U.S. Women Enjoy Best Relay Finish Since Sochi Games

By Bill Kellick | Feb. 08, 2019, 6:26 p.m. (ET)

Joanne Reid Canmore relay
Joanne Reid shoots from the standing position during Friday's women's relay (photo by NordicFocus)

CANMORE, Canada (Feb. 8, 2019) – The U.S. women's relay team moved up five places over the final three legs of Friday's 4x6-kilometer relay to secure a top-10 finish at the BMW IBU World Cup  in Canmore. The foursome of Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Joanne Reid (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt..) finished in eighth place, their best relay performance since a seventh-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. They finished 3 minutes, 58.4 seconds off the winning pace set by Germany, with two penalties and 12 spare rounds.

"This is our best women's relay result in five years and we are psyched," said Dunklee. "I'm proud of how my teammates stayed focused and positive in spite of the polar temperatures. We put together a good biathlon performance. There's always opportunity in challenge and today we were ready to take advantage of that."

Dunklee, who sat out yesterday's short individual race as she recovered from an illness, showed no signs of being under the weather on her opening leg. After cleaning prone, Dunklee skied in the lead, side-by-side with Italy's Lisa Vittozzi. However, she needed three spares in standing before tagging off to Egan in fifth place for the second leg. 

Egan struggled at the range in prone, using all three spares and incurring two penalties to bump the team down to 13th position, but she regrouped in standing with just one spare round to claw her way up to 11th as she made the second exchange with Reid.

"I’m really happy with both my leg and our performance as a team," Dreissigacker said. "Conditions were tough out there today and I’m proud of how we all handled it and really excited to be in the top 10."

Reid move the team up another place with four spare rounds on the range and Dreissigacker brought it home by passing two more teams, thanks in large part to using just one spare round in her two shooting stages.

The German team of Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Hildebrand, Denise Herrmann and Laura Dahlmeier captured the gold with one penalty and 12 spare rounds, crossing the line in 1:10:16.3. Norway placed second, 30.2 seconds back with two penalties and seven spares, while France came in third with 12 spare rounds, 41.6 seconds behind Norway.

In the men's 4x7.5km relay held earlier in the day, the Norwegian team of Lars Helge Birkeland, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, Erland Bjoentegaard and Johannes Thingnes Boe used just seven spare rounds to seal the victory. Their time of 1:16:36.6 was 1:10.4 ahead of second-place France, with eight spare rounds. Russia finished third with nine spares, 1:48.4 behind Norway.

The U.S. team of Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.), Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho) and Travis Cooper (Kenai, Alaska) was lapped before they could finish the race. Nordgren had a clean round in standing.

Due to Saturday's weather forecast of temperatures below -25 degrees Celsius, the sprint competitions have been rescheduled for Sunday. The men's 10km sprint begins at 2:20 p.m. ET, followed by the women's 7.5km sprint at 6:45 p.m. ET.

WAYS TO WATCH:
Fans can watch a same-day replay of World Cup races on the Olympic Channel (check your local listings).

There will be live streaming coverage each day on NBC Sports Gold and OlympicChannel.com, as well as simulstreams of the Olympic Channel and NBCSN broadcasts.

Streams will be available on all digital platforms: desktop via NBCSports.com/Gold, and mobile, tablet and connected television platforms via the NBC Sports Gold app.

They will also be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. Broadcast simulstreams will be available on NBCSports.com/live or the NBC Sports app (and do not require a Gold subscription to watch).

The NBC Sports Gold premium package will give paid subscribers commercial-free access to each event across the span of the competition. Users can subscribe to the NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass here: https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.

Replay with commentary is also available thru www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu.

Women’s 4x6km relay results

1.

Germany (Hinz, Hildebrand, Herrmann, Dahlmeier)

1:10:16.3/1+12

2.

Norway (Kalkenberg, Tandrevold, Eckhoff, Roeiseland)

+30.2/2+7

3.

France (Chevalier, Braisaz, Bescond, Simon)

+41.6/0+12

8.

USA (Dunklee, Egan, Reid, Dreissigacker)

+3:58.4/2+12


Men’s 4x7.5km relay results

1.

Norway (Birkeland, Christiansen, Bjoentegaard, J. Boe

1:16:36.6/0+7

2.

France (Guigonnat, Jacquelin, S. Fourcade, Fillon Maillet)

+1:10.4/0+8

3.

Russia (Garanichev, Latypov, Loginov, Povarnitsyn)

+1:48.4/0+9

LPD

USA (Doherty, Nordgren, Durtschi, Cooper)