Susan Dunklee 12th in biathlon mass start
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – A Vermont biathlete who trains in Lake Placid took 12th place today in the Winter Olympic women’s biathlon mass start race.
Susan Dunklee calls Barton, Vt. home, but she lives at Lake Placid’s Olympic Training Center for many months of the year while training. The 28-year-old has done the best of the U.S. women biathletes in these, her first Olympics, and she was the only one who qualified for the mass start.
The mass start pits the 30 best competitors against each other, as determined by their results from previous Olympic events or World Cup rankings. Saranac Lake’s Annelies Cook did not make the cut.
Dunklee finished 14th place in the sprint Feb. 9, 18th in the pursuit Feb. 11 and 34th in Friday’s longer-distance individual race. Cook finished 53rd in the sprint, 54th in the pursuit and dropped out of the individual due to illness.
Two Americans – both local – will compete in the men’s mass start Tuesday: Tim Burke of Paul Smiths and Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid. The event was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed to Monday due to fog, and then postponed another day as the fog persisted. By Monday evening, however, conditions were considered good enough for the women’s mass start to take place as scheduled.
After that there will be three more biathlon events in these Olympics: the mixed relay Wednesday, in which each country’s team is made up of two men and two women (Bailey, Burke and Dunklee, at least, are likely to be on the American quartet), the women’s four-person relay Friday and the men’s relay Saturday.