Russell Currier, Kelsey Dickinson, and Brian Halligan admit that they didn’t have great results this season – so they understand why they weren’t re-named to U.S. Biathlon Association training groups. But along with Casey Smith, who was also cut from the ‘B’ team, they have few options to improve their results and get back now that Maine Winter Sports Center is defunding travel and competition for senior athletes.
Earlier this month came the news that Will Sweetser was parting ways with the Maine Winter Sports Center and leaving his post as competitive sports director. Meanwhile, the MWSC is restructuring its Olympic Development Team, which means less money for top-tier athletes and more toward the junior and postgrad programs.
In a shortened 30 k competition, Holly Brooks of APU placed 10th in the Ugra Ski Marathon in Khanty-Maniysk, Russia, not enough to hold onto the FIS Marathon Cup lead. She finished third overall, the best ranking ever for a North American skier. Tatjana Mannima of Estonia and Petr Novak of the Czech Republic took home the titles.
In the last year since she retired from biathlon, Germany’s Andrea Burke (formerly Henkel) has been in a period of transition, taking classes and preparing for her big move to the U.S. while fitting in quality strength sessions whenever possible. “I really like to do [these] kind of programs for staying in shape and get some heart rate between studying,” she explains.
Despite having eight different women score World Cup points this season and a record six end up in the Red Group (top 30) after period IV, the U.S. women slipped from fourth to sixth in the Nations Cup standings. Alex Harvey, Andy Newell, and Simi Hamilton were the only North American men to attain Red Group status at the end of the season.