Irwin debuts at World Cup Biathlon
PULASKI – Deedra Irwin, 2010 Pulaski High School alumna, made her IBU World Cup debut anchoring the U.S. women’s relay team at the competition in Hochfilzen, Austria, Dec. 16.
Her team started in 21st place and raced to a 13th place finish, equaling their best record from last season.
The relay consisted of four 6k laps punctuated first by prone shooting of five targets and later by standing shooting of five targets.
Missed shots, which are made up by using spares or skiing penalty loops, can cause the race leaderboard to vary wildly over the course of the relay.
Irwin was in Europe to compete in the IBU Biathlon Cup No. 2.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, in Italy, she finished with a personal best of 14th in the sprint.
She drove to the Austrian venue and debuted at the top level on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Joanne Reid was first out on the 6K course and handed off the baton to veteran Susan Dunklee.
In 18th place, Dunklee and Clare Egan skied and shot well, improving the team placement before turning over the baton to Irwin to complete the race.
“I went out a little hot at first which affected my prone shooting, but I felt the rest was solid,” Irwin said.
Using spares and skiing a penalty loop, Irwin crossed the line 3 minutes and 38.1 seconds off Italy’s winning time.
“Our team goal is to finish in the top-10 and our performance today confirms that we are on the right track,” Egan said “Deedra was impressive in her first-ever World Cup race.”