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Archive for the ‘Race Reports’ Category

GRP Ski/Biathlon Results 2014-15

9.Feb.2015 by Gordon Vermeer

Hey folks, iiiiiit’s back! Want to keep track of how the GRP Ski & Biathlon Team is doing this season? Check back on this blog. I’ll be updating this same post frequently throughout the season, and re-posting it to the top of the blog roll every once in a while. With comments or questions or complaints, shoot me an email at Most recent week on top. –Gordo




Craftsbury, VT (SuperTour Weekend #2, EC, EISA)

Friday FR Sprint Ladies, Men: Kait 6th, Caitlin 8th, Emily D 29th; Alex H 9th, Gordon 17th, Alex S 21st, Mike 25th, Pete 28th, Jake 40th, Ethan 47th

Saturday FR Individual 10k Ladies, Men: Caitlin 7th, Kait 11th, Alex H 6th, Gordon 14th, Pete 24th, Andrew 30th, Jake 37th, Alex S 76th

Sunday CL Mass Start 10k Ladies, 15k Men: Kait 4th, Caitlin 5th, Emily D 14th; Gordon 2nd, Andrew 9th, Alex H 13th, Pete 15th, Alex S 21st, Jake 22nd


Jericho, VT (Biathlon NorAm)

Saturday 10k Sprint: Ethan 1st, Mike 2nd

Sunday 12.5k Pursuit: Ethan 2nd, Mike 3rd


Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (IBU World Cup)

Friday Mixed Relay: USA 7th (including Susan and Hannah)

Saturday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 9th (0+1), Hannah 39th (0+2), Clare 73rd (0+4)

Sunday 10k Pursuit: Susan 18th (2+0+1+2), Hannah 41st (1+2+3+2)





Craftsbury, VT (SuperTour Weekend #1)

Friday CL Mass Start 20k Ladies, 30k Men: Caitlin 1st, Kait 5th, Liz 8th Emily D 10th; Andrew 9th, Gordon 10th, Pete 14th, Alex H 16th, Alex S 17th, Jake 18th

Sunday CL Sprint Ladies, Men: Liz 2nd, Emily D 6th, Kait 8th; Alex S 9th, Gordon 10th, Alex H 13th, Ethan 15th, Andrew 17th, Pete 21st, Jake 22nd, Mike 27th





Rybinsk, Russia (FIS World Cup)

Saturday FR Sprint: Ida 13th

Sunday 15k Skiathlon: Ida 35th


Antholz-Anterselva, Italy (IBU World Cup)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 8th (0+1), Hannah 60th (1+2)

Saturday 10k Pursuit: Susan 6th (0+1+0+0), Hannah 42nd (1+1+1+1)

Sunday 4x6k Relay: USA 12th (including Clare, Susan, and Hannah)


Stowe, VT (EISA Carnival)

Saturday CL Mass Start 10k Ladies, 15k Men: Caitlin 1st; Gordon 4th, Andrew 7th





Rumford, ME (Eastern Cup)

Saturday FR 5k Ladies, 10k Men: Caitlin 1st, Liz 4th, Kait 10th; Gordon 7th, Pete 10th, Alex S 42nd

Sunday CL Sprint: Pete 2nd, Gordon 3rd, Alex S 7th; Liz 1st, Kait 2nd, Caitlin 3rd


Otepaa, Estonia (FIS World Cup)

Saturday CL Sprint: Ida 43rd

Sunday FR Team Sprint: Ida (with Rosie Brennan) 6th


Ruhpolding, Germany (IBU World Cup)

Wednesday 4x6k Relay: USA 19th (including Hannah and Susan)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 26th (0+1), Hannah 77th (2+1)

Sunday 12.5k Mass Start: Susan 16th (0+1+0+2)


Ridnaun-Val Ridanna, Italy (IBU Cup)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Clare 32nd (0+0)

Saturday 10k Pursuit: Clare 45th (2+1+3+2)

Sunday Mixed Relay: USA 22nd (including Clare)


Hochfilzen, Austria (Biathlon)

Friday Sprint: Mike 7th, Ethan 11th

Saturday Individual: Ethan 6th, Mike 9th





Houghton, MI (US Nationals — cont’d)

Tuesday CL Sprint: Gordon 16th, Alex H 20th, Pete 50th, Alex S 57th, Andrew 108th

Thursday CL Mass Start 30k Men, 20k Ladies: Andrew 17th, Gordon 20th, Alex H 30th, Pete 32nd, Alex S 55th, Jake 66th; Caitlin 2nd, Liz 6th, Kait 13th

Saturday FR Sprint: Caitlin 8th, Liz 10th, Kait 25th; Alex H 17th, Gordon 23rd, Alex S 27th, Jake 38th, Pete 42nd, Andrew 60th


Val Mustair, Switzerland & Toblach, Italy (FIS World Cup Tour de Ski — cont’d)

Tuesday FR Sprint: Ida 56th

Wednesday CL 5k: Ida 46th


Oberhof, Germany (IBU World Cup 4)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 21st (2+1), Hannah 37th (0+2)

Sunday 12.5k Mass Start: Susan 27th (3+1+1+3)


Duszniki Zdroj, Poland (IBU Cup 4)

Saturday 7.5k Sprint: Clare 77th (2+3)






Houghton, MI (US Nationals)

Sunday FR Individual 15k Men, 10k Ladies: Gordon 18th, Alex H 34th, Pete 58th, Andrew 71st, Jake 85th; Caitlin 4th, Liz 18th


Oberstdorf, Germany (FIS World Cup Tour de Ski)

Saturday 3k FR Prologue: Ida 58th

Sunday 10k CL Pursuit: Ida 40th











Grand Rapids, MN (IBU Trials — cont’d)

Tuesday Mass Start 12.5k Ladies, 15k Men: Clare 4th (2+0+4+3), Liz 5th (1+1+3+4); Mike 7th (2+1+4+2), Ethan 8th (2+1+2+1)


Middlebury, VT (NENSA Eastern Cup)

Saturday Individual CL 5k Ladies, 10k Men: Kait 4th; Gordon 2nd, Andrew 5th, Alex H 6th, Pete 7th, Alex S 10th, Jake 11th

Sunday Mass Start FR 10k Ladies, 15k Men: Kait 4th; Gordon 2nd, Pete 5th, Jake 7th, Andrew 8th, Alex H 12th, Alex S 17th, Ethan 32nd


Davos, Switzerland (FIS World Cup)

Sunday FR Sprint: Ida 29th


Pokljuka, Slovenia (IBU World Cup 3)

Thursday 7.5k Sprint: Hannah 17th (0+0) (World Cup PB), Susan 19th (1+1)

Saturday 10k Pursuit: Susan 28th (0+1+1+3), Hannah 56th (2+2+0+2)

Sunday 12.5k Mass Start: Susan 22nd (2+1+1+0)





Hochfilzen, Austria (IBU World Cup 2)

Friday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 29th (1+1), Hannah 78th (1+2)

Saturday Relay: (no American team)

Sunday 10k Pursuit: Susan 27th (0+0+2+2)


Davos, Switzerland (FIS World Cup)

Saturday CL 10k: Ida 47th

Sunday FR Sprint: Ida 16th


Grand Rapids, MN (IBU Trials)

Saturday Sprint 10k Men, 7.5k Ladies: Ethan 4th (1+1), Mike 7th (3+1); Clare 4th (1+3), Liz 6th (2+5)

Sunday Sprint 10k Men, 7.5k Ladies: Mike 6th (3+2), Ethan 11th (2+5); Clare 2nd (2+1), Liz 5th (2+4)





Canmore, Alberta (Biathlon NorAm)

Saturday Sprint Ladies, Men: Clare 2nd (0+3); Mike 6th (2+1), Ethan 11th (0+2)

Sunday Mass Start Ladies, Men: Mike 7th (2+1+2+2), Ethan 8th (2+1+1+2); Clare 1st (0+0+2+2)


Bozeman, Montana (SuperTour)

Saturday CL Sprint Ladies, Men: Caitlin 3rd, Liz 7th, Kait 8th; Gordon 15th, Pete 20th, Alex H 23rd, Alex Schulz 31st, Andrew 38th, Jake 43rd

Sunday CL Mass 10k Ladies, 15k Men: Caitlin 4th, Liz 7th, Kait 9th; Alex H 22nd, Andrew 25th, Gordon 26th, Jake 29th, Alex S 40th, Pete 42nd


Lillehammer, Norway (FIS World Cup)

Friday FR Sprint: Ida 52nd

Saturday FR 5k Individual: Ida 79th

Sunday CL 10k Pursuit: Ida DNS


Oestersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup 1)

Thursday 15k Individual: Susan 21st (0+2+0+1), Hannah 86th (3+0+1+3)

Saturday 7.5k Sprint: Susan 41st (1+2), Hannah 81st (2+1)

Sunday 10k Pursuit: Susan 19th (0+2+1+0), Hannah did not qualify





Kuusamo, Finland (FIS World Cup)

Saturday CL Sprint: Ida 5th

Sunday CL 10k: Ida 51st


Oestersund, Sweden (IBU World Cup 1)

Sunday Mixed Relay: USA (including Susan) 7th


West Yellowstone, Montana (SuperTour)

Friday FR Sprint Men (Qualifier), Ladies: Alex S 14th, Alex H 22nd, Gordon 28th, Pete 34th, Andrew 45th, Jake 48th; Caitlin 8th, Liz 29th, Kait 30th

Friday Individual Ladies 10k, Men 15k: Caitlin 4th, Liz 14th, Kait 38th; Jake 33rd, Pete 35th, Alex H 39th, Gordon 41st, Andrew 45th, Alex S 58th

Telemark Turns and Half of a Pinecone

21.Jan.2015 by Susan Dunklee

“Don’t forget to also have fun, Susan.”

These were my father’s parting words of advice when I left Vermont after the holiday break and headed to Oberhof, Germany to continue the biathlon season. Over the years, I’ve noticed that my dad intuitively understands what motivates me to compete. His comment, and the fact that he felt the need to make it, caught me off guard. What was he seeing that I wasn’t? Of course I’m having fun, aren’t I?

But at practice a couple days later, I found myself wondering. It was “Oberhofing” out, a combination of freezing rain, fog and biting wind. After just a few minutes of skiing, I was shivering, encased in a shell of ice. As I lay down on the sopping wet shooting mat and struggled to load a magazine with numb fingers, the question began to creep in: why am I doing this?

Lots of rainy weather: I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my rifle so many times before in a two week period.

Lowell racing in rainy Ruhpolding. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

The rest of that week I continued to struggle. On race days, I went through the motions and did my normal routines, but it felt like a difficult chore. It wasn’t simply the uninspiring weather that threw me into the funk. I felt burnt out going into Christmas after racing while sick and probably didn’t give myself enough time to recover. Plus, while my results so far this season have been solid, I wasn’t living up to my own high expectations. Despite putting forth my best effort everyday, I didn’t come away feeling satisfied. Clearly something was missing. Biathlon turned stale because I was forgetting one of the key ingredients: fun!

And so the next World Cup week became a quest to find the fun again. Along the way, I looked for inspiration from my teammates, our staff, my competitors, and the thousands of Ruhpolding fans.

For the first day of training at Ruhpolding, I came up with two unusual goals and shared them with my coach. I felt a need to be a little goofy and creative, and to spice up my normal routines.
Goal One: Incorporate some telemark turns into the training.
Goal Two: Find an object somewhere at the venue and bring it back to decorate my hotel room; something that might make me smile when I see it.
Mission accomplished: I curved some big sweeping tele turns down the Fischer-S hill and rescued a chewed-up half of a pinecone from the middle of the ski track. It wasn’t the prettiest looking pinecone (or šiška as Gara our Czech wax tech called it), but interesting nonetheless, and a reminder that perfection is grossly overrated.

The best part about racing at Ruhpolding and Oberhof is the ambiance. Few other stadiums attract such huge crowds of passionate, drinking, singing, flag-waving fans. It’s a scene. They arrive hours early so they can find a good spot to watch and they’ll brave any sort of weather. Their enthusiasm is contagious and racing along the fan-lined fences is like skiing through a tunnel of pure sound. It’s easy to find zen-like mental focus when you can’t even hear yourself think.

Ruhpolding’s stadium has capacity for over 13,000 people.

Thousands more line the course. Photo: Hannah Dreissigacker

One evening, I was hanging out with the women’s team and we were chatting about various things we were each struggling with. Annelies came up with an idea to do some art therapy together. We started with a blank piece of paper and took turns drawing for 30 second bouts until we filled it up. Here’s what we came up with:

Perhaps my favorite moment from the week came during the men’s relay. Heading into the first exchange, Team USA was leading thanks to an incredible performance by Lowell. The TV cameras zoomed into the the second leg athletes waiting for the tag off. Our youngest guy on the the team, 19 year-old Sean, stood there grinning from ear to ear.

He was about to be tagged off to in the lead with the fastest guys in the world chasing after him. These guys were much older, stronger, and certainly more experienced than him but he was welcoming the challenge. In Sean’s smile, I recognized an attitude more important than results can ever be. It was the same spirit that brought me so far in biathlon in the first place, but one I had misplaced recently. It was a perfect reminder of what I really should be striving after.

Competing in the mass start at the end of the week and feeling back on the right track (photo: Hannah Dreissigacker)

Canmore Races

9.Dec.2014 by Mike Gibson

15973553805_ab830d501e_oAfter a long training season and a few cold induced cancellations, our racing season began! But first, let me back up a little.

The first weekend was full of canceled races due to the bitter cold, and it left a few of us a little bitter ourselves.  Never the less, Monday rolled around, and with temperatures warmer (but just barely) Eth and I tried to put in a good speed session.  With cold, slow, squeaky snow – it turned into a brutal workout.   As we were driving away, we caught a glimpse of someone throwing explosives from a helicopter to set off avalanches.  So that was pretty sweet. Wednesday, we all (CGRP, MWSC, USBA X/B/D team) piled into cars and drove into Banff National Park to ski at Moraine Lake. Our car thermometer said it was -24 C when we started.  I was under dressed.


It’s not much more than a groomed access road, but makes for some fantastic classic skiing.  Yes, biathletes still like to classic ski.IMG_0797 At the end of the grooming, there was a sign warning us about avalanche danger ahead.  We decided it wasn’t worth testing out.


This is Lake Louise.  It’s just up the road from the trail, has a gorgeous hotel where we changed, and -most importantly- sells coffee and hot chocolate.   Somewhere inside, sitting on a radiator, drinking a cup of coffee, I started to thaw.

Which brings us to the weekend.

First Sprint 2014

Temperatures warmed up to just around freezing, and the races went off without a hitch.  Saturday, Eth and I did a 10k sprint.  Neither of us felt great, but I had a fun time pushing against Casey (pictured above).  He is skiing well, and I struggled to keep in contact with him.


Sunday was warm and sunny.  This is a picture of people zeroing their rifles before the race.  Ok, it’s mostly a picture of cool mountains.

The picture up at the beginning, and the race pictures were taken by Jacob Ellingson. Check out some more photos here. If you want.

Sunday was a 15k Mass Start, which was interesting because there is a new format for starting this year.  As the photo at the top depicts, there are three lanes of skiers, and we can start skiing immediately. Gone are the days of the double pole start.


Here is Ethan leaving the range.

And here I am, leaving the range and catching up to MWSC athlete Brian.

Eth and I both wish we were higher up the results, but also agree that this was a really fun race.  The whole field was pretty close, and he and I skied together and fought it out on the last two laps.


Both of us owe a huge thanks to these guys.  Seth (Maine Winter Sports Center) kind of adopted us for the two weeks.  He helped us get two and from the venue, zero rifles, and in general was our foster coach. I tried, but couldn’t keep Travis (National Guard Biathlon) from helping us with our skis. Thanks guys.

We just got to Grand Rapids, MN, met up with Liz and Miro, settled in, and did some much needed laundry.  Next up, IBU Cup trials!



A Look Back at Östersund

8.Dec.2014 by Susan Dunklee

Before shifting gears to the next World Cup venue in Hochfilzen, Austria, I wanted to share some pictures from the past week in Östersund, Sweden.

Daylight in Scandinavia is fleeting during December months. The sun never gets very high. However, sunrise and sunset can last for hours and we saw some spectacular colors.


You’ll notice that winter is late in coming to Sweden; we raced on snow that had been stockpiled from last winter and protected under a big layer of sawdust. A couple days before the athletes arrived, the organizers rolled it out into a 4 km loop. Unfortunately, this has become a common phenomenon in recent years as winter weather around the world has become unrealiable.


Since many of our races were at night (or late afternoon), the stadium was well lit. The lights brightened the whole sky and could be seen from many kilometers away.

A distinguishing feature next to the race course is the Arctura tower. It stores hot water for the entire town.


Before the races, the IBU (International Biathlon Union) asked all the teams do so some photo shoots for media purposes. Here Tim is getting instructed on exactly how to stand.

We had several races in Östersund: a mixed relay, an individual, a sprint and a pursuit. These next five candid race day photos are courtesy of our team doctor Marci Goolsby:


Waiting for my start.


Lapping in front of the stadium on my way to the shooting range.

Throwing my rifle back on my back after completing a stage of standing shooting.

Exiting the finishing chute post race.

After each race, athletes are required to go through a “mixed zone” for the media. I rarely get asked for interviews in the mixed zone, but a Russian TV crew honored me with a request on Sunday.

Back at our team wax cabin post race, I made an unpleasant discovery. Snow conditions suffered from warm weather at the end of the week exposing several rocks on the course. I remember feeling some stones underfoot a couple times in the last race that brought me to almost a complete stop. One of my best race skis sustained some serious damage:

Those two long white lines used to be part of my ski. I’m hoping it can be repaired. Wax tech Tias (above) tells me that even if the gash is patched well (which we will certainly try), water may be able to leak through the side and weaken the core, so it might be a lost cause.

Everyone is hoping for some better snow in the coming weeks.