Ostersund, Sweden, February 12. The US Team of Tracy Barnes (Durango, CO), Laura Spector (Lenox, MA), Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK), and Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) finished 16th in the World Championships Mixed Relay competition today.
The US finished 10:05.3 behind the victorious German team of Sabrina Buchholz, Magdalena Neuner, Andreas Birnbacher, and Michael Greis. The Germans needed only six spare rounds to claim the Gold medal in a time of 1:12:20.5.
The US Team had two penalties and fourteen spare rounds today. Barnes was the most effective on the shooting range, needing just one spare round in the standing stage. Teela incurred one of the penalties in the standing stage, while Currier picked up the second team penalty in the standing stage.
Spector and Currier made their debut at the World Cup level today and both were enthusiastic about the experience. Spector commented, â€œIt was great. Once I started racing, I did not hear the crowds. I am glad I had this race to get ready for the Individual tomorrow.â€
Currier (trying to keep from being lapped) left the stadium just in front Olympic Champion Greis and stayed within seconds of the German for the 2.5K loop. Currier said, â€œIt was not that hard staying with him.â€
The Silver medal today went to Belarus, 52.6 seconds back, with Russia winning the Bronze, 1:02.9 back. Sweden made a valiant attempt to win their first medal coming from eighth position after the second leg to finish fourth, 3.9 seconds behind the Russian team. Bjorn Ferry skied the third leg for Sweden bringing them into contention. He commented that if he had skied the final leg, the team would have won the Silver medal.
The next competition here is the Women’s’ 15K Individual tomorrow at 17:15 CET (11:15 AM EST). Starting for the US will be Spector, Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO), Haley Johnson (lake Placid, NY), and Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis, MN).
Live streaming video coverage of the Biathlon World Championships as well as Biathlon World Cup competitions for the remainder of the season, and archived highlights, are available by clicking the athlete photo at the top of the news column at http://www.usbiathlon.org .
Russel Currier with the crowd in the foreground