Susan Dunklee takes silver at biathlon world championships

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copyright the Chronicle March 1, 2017

 

by Elizabeth Trail

 

BARTON — When Stan Dunklee and Judi Robitaille-Dunklee of Barton went to Austria two weeks ago to watch their daughter Susan compete in the biathlon world championships, they didn’t know they’d see her make history.

But on the last day of the competition Susan Dunklee did just that, winning a silver medal and becoming the first American woman ever to stand on the podium at that level of competition in biathlon.

“Biathlon is huge in Europe,” her father said. “It’s the most watched winter sport. But it’s relatively new in the United States.”

And breaking into the winner’s circle has been hard. The 31-year-old Ms. Dunklee was the first American woman to medal at the world championships. And no American woman has yet earned an individual medal in biathlon at the Olympics.

“We try to go to this one every year,” Mr. Dunklee said of the International Biathlon Union World Championships, held this time around in Hochfilzen, Austria.   “It’s the densest cluster of events.”

The IBU World Cup, in comparison, took place over nine weekends in nine countries, starting in Sweden in November, he said.

The Dunklees also watched their daughter race in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where she placed seventh and eighth in two of the biathlon events.

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Sargent opens World Cup season with personal best

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Ida Sargent of Barton opened her third World Cup season with a personal record.  Photo courtesy of Dave and Lindy Sargent

Ida Sargent of Barton opened her third World Cup season with a personal record. Photo courtesy of Dave and Lindy Sargent

copyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

U.S. Ski Team member Ida Sargent of Barton started off her third World Cup season on opening day November 29 with a personal best — she came in fifth among a field of 73 women in a classic sprint. She ranked top for the U.S. in the 1.4-kilometer race, held in Ruka, Finland.

She once came in sixth place in Sochi, Russia, the year before the Olympics, said Ms. Sargent’s mother, Lindy Sargent, in a brief telephone interview Monday.

“But this was her top score. She hasn’t ever gotten a fifth place,” Ms. Sargent said.

The next day wasn’t as amazing. Ms. Sargent came in fifty-first place in a ten-kilometer classic race on November 30, with a time of 28:52.8, nearly 96 minutes behind the top racer. Ms. Sargent was third for the U.S. in that race, which was also held in Ruka.

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Susan Dunklee makes history again, returns home

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Olympian biathlete Susan Dunklee of Barton smiles in the cafeteria at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, where she trains as part of the Green Racing Project.  Photo by Natalie Hormilla

Olympian biathlete Susan Dunklee of Barton smiles in the cafeteria at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, where she trains as part of the Green Racing Project. Photo by Natalie Hormilla

copyright the Chronicle April 2, 2014

by Natalie Hormilla

CRAFTSBURY — Susan Dunklee of Barton returned to Vermont last week, having made history once again.

After her Olympic run in Sochi, Russia, in February, it was back to business as usual on the biathlon World Cup circuit.  In her final week of races, in Oslo, Norway, Ms. Dunklee had a career breakthrough:  She came in third in the 7.5-kilometer sprint, marking the first time in 20 years that an American woman biathlete graced the World Cup podium.

“Just to get up there, when it’s the same field, it’s pretty special,” she said in an interview last week.  She was referring to the wide field of athletes that participate in World Cup races.

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