U.S. Biathlon Posts Second Top-10 Relay Finish In As Many Days

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 18, 2020, 11:14 a.m. (ET)


Jake Brown wears his effort on his face after crossing the finish line in the men's relay on Jan. 18 in Ruhpolding, Germany (photo by NordicFocus)

RUHPOLDING, Germany (Jan. 18, 2020) – Not to be outdone by the top-10 finish of the U.S. women's relay team on Friday, the U.S. men's relay team put on their own top-10 performance on Saturday at the BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding. The foursome of Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.), Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.), Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.) and Jake Brown (Saint Paul, Minn.) placed 10th in the 4x7.5-kilometer race, 4 minutes, 9.8 seconds off the winning pace, with no penalties and nine spare rounds. It marked the best finish for a U.S. men's relay team since March of 2018.

"Overall, I think we can be really happy with this relay," said Nordgren. "It was pretty tough conditions with the new snow falling, but every guy on the team had a decent race and we were able to get away with a top-10 result."
 

Light, wet snow that fell overnight turned into a light rain/snow mix at the start, but by the time the men reached the first prone stage, the mix had turned into heavy, wet snow which continued to pick up throughout the competition, The increasingly deep snow made the tracks slower and more demanding as the race progressed.

Undaunted, Nordgren used just one spare in prone and cleaned from standing. Clean stages were also turned in by Doherty in standing and Schommer in prone.

"Good shooting definitely helped us today," Nordgren added. "Anytime the whole team can have a maximum of nine spare rounds with these conditions is good. This relay team has a lot of potential given the right day, so I think we're looking forward to the next chance at World Championships in Antholz."

The French quartet of Emilien Jacquelin, Martin Fourcade, Simon Desthieux and Quentin Fillon Maillet went wire-to-wire to win the men's relay, using six spare rounds in their 1:18:11.2 victory. Norway finished second, with 10 spare rounds, 1:12.2 back. Austria, with their first podium of the season, finished third with just four spare rounds, 1:24.3 behind France.

The BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding concludes on Sunday with the men's and women's pursuit races featuring five Americans. The women's 10km pursuit, starting at 6:15 a.m. EST, will see Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) and Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) start, 1:35 and 1:41 back, respectively. At 8:30 a.m. EST, Doherty, Brown and Nordgren will race in the men's 12.5km pursuit. Doherty starts 1:03 back, Brown is at 2:02 and Nordgren at 2:04.

For FULL broadcast coverage of this week's BMW IBU World Cup, CLICK HERE.

Men’s 4x7.5km relay results

1.

France (Jacquelin, Fourcade, Desthieux, Fillon Maillet)

1:18:11.2/0+6

2.

Norway (Dale, Bjoentegaard, T. Boe, Christiansen)

+1:12.2/0+10

3.

Austria (Landertinger, Eder, Leitner, Eberhard)

+1:24.3/0+4

10.

USA (Nordgren, Doherty, Schommer, Brown)

+4:09.8/0+9