LAKE PLACID - Haley Johnson of Lake Placid will be back on the World Cup biathlon tour for the series' fifth event in Ruhpolding, Germany this week. The promotion was made based on points Johnson accumulated from the trial event and the two IBU Cup races she had competed in earlier this season.
Johnson, a 2010 Olympian, is set to rejoin fellow teammates and Olympians, Tim Burke of Paul Smiths and Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid.
Weather has been an issue this season for local biathletes, as freezing cold temperatures, strong winds and snow have had an effect on the athletes and their results.
Haley Johnson of Lake Placid
Last week's competition in Oberhof, Germany was no different. Competitors had to deal with everything from freezing cold temperatures to driving cold rain. The wind, being so strong, forced a record 100 penalties on the men's relay race.
The U.S. men's relay team, consisting of Burke, Bailey, Leif Nordgren and Russell Currier, placed 16th in a time of 1:28:41.4, almost four-and-a-half minutes behind first place Germany.
Conditions improved slightly for the men's 10-kilometer sprint, where Burke came in 31st and posted a time of 28:13.5, while Bailey clocked a time of 28:53.0, good for 52nd.
Johnson and Annalies Cook of Saranac Lake finished in the top 20 at last weekend's IBU Cup race in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Cook was 13th despite three penalty minutes, followed closely by Johnson in 14th. Natalya Burdyga of Ukraine was first.
The Ruhpolding event is slated to begin Wednesday.
Caldwell wins gold
Mont Gabriel, Quebec - Lake Placid resident Ashley Caldwell took first place in the FIS?Freestyle NorAm Cup aerials event Saturday.
Caldwell earned 157.52 points to outscore second place Alla Tsuper of Belarus, who finished with 153.38 points.
Emily Cook was the next-best U.S. jumper with her seventh-place finish.
Jumpers just off podium
SCHONACH, Germany - U.S. jumpers Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van just missed the top three podium Saturday as the women's ski jumping Continental Cup resumed in Schonach.
Jerome finished fourth while Van was fifth. Austria's Daniela Iraschka solidified her Continental Cup lead with the win.
Nina Lussi of Lake Placid was 40th in the competition.
While missing the top three, the U.S. jumpers still retained their spots in the standings. Jerome is second and Van third after seven of 23 scheduled Continental Cups.
Van was in the hunt for a top spot after the first jump, standing third with a jump of 95 meters on the 106 meter hill. Jerome was sixth after soaring 92 meters. In the second round, Jerome put on a show to lead the round and move up to fourth, with the longest jump of the round at 97.5 meters. Van, meanwhile, came in short at 90.5 meters to drop to fifth.
France's Coline Mattel led the first round over Iraschka with a 96.5-meter jump. Her second-place finish brought her within a point of Van in the series standings.
"The weather has not been cooperating, but today they managed to get a comp off without a hitch," Jerome said. "My first jump wasn't what I was looking for, but I managed to still have some distance. My second jump was exactly what I wanted - much better technically and flying in the air. It felt really good to have a jump that I consider one of my better jumps."
The women are now just seven weeks away from a second appearance in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, with Van looking to defend her title on Feb. 25 at Holmenkollen in Oslo. Women's ski jumping is one of a host of events being seriously considered by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in 2014.
All athletes jumped with a black armband following the tragic death of 17-year old Simona Senoner of Italy, who died suddenly of a cardiac arrest Friday.
Bobsled World Cup resumes
The bobsled/skeleton World Cup tour is set to resume this weekend in Igls, Austria, following the holiday break. Pilot John Napier of Lake Placid sits in 12th place in men's four-man World Cup standings, and 11th in the two-man rankings.