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Phaneuf, Levins shine at IBU Cup in Germany

Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge) and Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) both raced to career-best senior-competition finishes at the IBU Cup in Arber, Germany.

On Jan. 22 in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint, Phaneuf, 25, shot clean to place fourth in the field of 124, just 3.4 seconds from the bronze medal. She had the top time among the first 24 athletes to cross the line.

“Today was amazing,” Phaneuf said. “This was the first race in my career where I crossed the finish line in first place, ultimately dropping to fourth, so that was very special for me. A career-best on the IBU Cup, I’m extremely happy with that. I knew I could perform well this season, I’ve just been patiently waiting for my ski speed to get there.”

Phaneuf, along with Levins who also shot clean to place 31st, were just two of 15 competitors to hit all 10 targets in the sprint.

“Today I felt good on the skis, and the shooting went perfectly, I couldn’t be happier,” added Phaneuf. “Huge thank you to our sponsors, coaching staff, wax technicians, and teammates for all of the support. And I’m so grateful the IBU and organizing committee is doing such a great job handling COVID testing and protocols in order to host these events this season.”

Levins, 22, is in her first year of senior competition and she made her presence known in the Jan. 20 women’s 12.5km short individual with a top-20 finish in the field of 121. Levins went 20-for-20 on the shooting range to place 19th.

“In addition to it being my first year as a senior, it’s also my first year training full-time,” Levins said. “Managing the training load has been a big adjustment, but I’m extremely fortunate to have (U.S. Biathlon Director of Athlete Development) Tim Burke by my side through it all. I’m extremely proud of the progress I’ve made this training year. A clean individual and top-20 on the IBU Cup is just one incremental step on the path toward bigger and better things to come.”

The team included Lucy Hochschartner of Lake Placid and Lake Clear native Jackie Garso.

Headed to Poland

This week’s IBU Open European Championships in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, will provide differing experiences for the 12-member U.S. Biathlon team Jan. 27-31.

Here is the IBU Open European Championships schedule:

Wednesday, Jan. 27: Women’s 15km individual, men’s 20km individual

Friday, Jan. 29: Women’s 7.5km sprint, men’s 10km sprint

Saturday, Jan. 30: Women’s 10km pursuit, men’s 12.5km pursuit

Sunday, Jan. 31: Single mixed relay, mixed relay

Here is the U.S. team:

MEN: Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.) Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho) Raleigh Goessling (Duluth, Minn.) Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn.) Lars Hammerness Leopold (Truckee, Calif.) Vincent Bonacci (Salt Lake City, Utah)

WOMEN: Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis.) Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.) Hallie Grossman (Craftsbury, Vt.) Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, Wash.) Lucy Hochschartner (Lake Placid, N.Y.)