3/+5

Men's 10km sprint results (Jan. 9)

1. Fabien Claude (FRA) 24:48.6/+1
2. Timofey Lapshin (RUS) 24:52.2/+1
3. Dzmitry Abasheu (BLR) 25:21.4/+1
25.
Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)
26:25.7/+3
57. Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho) 27:21.7/+3
80. Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, Minn.) 28:25.3/+4
87. Casey Smith (Winthrop, Wash.) 28:41.5/+1

Women's 7.5km sprint results (Jan. 10)

1. Anais Chevalier (FRA) 20:04.7/+0
2. Iana Bondar (UKR) 20:14.1/+0
3. Svetlana Sleptsova (RUS) 20:21.3/+0
23. Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) 21:14.4/+0
35. Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 22:10.3/+2
56(t). Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.) 22:49.8/+1
72. Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) 23:40.9/+1

Men's 10km sprint results (Jan. 10)

1. Petr Pashchenko (RUS) 24:20.3/+1
2. Timofey Lapshin (RUS) 24:24.2/+2
3. Johannes Kuehn (GER) 24:59.0/+2
25.
Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)
26:02.2/+2
64. Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, Minn.) 27:41.0/+1
74. Casey Smith (Winthrop, Wash.) 28:07.7/+1
89. Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho) 29:23.5/+6