SOCHI, Russia – Stockholm native Russell Currier, earned a 16th-place finish Saturday in the team’s final event of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Team USA, consisting of Currier, Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid, N.Y., Sean Doherty of Center Conway, N.H., and Leif Nordgren of Marine, Minn., posted a time of 1:17:39.1 (three penalties), that left it 5:23.2 behind the gold medalists from Russia who finished in 1:12:15.9 (zero).
Germany won the silver medal (1:12:19.4/0), and Austria earned the bronze (1:12:45.7/0).
Bailey got Team USA off to a strong start, skiing the lead in the first loop and hitting all his shooting targets.
“I wanted to push the pace in the first loop, so things went well there,” said Bailey in a U.S. Biathlon press release. “On the range, I didn’t try to push the shooting and I didn’t try to do anything but hit the targets. A lot of times in relays, you try to shoot faster because you have those extra rounds, but I just tried to take quality shots. I shot a little slower, but I was able to hit everything.”
Currier, the Caribou High School graduate, skied the second leg but ran into some challenges on the range.
“I got into a good start and I was on pace for something good, but I really couldn’t keep it together for prone, which hurt our chances,” he said.
Doherty, the youngest-ever member of the U.S. Olympic men’s biathlon team, made his Sochi debut in the third stage.
“I think it was pretty good,” he said. “I took too many in prone, but it was a good race. It was high pace right from the get-go, and I think I held it together pretty well. It was fun. I tried to keep a level head with all the emotions and excitement running high here with my first Olympic start. It’s real exciting.”
Nordgren, who hadn’t skied since Tuesday due to illness, skied the anchor leg.
“I had an OK race,” he said. “I kind of struggled a lot in standing with two extras, but it was an OK race. I’m happy with it considering how I feel.”
The relay was Currier’s third race in his first Olympic appearance. He finished 61st in his debut event, the 10-kilometer sprint, then improved to 50th in the 20K individual pursuit.
Currier and the rest of the U.S. men’s biathlon team, which did not participate in the Olympic opening ceremony because they had a race the next morning, are set to march in Sunday’s closing ceremony.
Doherty then will head back to the United States to compete in the 2014 IBU Junior World Championships in Presque Isle that begin Feb. 28.
Currier and the rest of the U.S. senior team will head to Pokljuka, Slovenia, for the start of the final trimester of IBU World Cup competitions on March 6.