UNH Grad Clare Egan Competes in First Winter Olympic Event
UNH graduate Clare Egan and the U.S. women's biathalon team finished seventh in Egan's first day of competition Saturday at the Winter Olympics in China.
Competing in blustery conditions, the result tied the best-ever finish for Team USA in an Olympic mixed relay, equaling their seventh place at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
According to Maine Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director Bill Green in a tweet, Egan skied in the second leg of the 4×6-kilometer mixed relay and started 10th, but finished the 2nd fastest leg at 17:38. She was the 4th fastest woman in the race.
The Portland Press Herald reported she hit all ten targets before Sean Doherty of Center Conway, New Hampshire took his shots.
Norway took the gold, France the silver, and the Russian Olympic Committee the bronze.
Biathalon is an event that combines cross-country skiing with target shooting with a rifle.
The 34-year-old Cape Elizabeth native will compete again Monday in the Women’s 15km individual.
Egan Kept At It After Considering Retirement
The 34-year-old Cape Elizabeth native and 2006 Cape Elizabeth High School graduate is competing in her second Winter Olympic games. She planned to retire after the 2018 games in PyeongChang after getting sick before her event and crashing.
"We got a new coach and he went back to basics with me in shooting, and we started to see huge improvements in my shooting," Egan told UNH Athletics. "I had bypassed 'Intro to Biathlon' and he was more of a shooting coach, and it has paid off tremendously."
Egan, who currently lives in Lake Placid, New York, had her best season ever in 2018/19, being the first US athlete to set the fastest time in a World Cup race in the pursuit. She also achieved her first top 10 finish in an individual race.
Egan earned her masters degree in linguistics in 2011 at UNH while competing in Division I cross-country, track, and Nordic skiing.