Dunklee shoots clean in top-10 women’s sprint performance

By Bill Kellick | Dec. 14, 2017, 11:34 a.m. (ET)

ANNECY-LE GRAND BORNAND, France (December 14, 2017) – Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) enjoyed her best performance of the young season Thursday with a 10th-place finish in the women’s sprint as the BMW IBU World Cup 3 got underway in France. Dunklee cleaned all 10 targets and stopped the clock at 22 minutes, 16.4 seconds for the 7.5-kilometer course. Her time was 1:16.8 behind winner Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia.

“It feels great to put together a good performance on the range,” Dunklee said. “I had some moments of self-doubt after these past couple weeks that I had to work through.

The race was held under cloudy skies, temperatures at the freezing mark, with a bit of light snow falling and a slight breeze. The tracks were fairly soft due to the warm temperatures and they continued to soften as the competition progressed.

“Conditions were challenging on course with deep slush and short steep pitches,” added Dunklee.

Kuzmina claimed her second victory of the season, shooting clean and winning in 20:59.6, giving her a 33.9-second margin over Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, who also shot clean. Vita Semerenko of Ukraine finished third, matching the top two on the shooting range, 41.4 seconds back.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) placed 81st (+3:43.7) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) was 88th (+4:36). Both had three penalties on the range.

Dunklee is looking forward to competing in Saturday’s 10k pursuit as the 10th skier out of the gate.

“I’m very grateful to get another start on Saturday and a chance to ski and shoot around a fast bunch of ladies.”

The world cup in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand continues Friday with the men’s 10k sprint. Toeing the line for Team USA will be Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.). Live streaming coverage can be seen at 8:15 a.m. EST on the Olympic Channel website.

Women’s 7.5k sprint results

1.

Anastasiya Kuzmina (SVK)

20:59.6/+0

2.

Laura Dahlmeier (GER)

+33.9/+0

3.

Vita Semerenko (UKR)

+41.4/+0

10.

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

+1:16.8/+0

81.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+3:43.7/+3

88.

Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)

+4:36.0/+3