U.S. starts slow at World Cup

Hakkinen 72nd; Engel, Abrahamson compete at Junior Nationals

Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2001

The U.S. men's biathlon team did not get the home-snow boost it was looking for Wednesday in the first day of the World Cup at Soldier Hollow, Utah.

Robert Rosser finished 51st in the 20-kilometer individual race, while David Gieck was 65th, Lawton Redman was 71st and Kasilof's Jay Hakkinen was 72nd.

Coming into the World Cup, the Americans were hoping all the training they have done at Soldier Hollow, which will be the site of next year's Olympics, would help them immensely.

However, Wednesday's results did not bear that out. The Americans have a chance for a better showing in the 10-kilometer sprint Friday and the 12.5-kilometer pursuit Saturday.

Hakkinen, who is normally America's best biathlete, was undone by shaky shooting from the standing position. He had two rounds of five from the standing position and missed three shots each time.

In the 20-kilometer individual, a missed shot means a minute penalty. Toss in the one miss in 10 tries Hakkinen had from the prone position, and he amassed seven minutes in shooting penalties.

Hakkinen's final time of 56 minutes, 31 seconds, was about 7 1/2 minutes behind the winning time posted by Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway. Bjoerndalen had two shooting penalties, each coming from the standing position.

Abrahamson, Engel compete at U.S. Junior National Biathlon

Syverine Abrahamson, a junior at Homer High School, finished seventh Monday in the youth women's 6-kilometer sprint at the 2001 U.S. Junior National Biathlon Championships in Fort Kent, Maine.

Abrahamson missed two shots standing and three shots prone in getting a final time of 24 minutes, 26 seconds.

The winner of the race, Kelsy Bouchard, missed a total of three shots and had a final time of 23:19.

Jordan Engel, a sophomore at Kenai Central High School, skied to an eighth-place finish in the youth men's 7.5-kilometer sprint.

Engel missed a total of five shots and had a time of 30:12. All the finishers ahead of Engel were from Minnesota, including winner Ben Byrne. Byrne had a time of 27:43.

Both Engel and Abrahamson continued competing at the championships Wednesday. Results of those races were not available as the Clarion went to press.

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