The Ethan Allen Range is hosting the U.S. Biathlon national championships this weekend. Friday featured sprint races headlined by a pair of locals coming off of historic seasons, Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee.
Bailey finished second in the men's sprint. The Lake Placid native and UVM grad became the first American to win gold at the World Championships this season, doing it in the 20 km individual. He finished a career-best 8th overall in the men's World Cup rankings.
"It's still sinking in," Bailey said. "It's great to hear that so many people watched it, especially back in the U.S.. It's such a big sport in Europe, so you come to expect people having seen it on TV there, but it's a whole other thing to come home and hear people come up to you and congratulate you. It's just so nice to have that hometown and home country support."
Dunklee won the women's spring on Friday. The Barton native and Dartmouth Grad won silver in the mass start at the World Championships, becoming the first American woman to win an individual medal that event She finished a career best 10th overall in the World Cup rankings.
"It feels a little bit surreal," Dunklee said. "Life goes on no matter what the results are. You're not defined by your results you're defined by who you are. The results are just icing on the cake."
As great as a season that Dunklee has had. She's happy that it is winding down.
"Physically my body and my ski shape is just getting going, just getting into peak form and feeling good right now on skis. So, It's hard to finish the season in that regard. Mentally I'm ready for a little bit of recovery," Dunklee said."
The National Championships continue throughout the weekend as Bailey and Dunklee finish up seasons they'll never forget.
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