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The 2023-24 World Cup Season Wraps Up in Canmore

by Joseph Bonacci

The final weekend of BMW IBU World Cup racing wrapped up in Canmore, Alberta in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The clear, sunny skies saw athletes transform their race suits into makeshift shorts and t-shirts, making the heat a bit more bearable for the final sprint, pursuit and mass start races of the 2023-24 season. Team USA ended the season on a high note with much to look forward to for the 2024-25 season ahead. 


The weekend kicked off with the final women’s 7.5km sprint of the season on Thursday, where Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, WI/Army World Class Athlete Program) led the team with a 26th place finish, shooting a perfect 10 for 10, to qualify for Saturday’s 10km pursuit. Margie Freed (Apple Valley, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) landed in 74th place with four misses on the range. Chloe Levins (Rutland, VT/Team Crosscut) followed Freed in 81st place, hitting nine of ten targets, and Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, WA/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) rounded out the group in 90th place with two misses in standing. 


In Friday’s men’s 10km sprint, Campbell Wright (Wanaka, NZL/U.S. Biathlon) finished in 28th, after putting three shots wide on the range. Jake Brown (St. Paul, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) joined Wright in the top 40 to score World Cup points, racing to 36th place with just one miss on the day. Vincent Bonacci (Salt Lake City, UT/Team Crosscut) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH/National Guard Biathlon) just missed out on Saturday’s pursuit, finishing in 70th and 73rd, respectively.

(Photo by Nordic Focus Photo Agency)

Saturday’s pursuit was Irwin’s day. Extending her clean shooting streak to 30 out of 30 on the weekend, she jumped 14 places from bib 26 to finish the day in 12th place, her top pursuit result of the season and first pursuit clean shooting. Wright moved up the leaderboards as well, jumping from 28th to 18th with just one miss in the range. Brown stayed consistent, finishing the day where he started in 36th with four misses on the day and the 18th ski time overall, scoring valuable Nations Cup points in his last start of the season. 

Due to her outstanding performance in the sprint and pursuit, Irwin received bib 29 in Sunday’s 12.5km mass start, her second mass start of the season. She continued her clean shooting streak through the first stage, but three misses in her second stage and one miss in her final standing shoot landed her in 27th. Irwin ended the season 38th in the World Cup overall standing, her highest placement thus far in her career.  
With the 2023-24 BMW IBU World Cup season in the rearview mirror, athletes now head their ways with many traveling to Fort Kent, Maine for one final race weekend at the 2024 U.S. Biathlon National Championships and inaugural U.S. Biathlon Collegiate National Championships, March 22-24. To find all World Cup results and standings, visit biathlonworld.com/results. For information on the upcoming U.S. Biathlon National and Collegiate National Championships, visit usbiathlon.org/national-events-calendar.

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