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Cook, Burke team up for 14th

December 20, 2011
By the Enterprise staff ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Annalies Cook and Tim Burke teamed up with Sara Studebacker and Leif Nordgren on Sunday to capture a 14th-place finish in the IBU World Cup mixed biathlon relay in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Cook of Saranac Lake and Burke of Paul Smiths helped the U.S. team to an overall time of 1:16:11.5, which was 2:38.1 behind the winning team from Russia.

Studebaker cleaned her shooting stage with no extra rounds, while Cook needed just two extra rounds and left the range in second place after her standing. Burke and Nordgren each needed four extra rounds from the anchor positions.

The U.S. men ended the first World Cup trimester ranked eighth in the Nations Cup, while the women rank 13th. Both rankings are significant improvements over last season.

"Overall, I'm excited about the way the season has started and looking forward to the next trimester of racing after Christmas," said Lake Placid resident Lowell Bailey, who is ranked ninth in the overall World Cup standings.

Alaskan Jay Hakkinen, who was the top American in Saturday's 12.5-kilometer pursuit with a ninth-place finish, is ranked 30th overall, while Burke is 37th and Nordgren is 68th.

Bailey posted a 25th-place finish in Saturday's pursuit, which was won by Andreas Birnbacher of Germany.

"It was a very exciting race by Jay (Hakkinen), a world class performance in his shooting and skiing," said U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler. "Leif did a really good job and Lowell was solid. It was a great day for the team, and it shows our potential as we have four strong men right now in the World Cup circuit."

Cook raced in the women's 10k pursuit on Saturday, but was lapped. Olga Zaitseva of Russia was the 10k pursuit winner with a time of 31:52.2 with no misses on the range.

"Already in the first three weeks of the season, we have seen Bailey, Burke and Hakkinen all finish in the top 10. I don't ever remember a start like that," said U.S. Biathlon CEO Max Cobb. "Susan Dunklee and Sara Studebaker are making steady progress on the women's side and have top 15 potential as we head into January. As a team we are really off to a good start this season."



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