Cook to sit out women’s 15k race

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Saranac Lake’s Annelies Cook says she will not compete in Friday’s women’s 15-kilometer individual biathlon competition.

“I am sad about it, but not really healthy enough to be able to ski fast and I want to be able to feel good and race well next week” Cook posted on her Facebook page today. “Damn Sochi cold. I’ll be out there to cheer my teammates on and they will kick butt for me!”

Cook has been battling respiratory issues since she arrived in Sochi. She’s developed a hacking cough.

In the first-time Olympian’s two races, she placed 54th in Saturday’s sprint and 54th in Monday’s pursuit.

With Cook not in the individual race, the U.S. will be represented by Susan Dunklee, who’s scheduled to start fifth, Sara Studebaker in 41st, Hannah Dreissigacker in 60th and Lanny Barnes in 81st.

The next events for the women’s team are Monday’s 12.5-kilometer mass start, Wednesday’s mixed relay, and the Feb. 21 women’s relay.