(Photo by Paul Phillips, Competitive Image)
The International Competition Committee of the US Biathlon Association is pleased to announce that Kevin Patzoldt of Grand Rapids, MN has been named as the 5th man for the US December World Cup team. This team will compete in World Cups 1-3 in December of 2009. This selection was very difficult to make because of the depth of the field competing for the final spot on the WC team. A number of athletes were in the running for this final spot.
Selection was based on national team staff discretion and the results of the rollerski biathlon races at Soldier Hollow, Utah, October 19 and 21, and the Summer Festival rollerski races in Jericho, Vermont, August 8-9. The Soldier Hollow races were more heavily weighted than the Jericho races. Race series percent back, ski speed, and shooting percentages were also considered, as well subjective assessment of ski technique and on snow ski speed. The ICC would like all the athletes in contention to know that the committee’s deliberations were open and lengthy.
The Women’s World Cup Team, made up Haley Johnson, Sara Studebaker, and Lanny Barnes were nominated to the December World Cup team based on 2008-9 World Cup results. On the Men’s side, Tim Burke, Jay Hakkinen, Jeremy Teela and Lowell Bailey were also nominated to the December World Cup team based on 2008-9 World Cup results. The ICC would like to congratulate Kevin Patzoldt for his excellent performances at the Soldier Hollow rollerski biathlon races. The National Team staff look forward to working with Kevin.
Qualification for the upcoming Olympic team is still very much open. On the Men’s side, Tim Burke and Jay Hakinnen are pre-qualified for the Olympic team. One additional men’s spot could potentially be awarded to a Dec World Cup team member who has a top 30 WC finish. Up to two women can qualify for the Olympic team through top 30 WC finishes in December. Remaining spots on the Olympic Team (total team size is 5 men and 4 women) will be allocated after the last stage of the Olympic selection at the IBU Cup in Altenberg, Germany in early Germany. Up to 4 men and 4 women will qualify to compete in the IBU Cup through the IBU Cup selection races at Mt Itasca, MN, Dec 12-21. December World Cup athletes who have not been nominated to the Olympic team will also be eligible to compete at the IBU Cup races in Altenberg.
In addition to the deliberations regarding December World Cup teams, the ICC also approved the use of standardized waxing at the IBU Cup Selection races at Mt Itasca in December. All athletes wanting to qualify for the IBU Cup races in early January, as part of Olympic qualification, will need to be part of the standardized waxing process. Details will be posted on the USBA website along with the race invitation.
The ICC has also determined that the start format for the Pursuit format race at the IBU Cup Selection Races at Mt Itasca will be 30 second interval start. In addition to the Pursuit format, there will be three Sprint format races, and one Mass Start format race.