Cook breaks pole early, recovers for strong finish

Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake skied the first leg for the United States women’s biathlon team that finished 13th in Wednesday’s 4×6 kilometer relay World Cup race in Ruhpolding, Germany.

Cook was joined by Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vt., Sara Studebaker of Boise, Idaho and Lanny Barnes of Durango, Colo. The team posted a time of 1:12:42.4, which was 4 minutes, 29 seconds behind first-place Norway.

Russia was second in 1:09:07.9 and Czech Republic was third in 1:10:05.

“I was really happy with the women’s shooting,” said US Biathlon women’s coach Jonne Kahkonen. “Annelies on the first leg had a strong performance, staying relaxed even with a broken pole after the first couple of hundred meters.

“This was a good confirmation that the women are on track towards the World Championships, and I’m looking forward to a good team performance on the sprint on Friday.”

World Cup racing continues today with the men’s 4×7.5k. Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid will race the first leg for team USA, followed by Leif Nordgren, Russell Currier and Jay Hakkinen.