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Final IBU Cup Weekend Upcoming in Obertilliach

by Sara Donatello

The first weekend of IBU Cup racing in Obertilliach, Austria has come and gone and the team looks ahead to the upcoming individual, sprint and mass start 60 races that make up the second weekend in Obertilliach, the last races of the 2023/24 IBU Cup season. 


Sprint races kicked off with the men’s 10km sprint and Maxime Germain (Chamonix-Mont Blanc, FRA/National Guard Biathlon) hitting a season-best seventh place finish, missing just one shot in standing. Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, MN/National Guard Biathlon) clinched the top-25 with a pair of misses, and Travis Cooper (Kenai, AK/National Guard Biathlon) hit a season-best 28th, hitting nine of ten targets, placing three U.S. men in the top-30. Nikolas Burkhart (Olympic Valley, CA/Team Crosscut) also hit a season-best 37th and Luke Brown (Saint Paul, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) placed 41st, qualifying the entire U.S. men’s team for the pursuit, a first this season. 


In the women’s 7.5km sprint, Jackie Garso (Lake Clear, NY/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) led the U.S. women in 46th, her top result of the season. Grace Castonguay (Jackson, NH/Ethan Allen Biathlon Club) and Lina Farra (Heber City, UT/NYSEF) made it three U.S. women and eight U.S. athletes racing in the pursuit, finishing 56th and 59th. Michaela Keller-Miller (Plymouth, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), racing in her first biathlon season, fell just out of pursuit contention in 65th. 


The men’s pursuit saw yet another top result for Germain, placing 11th, despite five misses on the day. Cervenka and Brown saw the largest jump in placement, with Cervenka landing in 20th and Brown jumping nine spots to finish in 32nd. Cooper and Burkhart crossed the line just three seconds apart in 39th and 40th. 


The team of Germain and Castonguay paired up yet again to race in the single mixed relay, the final race of the weekend. Germain had a stellar day on the range, using just five spares total, cleaning one prone shoot. Castonguay had a great day on her skis and even though she took three laps around the penalty loop, she held the pair in top-10 contention. Crossing the line in 11th, the duo fell just 18 seconds back from a 10th place finish. 


Looking ahead to tomorrow, March 6, Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT/National Guard Biathlon) will join the team in Obertilliach for the final weekend of racing. The women’s 15km individual is set to begin at 4:30 ET/10:30 CET, with the men’s 20km individual to follow at 8:15 ET/2:15 CET. For information on how to watch, visit usbiathlon.org/how-to-watch. Spectator resources are available at usbiathlon.org/spectator-resources

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