Nordic team begins biathlon competition at Alberta World Cup
CANMORE, Alberta – Team USA successfully switched gears from cross-country to biathlon as they brought home six top-ten finishes during the second portion of the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup in Canmore, Alberta.
In the sprint biathlon race, competitors have two shooting stages and a 150-meter penalty loop which must be skied after each miss.
In her first biathlon race of the year, Oksana Masters continued her outstanding campaign at the World Cup with a seventh-place finish in the women’s sit-ski 6-kilometer biathlon sprint in a time of 26:48.5. In cross-country competition, Masters’ performance was highlighted by a bronze medal in the women’s 5k. Teammate Beth Requist was not far behind as she finished eighth in 29:08.0. Masters made six of ten shots, with Requist making eight of ten shots.
Jake Adicoff and his guide Reid Pletcher faced a strong Russian contingent who swept the top six spots in the men’s visually impaired 7.5k. Adicoff had an outstanding showing in his first biathlon race, as he hit six of ten targets and crossed the line in eighth place in 22:52.1. Kevin Burton and guide Greg Rawlins finished two places back in tenth in 24:13.7.
In the men’s 7.5k sit-ski, the top-three U.S. men all had perfect days in the range and did not miss a shot. Dan Cnossen and Andy Soule were racing within one second of each other through the halfway point of the race. Cnossen was able to pull ahead to snag a top-ten finish as he crossed the line in ninth place in 23:05.7. Soule was the next finisher for Team USA in 11th place in 23.48.
Travis Dodson was the next U.S. finisher in 13th place, with Jeremy Wagner, Sean Halstead, Aaron Pike, Augusto Perez and David Poole placing 15th through 19th.
In the men’s standing race, Oman Beremejo and John Omar finished within 12 seconds of one another, with Bermejo taking 12thand Oman in 13th. Both men were evenly matched on the range as they made eight of ten shots.
In the women’s visually impaired 6k, S Cheshire and her guide Jesse Crandall made five of ten shots to take fifth place in 31:41.3.
Competition runs through Tuesday, Dec. 17. Full results from the IPC Nordic World Cup can be found at AlbertaWorldCup.com.
The U.S. Team that will compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be named no later than Jan. 31, 2014, and will be determined on a points system that includes world cup results throughout the season.
Team USA will send 17 athletes in total to compete in Nordic skiing events in Sochi, a significant increase from the six-member team that competed at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
For more information, please contact Katie Branham, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-9407 or Katie.Branham@usoc.org.