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Cook starts strong for US team

December 17, 2011
By the Enterprise staff ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Annalies Cook of Saranac Lake turned in an impressive World Cup biathlon season debut Friday with the highest finish among all American racers at the IBU event in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Cook, who joined the team this week in Austria, placed 60th in the 7.5-kilometer sprint to qualify for today's pursuit. She posted a time of 23:28.3 with one miss at the first range and two at the second.

Olga Zaitseva of Russia won the race in 20:36.6 (0+1), followed by Darya Domracheva of Belarus who finished with a time of 20:50.5 (1+1) and Helena Ekholm of Sweden in 21:06.8 (1+0).

Article Photos

Annalies Cook of Saranac Lake races to a 60th-place finish Friday in the 7.5-kilometer sprint at the IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria.
(Photo — US Biathlon/NordicFocus)

Susan Dunklee of Vermont was the next-best U.S. finisher with her 71st placing in 24:01.7 (4+3). Sara Studebaker of Idaho placed 72nd with a time of 24:05.0 (2+3).

Team USA will field three men in today's 12.5k pursuit, led by Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid who will start in the 21st position. Alaskan Jay Hakkinen will start 45th and Leif Nordgren of Minnesota will start 49th.

"It was really tight for the whole race," Bailey said of Thursday's qualifying race. "The top 60 guys are only separated by 1 minute and 50 seconds, so the pursuit is going to be another exciting race with a lot of lead changes."

Bailey is ranked sixth in the overall World Cup standings.



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