Personal Best for Farra, Six U.S. Athletes Qualify for IBU Cup Pursuit

by Sara Donatello

Lina Farra (Heber City, UT/NYSEF) raced to a personal best 46th place in the women’s 7.5km sprint, her second race of the weekend at the IBU Cup in Martell-Val Martello, Italy. Farra cleaned both her prone and standing shoots, avoiding the penalty loop and propelling her to the finish line. 

“I am excited to be in the pursuit tomorrow,” said Farra. “I really suffered on skis today but I am still working my way to some stronger skiing and health - today was a good reminder of all the good moments of biathlon that sometimes gets lost in the tough ones.” 

Farra crossed the line just 2.3 seconds ahead of teammate Grace Castonguay (Jackson, NH/Ethan Allen Biathlon Club), who cleaned her prone but missed three in standing. Cheresa Bouley (Zimmerman, MN/Minnesota Biathlon) followed suit in 55th place with one miss on the day. Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT/National Guard Biathlon) and Anna French (Plymouth, MN/Team Altius) finished 62nd and 66th, just out of contention for the pursuit. 

On the men’s side, Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, MN/National Guard Biathlon) raced to a season-best 29th in the men’s 10km sprint, missing one shot in prone and two in standing, though his ski speed kept him in top-30 contention. Travis Cooper (Kenai, AK/National Guard Biathlon) crossed the line in 50th with one miss in both prone and standing and Nikolas Burkhart (Olympic Valley, CA/Team Crosscut) finished 55th with five misses on the day. Luke Brown (St. Paul, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) did not start in the sprint. 

Of the eight U.S. athletes who raced in the sprint, six qualified for the pursuit tomorrow. Cervenka, Cooper and Burkhart will toe the line in the men’s pursuit, set to begin at 5:00 ET/11:00 CET. Farra, Castonguay and Bouley will race in the women’s pursuit at 7:30 ET/1:30 CET. Live stream can be found at Spectator resources can be found at