Danny Fink has been competing in biathlon since 1996. This year marks his sixth appearance at the Summer Biathlon World Championships, having previously competed in 1997-2000 and 2005. He was also a member of the Summer Biathlon National Team from 1998-2001. Fink has nine top five finishes at the national championships since 1997. He finished first at the 2000 Czech International Biathlon Cup and third at the 1998 Slovak Cup Biathlon.
Fink was also a professional duathlete from 2004-2005 representing the USA at the ITU Short Course World Championships in 2004 and winning the professional Long Course National Championship that same year. He also placed sixth overall at the 2002 and 2004 USA Track & Field 50k National Championships and was 2006 RRCA 5k Masters National Champion.
Fink is a Financial Reporting Manager for West Virginia University. He is married to Leah and has a two year old son, Alex. They are expecting their second child in March. He also coaches runners and triathletes in his spare time.
Doug Hoover competed in his first biathlon in the fall of 1992. Five years after his first race, he was named to the United States Summer Biathlon National Team. He spent five years on the team from 1997-2000 and 2003. He has finished in the top ten at ten national championships since 1996, including winning the last three consecutive men’s national titles.
Hoover qualified for his first world championship team in 2003, and has competed in three world championships since then in Italy (2003), Russia (2006), and Estonia (2007). His best finish in the world championship came in 2003 when he took 15th in the sprint. He also claimed another top-20 finish at worlds in 2006 when he took 19th in the sprint.
Hoover is the Assistant Track and Field and Cross Country Coach at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division III institution.
Quote: "Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
Hometown: Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania
Biathlon since 2005
A biathlon competitor since 2005, Rizzo is the 2008 Men’s Junior National Champion. Rizzo began competing in biathlon at the urging of his 4-H rifle club leader, who recognized his interest and abilities in the two disciplines.
An avid runner, Rizzo is a senior at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 2007, Rizzo captured district titles in both cross country and on the track at 3200 meters. Rizzo serves as a lifeguard and participates in biking, swimming, and cross country skiing in addition to competing in biathlons, cross country, and track & field. He is a National Honor Society Student, a National Scholar Commended Student and an Advance Placement Award Recipient. He plans to attend college and study in the sciences.
He lives at home with his parents and brother Jonathan.
Hometown: East Corinth, VT
Biathlon since 1976
The acknowledged "old man" of the Team, Keith has been competing in biathlon for almost as long or longer than three of his teammates have been alive! An incredibly talented and enduring athlete, Keith has won National titles three times in Summer Biathlon, twice in Canoe Triathlons, and has medaled at the World Masters Cross Country Ski Championships. A continuing threat as a competitor, Keith has qualified for the World Championships Team four times, most recently in 2001. After finishing third at last year's national championship, Keith has the potential to win a fourth National Championships in 2003. He lives in East Corinth, VT, where he works as a carpenter and maple syrup refiner in the summer and spring and a cross country ski trail groomer in the winter.
Quote: "Summer Biathlon is a unique and very challenging sport where the competition can be fierce, but all the competitors are friendly!"
2008 WOMEN'S SUMMER BIATHLON NATIONAL TEAM
Hometown: Freeport, Maine
Biathlon since 2007
A strong runner in her second year of biathlon competition, Susla will represent the country for the second time in world championship competition this year. She will go to worlds as the Junior National Champion.
At last year’s North American Championships and World Championship Trials, she surprised herself by finishing fourth and qualifying for the world championships. After a solid showing in Estonia in 2007, Susla continued to progress in biathlon and even traveled to Canada to compete in March 2008.
At this year’s National Championship, Susla showed a huge improvement since last year, finishing second overall after winning the sprint and finishing second in both the mass start and pursuit.
Susla is a student at Freeport High School.
Hometown: Fort Kent, Maine
An avid competitor in winter biathlon, Bernard has competed in the NorAms, Junior National Trials, the North American Championships, and the Canadian Championships.
In 2007 she finished fifth overall at the Summer Biathlon North American Championships and qualified for the world championships. However, she was unable to compete at the world championships that year. In 2008, she once again finished fifth at the National Championships and World Championship Trials and is excited to compete at worlds.
Bernard is a student at Fort Kent High School.
Hometown: Everett, Pennsylvania
Biathlon since 2003
Blackstone captured her first national title in 2008 after just one year of serious competition. Prior to 2008, she had only competed once a year since 2003.
Blackstone is a 2008 graduate of Kent State University in Ohio, where she was an All-Conference honoree in both cross country and track & field. Since graduation she has competed regularly in the northeast United States, winning races in Saratoga Springs and Rochester, New York, as well as Oil City, Pennsylvania. She dominated the mass start and pursuit competitions at this year’s National Championship and World Championship Trial. Now she is looking forward to representing the country at the World Championships.
Blackstone is a freelance photographer living in Ohio.