Leif Nordgren (l) races the second leg of the men's 4x7.5km relay in Oestersund on Dec. 7 (photo by NordicFocus)
Oestersund, Sweden (Dec. 7, 2019) – The U.S. men's relay team of Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.), Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) and Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) raced to a 15th-place finish in the 26-team field in Saturday's 4x7.5-kilometer relay at the BMW IBU World Cup in Oestersund. The American squad crossed the line 4 minutes, 46.7 seconds off the winning time turned in by the Norwegian team, using 13 spares on the range.
Doherty skied the opening leg for Team USA, cleaning all five targets in standing as the U.S. finished three places better than their starting position.
"Today showed the potential we have to fight with the top teams in the relays," Doherty said. "It is very encouraging for all of us."
Tarjei Boe took the lead after his prone stage in the men's relay, setting up Norway's decisive victory, with his brother Johannes Thingnes Boe controlling the anchor for the victory in 1:10:30.4. The Boes and teammates Johannes Dale and Erlend Bjontegaard used nine spare rounds in claiming the gold medal. France, with one penalty and seven spare rounds, finished second, 32.3 seconds back. Italy, with eight spare rounds, finished third, 1:27.1 behind Norway.
The World Cup in Oestersund wraps up on Sunday with the women's 4x6km relay. The team of Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) will toe the line for the U.S. The women's relay begins at 9:30 a.m. EST and can be seen on the Olympic Channel and NBCSports.com/gold.
Men's 4x7.5km relay results
1. Norway (Dale, Bjoentegaard, T. Boe, J. Boe) 1:10:30.4/+0+9
2. France (Jacquelin, Fillon Maillet, Desthieux, Fourcade) +32.3/1+7
3. Italy (Hofer, Bormolini, Cappellari, Windisch) +1:27.1/0+8
15. United States (Doherty, Nordgren, Howe, Cooper) +4:46.7/0+13