U.S. women’s biathlon team rounds out Olympic roster
U.S. Biathlon named the final three women for the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team on Thursday, following their performances at recent IBU World Cup races.
Joanne Reid, Emily Dreissigacker and Maddie Phaneuf, of Old Forge, all first-time Olympians, will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan on the U.S. team for next month’s Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Reid, a 25-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, is the daughter of 1980 Olympic speedskating bronze medalist Beth (Heiden) Reid, and the niece of Eric Heiden, a five-time Olympic gold medalist in speedskating. She was an NCAA champion cross-country skier at the University of Colorado-Boulder before taking up biathlon in 2015.
Reid had a top individual finish of 29th place in the 15-kilometer event at the IBU World Cup in Oestersund, Sweden, in 2016. Last weekend, she was the top U.S. finisher in the 7.5K sprint at the IBU Cup in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, placing 20th. She has an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and a graduate degree in engineering from the University of Colorado.
Dreissigacker, a 29-year-old from Morrisville, Vermont, also has some Olympic genes in her family. Her mother, Judy Geer, competed in two Olympic Games in the sport of rowing (1976 and 1984), and her father, Dick Dreissigacker, is a five-time U.S. champion who rowed in the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. In addition, older sister Hannah, 31, competed at the Sochi Games in 2014, placing 23rd in the 15K individual race.
Skiing at the junior nationals level as a youngster, Emily followed in her parents’ footsteps, going on to become a two-time All-American in rowing for Dartmouth College and twice competing at the U23 Rowing World Championships. She began her biathlon career in 2015 and has raced on the top-level IBU World Cup circuit this season. At Thursday’s IBU Cup 15K event in Arber, Germany, Emily shot clean and placed fifth, which was tops for the U.S. team.
Phaneuf, 22, also received some valuable experience on the World Cup circuit last season, not only competing at the 2017 IBU World Championships, but also at the World Cup held at the Olympic venue in Pyeongchang where she raced in both the sprint and the women’s relay. Phaneuf had three top-10 finishes at the 2016 Junior World Championships, placing fifth in the individual, seventh in the sprint and ninth in the pursuit. She placed 11th in the 77-woman field at Thursday’s 15K individual race at the IBU Cup in Arber, Germany, cleaning all 20 targets. Phaneuf began her biathlon training in 2010 at the age of 15.
Dunklee, a graduate of Dartmouth College where she helped her team win an NCAA skiing championship, was the first female qualifier for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team after winning a silver medal in the mass start at last year’s world championships. She is from Barton, Vermont.
Egan, a Wellesley College alum who skied in NCAA competition at the University of New Hampshire while getting her master’s degree, earned her spot on the team last month following her performances at the IBU World Cups in November and December.
The final men’s selections for the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team will be announced Saturday with two athletes joining the qualified trio of Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, New Hampshire).
All selections to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.