WHISTLER OLYMPIC PARK, BC (March 14) – After a momentous day for the U.S. Team in Saturday’s biathlon competition, five American athletes took to the tracks Sunday in the men’s sitting 15 km and women’s sitting 10 km events.
In the men’s race, USA took eighth, ninth and tenth, while Russia claimed the top two podium spots. Chris Klebl (Heber City, UT) was the top U.S. finisher, crossing the line with a time of 43:13.7 (+2:21.1), followed by Sean Halsted (Spokane, WA) in ninth with a 43:25.6 (+2:27.5).
“We were a little nervous about the weather, but it turned out to be awesome,” said Halstead. “The tracks were super slick and firm, so they held up for the full four laps. I felt energized and very good about my performance. I put it all out there, which was just what I wanted to do.”
Less than 24 hours after winning a bronze medal in the biathlon 2.4 km pursuit yesterday, Andy Soule (Pearland, TX) returned for a top-ten finish in today’s cross country long distance event. Soule posted a time of 43:32.8 (+2:31.7) for tenth place overall. Greg Mallory (Portland, OR) crossed the line 26th in a 46:30.6 (+5:50.5).
On the women’s side, Monica Bascio (Evergreen, CO) finished ninth in a field of twelve competitors. After a near collision in the first lap, when Korea’s Vo-Ra-Mi Seo crossed into Bascio’s tracks, the American recovered to cross the line with a time of 34:33.9 (+3:55.1).
Cross country events continue Monday at Whistler Paralympic Park, where USA’s Kelly Underkofler (St. Paul, MN) will compete for a medal in the women’s standing 15 km. For a complete schedule and results, visit www.vancouver2010.com.