U.S. women 17th in Ruhpolding relay

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 13, 2018, 10:55 a.m. (ET)

RUHPOLDING, Germany (January 13, 2018) – The American quartet of Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) raced to a 17th-place finish in Saturday’s 4x6-kilometer women’s relay at the BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding.

"We are so glad that we had four strong women ready to start today's relay-- the first of the season for us," said Egan. "Our goal was to make the most of this race, as it was our only chance to practice for PyeongChang. We all have places to improve but overall we put together a good effort and are pleased with our inaugural performance as a foursome."
 
Starting in the back of the 23-team field, Dunklee quickly worked her way through the pack to enter the prone shooting stage in ninth position. Needing one spare in prone, Dunklee had the team in 13th place, just 10.2 seconds out of the lead. She maintained contact with the lead group on the second loop, but three more spare rounds in standing pushed her 25 seconds back in 12th place. Strong skiing by Dunklee pulled some time back as she made the first exchange to Egan in ninth place, 21.6 seconds behind the leaders. Dunklee’s course time of 15 minutes, 15.4 seconds was fastest among all teams on the opening leg.


Egan had the best day on the range for the Americans, needing just two spares. She cleaned from standing and tagged off to Dreissigacker in 14th place.

"Many of the fastest skiers were in the second leg with me so I was doing my best just to hang on," Egan said. "I'm very happy with my clean standing shooting."

 

Dreissigacker used just one spare in prone but needed three in standing plus two penalty loops. When she made the exchange to Reid, Team USA was in 19th place. Reid used two spares in prone and only one in standing as she skied the squad back to 17th place at the finish, 4:57.7 off the winning time.

Laura Dahlmeier took the lead with just over 600 meters to go to bring her German team of Franziska Preuss, Denise Herrmann and Franziska Hildebrand across the finish line in first place. Germany used nine spare rounds, finishing in 1:08:47, just 2.9 seconds ahead of Italy, with three spare rounds. Sweden claimed third place for the second relay in a row, with five spare rounds, 17.2 seconds behind Germany.

Women’s 4x6km relay results
1. Germany (Preuss, Herrmann, Hildebrand, Dahlmeier) 1:08:47/0+9
2. Italy (Vittozzi, Wierer, Gontier, Sanfilippo) +2.9/0+3
3. Sweden (Persson, Brorsson, Magnusson, Oeberg) +17.2/0+5
17. USA (Dunklee, Egan, Dreissigacker, Reid) +4:57.7/2+13