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Locals finish 1st race in Germany

SL’s Garso, LP’s Hochschnarter representing US in IBU Cup

Two area women got their first taste of biathlon competition in Europe on Thursday, as Lake Clear’s Jackie Garso and Lucy Hochschnarter of Lake Placid raced in the opening IBU Cup event in Arber, Germany.

The pair, who skied together and were members of the St. Lawrence University Nordic squad, joined nine other Americans who are currently in Europe representing the United States biathlon team on a circuit that is one notch below the senior World Cup level.

Thursday was the first of three competitions scheduled to take place in the IBU Cup 1 event in Arber. The women skied in a 7.5-kilometer sprint competition and had a field of 129 finishers from across the world. Garso placed 84th and Hochschnarter was 117th. Competitors made two trips to the shooting range during the race.

Garso went 7-for-10 at the range while finishing the course in 25 minutes, 33 seconds, which was 3:02.3 behind the winning time. Hochschnarter struggled at the range, knocking down just two of 10 targets while finihsing in 28:35.9.

Chloe Levins of Rutland, Vermont was the top finisher among the six Americans in the field. She missed just one shot and skied in 43rd place, which was 1:47.4 behind the winner. Also for the U.S., Hallie Grossman of Craftsbury, Vermont was 55th, Maddie Phaneuf of Old Forge placed 71st, and Emma Stertz of Grand Rapids, Minnesota finished 116th.

Russians swept the top three positions, with Tatiana Akimove winning the race in 22:30.7.

The men competed in a 10k sprint and had a field of 146 finishers. Max Durtschi was the top U.S. finisher, placing 32nd in 26:51.6. Durtschi, of Ketchum, Idaho, had a perfect day at the range, hitting all 10 targets.

Also for the Americans, Vaclac Cervenka was 64th, Raleigh Goessling was 72nd, Lars Hammernes Loepold was 93rd and Vincent Bonacci placed 107th.

Norway swept the top three spots on the men’s podium, with Alexander Fjeld Andersen winning with a time of 24:58.1 during an effort that featured a perfect performance on the range.

The Arber IBU Cup continues Saturday with a women’s 7.5k sprint and a men’s 10k sprint.

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