Silver Day For Schommer at IBU Cup

By Bill Kellick | Dec. 20, 2019, 11:06 a.m. (ET)

Paul Schommer (l) on the podium with his silver medal at the IBU Cup in Obertilliach, Austria, on Dec. 20. (photo by Evgeny Tumashov/IBU)

OBERTILLIACH, Austria (Dec. 20, 2019) – Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.) notched U.S. Biathlon's second IBU Cup podium of the season on Friday during the men's 10-kilometer sprint at the IBU Cup in Obertilliach. Schommer went a perfect 10-for-10 on the range to cross the line 19.5 seconds behind winner Aleksander Fjeld Andersen of Norway, who also shot clean. Germany's Philipp Nawrath was third, also with clean shooting, 40.1 seconds behind Andersen.

"I'm just really thankful to have an opportunity to be here and to be able to race," said Schommer. "It feels really great to be on the podium and it's a pretty good early Christmas present."

Schommer's performance marked the second time a U.S. athlete has donned a silver medal at an IBU Cup event this season. Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, Wash.) also won silver in the season's first women's 7.5km sprint on Nov. 28.

Other American competitors in Friday's men's sprint were Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho) in 78th place and Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) in 88th.

In the women's 7.5km sprint at Friday's IBU Cup, Dickinson was 42nd, Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.) finished 54th and Hallie Grossman (South Burlington, Vt.) placed 69th.

The 2019 IBU Cup calendar concludes Saturday in Obertilliach with the single mixed relay featuring the duo of Phaneuf and Cooper, followed by the mixed relay foursome of Grossman, Dickinson, Durtschi and Schommer.

BMW IBU World Cup - Annecy Le Grand Bornand, France

In BMW IBU World Cup action on Friday, Team USA added two more qualifiers to the start lists of Saturday's pursuit races as Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) both made the top-60 cutoff in the women's 7.5km sprint. Egan placed 42nd with two standing penalties, 1:50.1 off the pace, while Reid was 52nd, 2:04.5 back with a single standing penalty.

"It was a wet, wild ride out there, and a tough day to be a biathlete," said Reid. "But it’s days like this that make us appreciate the sunny ones even more."

With a furious last loop, Norway's Tiril Eckhoff outran a prone penalty to win the women's sprint in 20:27. Justine Braisaz of France finished second, 6.2 seconds back, while Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic finished third, 20.5 seconds behind Eckhoff. Both Braisaz and Davidova shot clean.

Reid also acknowledged the accomplishments of her extended U.S. team competing at the IBU Cup.

"We celebrate any podium for America -- World Cup, IBU Cup, World Championships, Junior World Championships -- because all of them mean more steps forward for our country and our federation, and that’s something to be proud of," Reid said. "It’s obvious from both the shooting and the skiing side that the men are benefiting very much from the leadership of (coach) Vegard Bitnes, who has been a welcome blessing to this team. I think we can look forward to many more good races from them."

Saturday's men's 12.5km pursuit will include Americans Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.) starting 38th, 1:36 back, and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) starting 40th, 1:38 behind the leader. Egan (1:50 back) and Reid (2:05 back) will start the women's 10km pursuit in 42nd and 52nd position, respectively.

Both pursuit races will be shown LIVE on The Olympic Channel on Saturday with the men's pursuit starting at 7:00 a.m. EST, followed by the women's pursuit at 9:00 a.m. EST. 

In addition, livestreams will be available via desktop (, ( and as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports and Olympic Channel app are available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

For FULL broadcast coverage of this week's BMW IBU World Cup, check the listing at the top of the U.S. Biathlon Facebook page:

IBU Cup Men’s 10km sprint results (Obertilliach, Austria)


Aleksander Fjeld Andersen (NOR)



Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.)



Philipp Nawrath (GER)



Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho)


88. Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) +5:23.2/+2


IBU Cup Women’s 7.5km sprint results (Obertilliach, Austria)


Johanna Skottheim (SWE)



Anna Magnusson (SWE)



Anastasiya Merkushyna (UKR)



Kelsey Dickinson (Wintrhop, Wash.)


54. Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.) +2:45.2/+3
69. Hallie Grossman (South Burlington, Vt.) +3:25.7/+4


BMW IBU World Cup Women’s 7.5km sprint results (Annecy Le Grand Bornand, France)


Tiril Eckhoff (NOR)



Justine Braisaz (FRA)



Marketa Davidova (CZE)



Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)


52. Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) +2:04.5/+1
67. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) +2:28.8/+3
94. Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) +4:37.1/+4