HomeTag Laura Spector

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When Jonne Kähkönen was hired to be the women’s national team coach by the US Biathlon Association (USBA) in 2010, there wasn’t much of a playbook to follow. The Finn couldn’t mimic the footsteps of his predecessor, because there wasn’t one. For the first time, the women’s team was going to have a coach of their own. “The men’s program was on a really high level going into Vancouver [2010 Olympics],” USBA Chief of Sport...

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STRAFFORD, Vt. – As Jeremiah Linehan turned his huge Ford truck up the driveway of the Strafford Nordic Center, I looked around, but there was no sign for skiing – just one pointing the way to Rockbottom Farm. Linehan reported that he’d taken the ski center’s sign down for the summer, “just so we don’t have to deal with it.” As his two sons and a 9 year old from down the road chatted in...

HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – When Laura Spector left the East and drove to Bozeman, Montana, this spring, she knew she was headed for school, but she wasn’t sure what was going to happen after that. The 2010 Olympian and national team biathlete had finished up her first full year of training and racing since graduating from Dartmouth College, and it wasn’t what she had been hoping for. After starting the early-season World Cups she struggled,...

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U.S. Biathlon Nationals might not actually feature all the best biathletes in the country, but so far it has proved one thing: the team selected to compete in Europe is really, really fast. Saturday didn’t seem auspicious for anyone, with rain blanketing the West Yellowstone course and every biathlete winding up soggy. But for the second time in as many races, the two World Championship team members who decided to compete at U.S. Nationals took...

After a successful but unspectacular start to the Under-26 Open European Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia, the American team kicked things up a notch in their second outing. In Sunday’s pursuit, not a single one of the six U.S. starters lost a place from their sprint ranking, and one – Leif Nordgren – rocketed up 24 places over 12.5 kilometers and four shooting stages. “It was nice to finally have a good race,” said Nordgren, the...

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The U.S. biathlon team could be forgiven for having high expectations going into this year’s Under-26/Open European Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. Last year, Leif Nordgren entered just one race at the event, and didn’t even finish. But a few weeks later, he notched three top-thirty finishes at senior World Championships. In that same U26 series in Ridnaun, Italy, Russell Currier repeatedly finished in the 20s and 30s. But just two weeks ago, he bettered those...

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Today in Ostersund, Sweden, two women returned to the spots they’re used to occupying on the World Cup biathlon results sheet. For Germany’s Magdalena Neuner, that spot was at the top. The 24-year-old won her 25th World Cup after placing third in a wind-dominated individual race earlier this week. For any other champion, an occasional bad day is standard. But Neuner is so good that seeing her finish over a minute and a half behind...

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Perhaps never before have the world’s best biathletes’ dreams of perfection been dashed so quickly at the beginning of a season. Over the last two days in Ostersund, Sweden, each one of the world’s top shooters has missed at least one shot. Usually, there’s just a few races like this in a season. This year, both the men’s and women’s World Cup openers have featured incredibly gusty, unpredictable winds. Even without shooting clean, a few...

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On a brilliant sunny day in Lake Placid, New York, Liz Stephen (USST) extended her Climb to the Castle podium streak to five in a row, earning her first victory in the challenging five-mile hill climb since the inaugural event in 2007. Stephen and US Ski Team (USST) teammate Ida Sargent overcame an early deficit to Tara Geraghty-Moats (CNSC), turning the 45 minute test into a two-woman race by the end of the first mile....

If you are thinking that it is a little early for the Climb to the Castle rollerski race you would be right. The annual five-mile grind to the top of Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York, hosted by the New York Ski Education Foundation (NYSEF) has historically been held in October. The race is timed to coincide with the US Ski Team’s (USST) fall training camp and that two week block was shifted to...

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The United States Biathlon Association (USBA) held their biggest summer event in Jericho, Vermont this weekend: the North American Rollerski Biathlon Championships, which crowned men’s and women’s champions in four different age categories as well as the masters men’s division. “Things went wonderfully,” said John Madigan, president of the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club, which hosted the races. “It is such a close and fabulous community in biathlon and it is always special when we can...

(Note: This is the second in a series of interviews with U.S. Biathlon Association coaches and staff. The first was with USBA Head Coach Per Nilsson.) Last summer, the U.S. Biathlon Association made a big change by hiring Jonne Kahkonen as a dedicated head coach for the women’s team. Up until that point, the women hadn’t had their own program. “There were enough of us to really warrant having a women’s coach, and having a...

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FasterSkier Biathlete of the Year Biathlete of the Year (men): Lowell Bailey (USA/USBA) Bailey was one of several bright spots in a somewhat rocky year for the US men’s biathlon team. Coming off a run of several seasons where expectations continued to rise for the program, what with Tim Burke leading the overall World Cup for a time in 2010, Jeremy Teela reaching the World Cup podium in 2009, and a number of strong relay...

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Sara Studebaker could not have picked a better day for it all to come together. Thanks to clean shooting and a strong day on her skis, the 26-year-old American raced to a career-best 14th place in front of a home crowd in northern Maine, for what U.S. Biathlon staff called the top women’s World Cup result for an American in at least five years, if not a decade. In the 7.5 k sprint in Presque...

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On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., the United States will hold its first World Cup race since 2004. The IBU World Cup circuit will be making stops in Presque Isle, Maine, this weekend, and then in nearby Fort Kent next weekend. While it might take almost as long to get to “The County” from the U.S. as from anywhere else, the races should be spectacular. If you can’t make it to Maine, the event will...

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While the once-dominant Norwegian men are in a slump right now, their teammate Tora Berger is just getting started. With an exhilarating mass start win in Antholz, Italy on Sunday – which came down to the final hundred meters but at the same time was a foregone conclusion at least a kilometer earlier – Berger collected her fourth victory in as many individual races, after winning Friday’s sprint by almost 30 seconds as well as...