IBU World Cup (Kontiolahti, Finland): Men’s & women’s sprints
[UPDATED] Fifth place is becoming a habit for US Biathlon’s Susan Dunklee, who shot 9/10 on Friday (1+0) and finished 34.9 seconds out of first for her third fifth-place result in the last three individual races.
Twice at last week’s International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in PyeongChang, South Korea, Dunklee placed fifth: first in the sprint and again in the pursuit. She ended her racing there with the U.S. women’s relay, which placed 14th.
Back at it again on Friday in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland, Dunklee placed fifth behind Norwegian winner Tiril Eckhoff, who shot clean (0+0) and finished in 19:18.4 minutes.
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier started in bib 27, immediately after Eckhoff (bib 26) and ended up 18.3 seconds shot of the Norwegian’s time for second place (+18.3) with one standing penalty (0+1). Darya Domracheva of Belarus started 32nd and shot clean to notch third (+20.4) for her second podium of the season (including a silver medal in the IBU World Championships pursuit).
The last starter in bib 94, Russia’s Daria Virolaynen shot clean and claimed fourth (+34.8), bumping Dunklee, the 33rd starter who initially finished fourth, by one-tenth of a second to fifth.
All three of the U.S. women that raced on Friday finished in the top 60 to qualify for Saturday’s pursuit, with Joanne Reid taking 55th (+1:59.7) with clean shooting, and Clare Egan 59th (+2:07.4) with three standing penalties (0+3).
Two Canadians qualified as well, with Emma Lunder in 56th (+2:02.8) with one miss (1+0) and Julia Ransom making the cut in 60th (+2:08.0) with one penalty (1+0) as well.
In her first World Cup start, Canada’s 19-year-old Megan Bankes — coming off a gold medal at IBU Junior World Championships in Slovenia — placed 78th (+2:56.9) with three penalties (2+1).
Lucky No. 13. That’s how many World Cup wins France’s Martin Fourcade has accumulated this season, including his victory in the men’s 10 k sprint in Kontiolahti.
Thirteen wins puts him ahead of Norway’s Ole Einar Bjørndalen for the most wins in a single season, and Fourcade topped Friday’s race by just 0.6 seconds over the Czech Republic’s Ondřej Moravec in second place. (Bjørndalen finished about 30 seconds back in eighth.)
Fourcade started 38th, after Moravec in bib 24, and had to ski a penalty lap after missing one in his standing shooting, but was able to top Moravec’s time by fractions of a second in 22:17.0 minutes.
Moravec shot clean to reach the podium in second, along with Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen, who hit all 10 targets as well to place third (+9.4).
One of the earliest starters in bib 3, Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø hit all of his targets and was the race leader until Svendsen finished 2.7 seconds faster than him. Bø ultimately ended up fourth, and Germany’s Arnd Peiffer, the fourth man in the top five to clean, placed fifth (+22.3).
After eight straight races of placing in the top 10, Lowell Bailey finished 16th on Friday, 1:01.1 behind Fourcade despite clean shooting.
Three Americans qualified for Saturday’s pursuit, with Leif Nordgren in 43rd (+1:36.8) with two penalties (1+1) and Sean Doherty 44th (+1:38.5) with one standing miss (0+1).
Paul Schommer finished 84th (+3:02.5) with three misses (2+1).
Two Canadians shot clean and qualified for the pursuit: Brendan Green in 45th (+1:41.4) and Christian Gow in 50th (+1:55.0). Scott Gow missed the top 60 in 67th (+2:21.9) with two penalties (1+1).
USSA Cross Country Junior Championships (Lake Placid, N.Y.): 5/10/15 k classic individual starts
[UPDATED] On the third day of racing at U.S. Junior Nationals at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y., Julia Kern, representing New England and the Stratton Mountain School (SMS), completed her sweep of the U20 women’s races, winning Friday’s 10-kilometer classic individual start by 1 minute and 30.5 seconds in 32:32.3 minutes. (Kern had previously won the U20 women’s 5 k freestyle and classic sprint at Junior Nationals this week.)
Intermountain’s Leah Lange (University of Utah) joined her on the podium on Friday in second place, and the Midwest’s Hannah Rudd (Loppet Nordic Racing) tallied third place (+1:38.6).
In the U20 men’s 15 k, Alaska’s Hunter Wonders, of Alaska Pacific University (APUNSC), finished 37 seconds ahead of anyone else in 45:15.7. Intermountain’s Peter Wolter, of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) took second (+37.1), and Canada’s Étienne Hébert (Montériski) placed third for the second time in three races, 49.1 seconds behind Wonders. Daniel Streinz (New England/Mountain Endurance) was the third American in fourth overall (+1:00.7).
Coming of two-second place performances this week, Intermountain’s Sydney Palmer-Leger, of the Park City Nordic Ski Club (PCNSC) raced to first in the U16 girls’ 5 k in 16:42.1, 16.3 seconds ahead of Alaska’s Kendall Kramer (Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks-FXC) in second. Novie McCabe (Pacific Northwest/Methow Valley Nordic Ski Educational Foundation), reached the podium in third (+21.9).
A runner-up earlier in the week in the freestyle individual start, Intermountain’s Johnny Hagenbuch (SVSEF) took the win in the snowiest race of the day — the U16 boys’ 5 k — finishing just 2.5 seconds ahead of Alaska’s runner-up George Cvancara (Alaska Nordic Racing) in 15:06.8 in the closest race of the day. Intermountain had two on the podium with Skylar Patten (PCNSC) in third (+3.8).
In the U18 boys’ 10 k, New England’s Ben Ogden (SMS) pulled out an 11.7-second victory to deny Alaska’s Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars) of his third-straight win of the week. Ogden finished first in 29:36.5, Schumacher took second for his third-consecutive podium, and Alaska’s Luke Jager (APUNSC) placed third (+29.2) for his second podium in three races.
In the U18 girls’ 10 k classic, Intermountain’s Anna Gibson (Jackson Hole Ski Club) took the win for her second-straight podium in 33:59.7, 6.9 seconds ahead of Rocky Mountain’s Ezra Smith (Summit Nordic Ski Club), who notched her second podium of the week as well, in second. Mara McCollor (Midwest/Wayzata Nordic Team) also scored a podium in third (+11.2).