HomeTag Annelies Cook

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For the second time this season, a women's World Cup biathlon competition was called off mid-race due to deteriorating conditions. On Sunday, it was fog that enveloped the stadium in Antholz, Italy, making it impossible to see the targets on the shooting range. Megan Imrie (CAN) and Annelies Cook (USA) were on course at the time, and talk about what happened.

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Susan Dunklee had been here before: in Ruhpolding, in the 15 k, coming into the final shooting stage with a single penalty. Two years ago at World Championships, she cleaned the stage and placed fifth. Today she collected two more penalties, and wound up 41st. But that's okay - this practice for the Olympics, which she's already qualified for, was just as valuable as if she'd hit those shots.

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Tim Burke would rather just forget about placing 61st in Friday's sprint; Annelies Cook was embarrassed to get lapped in the pursuit (to be fair, she had her work cut out for her starting last). Leif Nordgren called his results in the 40's "nothing special" and Lowell Bailey didn't even race because he had a cold. For the U.S., Susan Dunklee's finishes of 32nd and 25th were the bright spots.

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USBA picked 11 athletes to send to Europe this fall, based on trials races this summer in Jericho and last week at Soldier Hollow. Some of them will be picked for Sochi - but who? We clarify the qualification process, as well as getting some comments from High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler about the performances he saw in Utah last week.

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With nearly two dozen athletes, the MWSC in northeastern Maine is shaping up to be a national powerhouse in both cross-country and biathlon. "From my perspective as director, this group is more of a team than we've ever had," says director Will Sweetser. "There is no doubt that our program will have one of the best men's distance teams in U.S. XC."

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Former college skiers Susan Dunklee, Annelies Cook, and Hannah Dreissigacker decided not to go straight to vacation when their World Cup biathlon season ended. Instead, they're racing SuperTour finals - for most, the first classic races and first sprints of the season. After a collection of top-ten results, it looks like a good decision, but they're also keeping things fun with an intra-team "Biathlon Cup" competition.

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As Gabriela Soukalova took her lead from the sprint and turned it into another victory in the 10 k pursuit, U.S. biathletes Annelies Cook and Susan Dunklee ended their World Cup seasons on a bitter note: after too many penalties, neither was able to qualify for the mass start. Dunklee added insult to injury by cross-firing on the wrong targets and receiving a time penalty. Still, though, she said it was a fun week.

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"It's beautiful and it's very strange," U.S. biathlete Annelies Cook said of the new Olympic venue in Sochi, which sits just next to the cross country trails on the slopes of a steep mountain chain. From racing to the athlete village, from unusual rules about rifles to pleasant surprises with washing machines, biathletes are learning what life will be like at next year's Games.