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100 World Cup Starts for Irwin, USA Seventh in Single Mixed Relay, Ninth in Mixed Relay

by Sara Donatello

Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, WI/Army World Class Athlete Program) and Campbell Wright (Wanaka, NZL, U.S. Biathlon) teamed up for the final single mixed relay of the season in Oslo, Norway to kick off the last day of European racing before the World Cup heads to North America. The pair raced to seventh place, tying their historic result at the 2024 World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic just two weeks ago. 


Irwin, despite finding herself on the penalty loop twice, held a top ski speed to keep the pair in top-10 contention in her 100th career World Cup race. Wright continued his streak of world class performances, using just five spare rounds and also held a top ski time on his legs of the race. Overall, the pair had the third best course time, falling just +0.28.1 back from Norway and +0.5.8 behind Sweden. 


In the end, Irwin and Wright crossed the line +1.48 behind the victorious Norwegian pair of Juni Arnekleiv and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, who clinched the win over Sweden’s Anna Magnusson and Sebastian Samuelsson by just one second. Suvi Minkkinen and Otto Invenius of Finland landed in third.  


“It was really cool to have my 100th start in a relay,” said Irwin. “The relays are my favorite races to do because anything can happen! And 100 starts is a cool benchmark to hit; I don’t think I can call myself a rookie anymore!”


An hour later, Irwin was back on the start line for the mixed relay, marking her second race of the day. The team pulled out another stellar performance to finish ninth, the top U.S. mixed relay result since the 2020/21 season in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. 

(Photo by Nordic Focus Photo Agency)

Irwin and Chloe Levins (Rutland, VT/Team Crosscut) mirrored each other on the range using one spare in prone and three spares, resulting in one penalty lap each, in standing. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH/National Guard Biathlon) and Jake Brown (St. Paul, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) both had stellar performances on the range, also mirroring each other using just one spare in both prone and standing.


“Racing twice in one day was a fun challenge that reminded me of my track and field days in college,” Irwin added. “It takes a lot more planning and preparation but I felt great on my skis today and I’m glad I could help both the relays to some top results. I think Campbell and I are really close to having an outstanding single mixed relay so that’ll be something to look forward to and get excited for next year. I was also very happy to help the mixed relay to our best result this season. It’s only up from here. Next year will be full of more opportunities to showcase our talents.”


The World Cup now heads home to Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway, Utah for an exciting weekend of sprint, relay and pursuit races as well as a Legacy Winter Festival, slated for March 8-10, to welcome the world back to the USA for the first time since 2019. General admission is free for the event. For all event information, visit ibuworldcuputah.com

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