Burke Goes Two-for-Two; Studebaker Hot on Shooting Range
Jericho, VT, August 6. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) scored his second victory of the week in the 12.5K Pursuit competition here today, while Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) went 18 for 20 on the shooting range, jumping from third in the Sprint yesterday to the top spot in the 10K Pursuit.
Burke won today in 36:58, 1:22 ahead of Newt Rodgers (Fort Kent, ME). The victory showed Burke's experience and strength on the tracks as he had eight penalties to Roger's six. Rogers, a former National Junior Team athlete is currently part of the US Biathlon collegiate program coached by Algis Shalna. Jesse Downs (Jericho, VT) slipped to third place today, 1:30 back with seven penalties.
The top shot of the day (and for both competitions combined) was Studebaker. She missed only one shot in the first prone stage and another in the first standing stage, giving her a 90% shooting day. In yesterday's 7.5K Sprint, she had a single prone penalty. Today, she started 36 seconds behind the Sprint winner Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO) and picked up the win with her masterful effort on the shooting range. When the dust settled, Studebaker finished in 36:18, putting her 1:14 ahead of runner-up BethAnn Chamberlain (Fort Kent, ME) and 2:06 ahead of Barnes. Chamberlain had six penalties, while Barnes had eight.
Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) competing in the youth women's 10K Pursuit had the second fastest overall time today, 37:32, just 1:14 behind Studebaker. McNamee had one penalty in each of the four stages, giving her a 16-for-20 day. She finished 1:56 ahead of Addie Byrne (Bovey, MN), with five penalties. Grace Boutot (Fort Kent, ME) finished third, 3:37 back, with eight penalties.
Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN) and Ethan Dreissigacker (Morrisville, VT) matched Burke by winning their respective junior and youth categories for the second day in a row. Nordgren's 38:24 was the third fastest time of the day. He had seven penalties, while runner-up Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, MN), 22 seconds back had six. Third went to Michael Gibson (Ethan Allen Biathlon Club, VT), with 10 penalties, 2:32 back.
Following Dreissigacker was Alaskan Kelsey Boyer, with eight penalties, 2:20 back. Preston Butler (Marion, MA) with 10 penalties took third place, 2:44 back.
Despite a very wet summer and spring in Vermont, conditions for these Summer Festival competitions, as well as the concurrent training camp, have been excellent. The shooting range and trails at the Ethan Allen Firing Range are in perfect condition thanks to the ongoing maintenance and preparation by members of the National Guard Sports Program and the Vermont National Guard. US Biathlon B Team Coach Gary Colliander commented, "All of the athletes and coaches truly appreciate the efforts of partners like National Guard who provide us with great facilities and personnel. It would be extremely difficult for us to conduct events like this without their dedicated support."
He continued, "I think everyone is pretty satisfied with their training after these first two competitions of the year. There still is a lot of work and training to do before winter, but we have seen a lot of good progress from everyone so far."
The National Junior Team has another week of training before the end of this camp.
Burke and his Fellow National A Team athletes (Lowell Bailey, Jeremy Teela, Russell Currier, Laura Spector, and Haley Johnson) head to Sweden in the middle of the month for a three-week camp.
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