Fort Kent, Me (WAGM) - Day two at the US National Biathlon Championships in Fort Kent. For the second day in a row, Lowell Bailey and Clare Egan captured gold medals.
What a difference 24 hours makes. On Thursday Biathletes competed in near perfect conditions. This morning the competitors woke up to several inches of fresh snow and that made skiing more difficult.
(Clare Egan):"Today as you can see we had some precipitation. It snowed about five inches here last night. It is the dead of winter up here in Northern Maine. It was a little bit slow almost like taking two steps forward and one step backward as you ski so it was hard, but I had a good race.
(Lowell Bailey):"It was all about shooting today because I think everyone was struggling in that deep snow."
Egan had a near perfect race on Thursday winning the sprint by a minute 33, that meant that she would have over a minute and a half head start in today's pursuit competition. Egan said she has learned not to take anything for granted in the sport of biathlon and knew that a few mistakes could cost her that huge lead.
Egan:"20 shots in this pursuit race and for every shot that is a miss you have to head into the penalty lap and that takes 25 seconds so a minute and a half lead can go away pretty quickly on the range with bad shooting. Fortunately today I had a solid performance i only missed 3 out of 20 and that is good for me. 85 percent so I am happy about that."
Lowell Bailey also picked up another victory winning the pursuit by 48 seconds over World Cup teammate Tim Burke. Bailey shot clean in the prone and missed three shots in the two standing stages
Bailey:" A little lapse in focus in the first standing stage, but other than that it was a solid race."
Three Maine Winter Sports Center Athletes also picked up National titles for the second straight day. Brian Halligan, Hannah Streinz picked up Junior Division wins and Brendan Cyr picked up the Youth Division National title. The event wraps up on Saturday with the Mass Start at 9am.