US IBU Cup Team Trials – Sprint Results – Sat. Dec. 17

RESULTS – IBU Sprint 12.17.11 pdf

Press Release: Dec 17, 2011, Mt Itasca, Coleraine, MN

Day 1: IBU Cup Biathlon Trials‐ Sprint Format
All the athletes arriving at Mt Itasca for the IBU Cup Trials were pleasantly surprised to find 2.5km of perfectly groomed man‐made snow at Mt Itasca. With no natural snow within a 150 mile radius, it’s a pretty bleak drive on the way to Mt Itasca. “Conditions are much better at Mt Itasca than at the opening Biathlon World Cup in Ostersund (Sweden), commented U.S. National Women’s Coach, Jonne Kahkonnen. The Ostersund World Cup was held in early December on a 3 km loop of snow that had been stored over the summer, and then spread on the course. The IBU Cup Trials events will select up to 2 male and 2 female athletes to join the rest of the US National Team in Europe to race on the IBU Cup circuit in January. The IBU Cup is a “B” level World Cup and the large fields can make the races extremely competitive. A very uncharacteristically warm December day greeted the athletes on Saturday morning. Most athletes who have raced here in the past expect temperatures in the single digits, and slow, dry snow. Temps in the 20’s with, perfect corduroy, and super fast conditions were a welcome change.

Hannah Dreissigacker (Green Team) of Craftsbury, VT, started her biathlon season with a big win today, shooting 80% and finishing with a 40 second margin of victory. The big surprise of the day was 16 year old Anna Kubek of Duluth, MN who topped the shooting scores with 1 penalty, finishing in 2nd place. Anna is the top US qualifer for the Youth Olympic Games team, and has put lots of pressure on the senior women with her fast and accurate shooting. Katrina Howe (MWSC) of Gunstock, NH, shot 70% and finished third, 1:01 out.

On the men’s side, recent William’s College grad, Mark Johnson (Mt Itasca Biathlon) took the Day 1 victory with 3 penalties on the day. Mark is a Grand Rapids, MN native and has returned to train with his home club, and Jr. National Team Coach, Vladimir Cervenka. A veteran of several World Junior Teams, Mark is one of the top shooters, especially on home turf. Wynn Roberts (US National Team/National Guard) of Battle Lake, MN placed second, 17 seconds out with 4 penalties. Raleigh Goessling (MWSC) of Duluth, MN surprised the seniors athletes with his third place finish. Raleigh is still a junior competitor and has been pushing the seniors for the past two years. Wynn and Raleigh have both spent many summers and winters training at Mt Itasca over the past years, and will be calling on that home field experience to give them an edge.

Day 2 of the IBU Cup Trials will feature a 12.5km Pursuit format for men, and at 10km Pursuit format for the women.