Bailey, Burke help U.S. place 8th in biathlon relay

Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid and Tim Burke of Paul Smiths joined with Jeremy Teela and Leif Nordgren on Friday to take eighth place for the United States in the World Cup biathlon relay race in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France.

The U.S. relay team finished with a time of 1:15:59. Russia won the race in 1:14:01, beating out Germany (1:14:02) and Austria (1:14:28).

Bailey raced the opening leg, cleaning prone and using two extra shots in standing before tagging off to Burke with the team in second place.

“It was a little rough entering the range,” Bailey said. “I fell and lost a bit of time on the last uphill before the range entrance. We had great skis today and I was able to get back up into the lead group by standing.

“With a couple of extra rounds, I was still a bit off the lead when I left standing, but I felt good on the last loop and was able to make up some time before I tagged Tim.”

Burke took two extra shots in both the prone and standing stages, falling back to sixth before Teela took over.

Teela missed twice in prone and was perfect in standing as Nordgren took over with the U.S. in eighth. Teela made a run at the seventh-place position but was narrowly edged by the Swiss team in a sprint to the finish.

“Today was a solid relay for us with an eighth place,” Burke said. “We were happy to improve on our 10th place from last week but we are definitely capable of more.

“I would say that we all had decent races but no one really had a great race and that is what we need for a better place. Overall, though, I would say that everyone is getting stronger with each race series and that is a good sign.”

The third World Cup of the season continues today with sprint events for men and women.