Three American women qualify for Antholz World Cup pursuit

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 18, 2018, 4:54 p.m. (ET)


Emily Dreissigacker qualified for her first career world cup pursuit in Antholz

ANTHOLZ-ANTERSELVA, Italy (January 18, 2018) – The U.S. women’s biathlon team showed some encouraging signs in Thursday’s 7.5-kilometer sprint at the BMW IBU World Cup 6, placing three of its four team members in the top 60. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) all qualified for Saturday’s 10k pursuit by virtue of their performances. The event is the final world cup before the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Dunklee was the top U.S. finisher in 35th place with two penalties, 1 minute, 49.5 seconds off the winning time. She missed one target in prone and another in standing as all competitors battled the 5,200-foot elevation of the Antholz course.

“I didn’t feel sharp on the skis and I struggled adjusting to the thin air of high altitude,” Dunklee said. “I’m grateful to get another opportunity Saturday. I want to make the most of each race start as preparation for Korea. Three women in the pursuit – that’s a big step forward and a great place to see the team heading into the Games.”

Egan, who missed two targets in prone and another in standing, placed 56th, 2:17 back, while Dreissigacker shot clean, hitting all 10 targets in qualifying for her first-ever world cup pursuit race. She finished 2:26.8 off the pace.

“I definitely struggled with the altitude in the skiing, but I was really happy with my shooting and, of course, am very excited to have qualified for my first world cup pursuit,” said Dreissigacker, who was the final racer in the 103-woman field to leave the start house.

Added Egan, "It's very exciting that Emily cleaned and will be joining Susan and me in her first world cup-level pursuit.Susan started one bib number (30 seconds) behind me and then we skied near each other the whole race, which helped me push harder and notch a season-best ski time ranking."

Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff turned in a clean-shooting victory with a time of 21:05.3 to win the women’s sprint. Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier and Czech Republic’s Veronika Vitkova also shot clean to round out the podium. Dahlmeier was 12 seconds back of Eckhoff, while Vitkova crossed the line 20.6 seconds behind.

The world cup in Antholz continues Friday with the men’s 10k sprint. Toeing the line for Team USA will be all five members of the men’s 2018 U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team: Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine). Live streaming coverage can be seen at 8:15 a.m. EST on the Olympic Channel website.

Women’s 7.5k sprint results

1.

Tiril Eckhoff (NOR)

21:05.3/+0

2.

Laura Dahlmeier (GER)

+12.0/+0

3.

Veronika Vitkova (CZE)

+20.6/+0

35.

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

+1:49.5/+2

56.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+2:17.0/+3

59.

Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)

+2:26.8/+0

72.

Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)

+2:43.6/+2