Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake placed 38th in the 15-kilometer world championships individual race Wednesday in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
Cook posted a time of 50 minutes, 54.1 seconds with four penalties to finish as the third-best American. Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vt. was the top American with her 15th-place result that met the early qualification requirement for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Dunklee, who turned 27 on Thursday, finished in 48:22.8 with two penalties.
Dunklee joined Tim Burke of Paul Smith's and Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid in meeting the early Olympic qualification requirements.
World Cup leader Tora Berger of Norway, won Wednesday's individual with clean shooting and a time of 44:52.5. Germany's Andrea Henkel was second, also with clean shooting, at 45:45.2 and Valji Semerenko took third (46:5/+1). The 15k individual consisted of five laps and four shooting stages, alternating between prone and standing.
"Today was overwhelming in a wonderful way," Dunklee said. "The Individual was the race that was so magical for me at Ruhpolding last year and between memories of that and today being my birthday, I was a little worried that I would try too hard to have a good day. Luckily, the mood stayed light and the shooting felt great.
The men take to the course in Nove Mesto for the 20k individual today. Bailey will start with bib 13 and Burke with bib 65 in a field of 136 athletes.