U.S. Women's Relay Team Races to Second Top 10 of Season

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 17, 2020, 10:30 a.m. (ET)


Clare Egan races the second leg of the women's relay on Jan. 17 in Ruhpolding, Germany (photo by NordicFocus)

RUHPOLDING, Germany (Jan. 17, 2020) – The U.S. women's relay team posted its second top-10 finish of the season in Friday's 4x6-kilometer race at the BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding. The quartet of Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) and Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis.) finished 2 minutes, 32.9 seconds off the winning pace set by Norway. The American team had one penalty and used nine spares over the four legs of the relay.

"This was another great effort from our whole team, including really fast skis from our wax techs," said Egan. "Our previous goal was to finish in the top 10, but we're setting our sights even higher for World Championships. I know this team can do it."

Dunklee got the team off to a strong start using just one spare round in standing as she tagged off to Egan in second place. Egan duplicated Dunklee's effort as she also used just a single spare round in standing to maintain Team USA's second-place position at the halfway point as she made the exchange to Reid.
 
"It always feels good to ski in the lead, and today I had the new experience of shooting clean on point 1," Egan added. "That was exciting— to show the German crowd of 16,000 fans that Team USA can compete with the best."
 
Reid needed all three spare rounds in prone and incurred a penalty but rebounded nicely to clean from the standing position as she made the final exchange with Irwin in seventh place. Irwin, racing in her first World Cup relay of the season, used a single spare in prone and three in standing to bring it home for the top-10 finish.
 
Norwegian anchor Marte Olsbu Roeiseland used just two spare rounds to assure the victory in 1:08:46.4 along with teammates Karoline Knotten, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold and Tiril Eckhoff. The Norwegian team used nine spare rounds in total. France, with eight spares, finished second, 10.7 seconds back. Switzerland finished third, 20.7 seconds behind with just four spares.
 
The BMW IBU World Cup continues from Ruhpolding on Friday with the men's 4x7.5km relay starting at 8:15 a.m. EST. The U.S.foursome of Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.), Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.) and Jake Brown (Saint Paul, Minn.) will team up for that race.
 
For FULL broadcast coverage of this week's BMW IBU World Cup, CLICK HERE.
 
Women’s 4x6km relay results

 

1.

Norway (Knotten, Tandrevold, Eckhoff, Roeiseland)

1:08:46.4/0+9

2.

France (Simon, Bescond, Aymonier, Braisaz)

+10.7/0+8

3.

Switzerland (E. Gasparin, S. Gasparin, A. Gasparin, Haeki)

+20.7/0+4

10.

USA (Dunklee, Egan, Reid, Irwin)

+2:32.9/1+9