The IBU Biathlon World Championships are underway in Oberhof, Germany. For the U.S. Biathlon Team, six world championship veterans will combine with four first-timers on the U.S. Biathlon team competing Feb. 8-19. Heartbeat caught up with Head Coach Armin Auchentaller in Oberhof for a preview of the sport's annual world championships.

The U.S. men’s roster boasts three members of last year’s Olympic Team with Jake Brown (St. Paul, Minn./Craftsbury Green Racing Project), Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H./National Guard Biathlon) and Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis./Crosscut Mountain Sports Center Elite Team) teaming up on the tracks of Oberhof. This will mark Doherty’s seventh world championships, with his best finish coming in 2019 when he placed 17th in the individual.

Brown will be racing in his fourth world championship and Schommer in his third. Brown had a 12th-place finish in the 2021 world championship sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Rounding out the men’s team and competing in their first world championships are Maxime Germain (Chamonix-Mont Blanc, FRA/National Guard Biathlon) and Vincent Bonacci (Salt Lake City, Utah/Crosscut Mountain Sports Center Elite Team).

"Our men's team features a great mix of seasoned veterans in Paul Schommer, Sean Doherty, and Jake Brown; and some talented up-and-comers in Maxime Germain and Vincent Bonacci,” said U.S. Biathlon Director of High Performance Lowell Bailey. “The three veterans have had one of their best years on record so fingers are crossed for personal bests in Oberhof.”

At last month’s Open European Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Germain recorded two top-20 finishes, placing 15th in the sprint and 13th in the pursuit.

“Maxime and Vincent continue to break new records on the IBU Cup and the world cup,” added Bailey. “Maxime is still a junior and, of course, he is focused on top results at the IBU Youth & Junior World Championships. Nevertheless, we have depth on this team, and it will be great to see how they perform not only in the individual format races but also in the relay where they have real potential for top results."

“I’m stoked to be competing in my first world championships,” said Germain. “I think it’s awesome that I get the opportunity to race at this level as a junior. I liked racing here in the summer so I think adding thousands of fans will only add to the atmosphere. It will be electrifying.”

The U.S. women’s roster includes 2022 Olympians Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis./National Guard Biathlon) and Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.). Reid will be competing in her fifth world championships, her best result coming in 2019 with a 10th-place finish in the mass start. For Irwin, Oberhof will mark her second straight world championships.

“I don't have a lot of experience racing in Oberhof,” Irwin conceded. “I haven't raced there since my first full world cup season two years ago. In the past couple years, I've gained a lot of experience racing on the world cup and after the Olympics last year, I gained more confidence in my process. I'm excited to hopefully get to world championships healthy, ready to race and see what results we can pull together as a team.”

"Deedra has had a great season, posting her career-best ski speed in the most recent January world cups,” noted Bailey. “With the seventh-place Olympic Winter Games finish under her belt, we hope Deedra can build on that success in Oberhof."

Joining Irwin and Reid on the women’s team will be Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.), Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, Vt./Craftsbury Green Racing Project) and Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, Wash./Craftsbury Green Racing Project). Levins got her first taste of world championship action last year, while Geraghty-Moats and Dickinson will be competing in their first championship.

Geraghty-Moats earned her position on the team as the team’s point leader for the IBU Cup and Open European Championships. She came to biathlon after competing in ski jumping at the world cup level and winning the first-ever Nordic combined women’s world cup competition in 2020.

“I am really proud to make the objective criteria for the world championships,” said Geraghty-Moats. “I hope I get to start, but even if I don't, I am excited to support my teammates and learn from the experience. I wouldn't have made it this far in two years without incredible support from U.S. Biathlon, the Craftsbury Green Racing Project and my coach, Mike Gibson.” 

Competition at the 2023 IBU World Championships gets underway with the mixed relay on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Live coverage of the IBU World Championships can be found at Below is the full event schedule:

Wed., Feb. 8 - Mixed relay (8:45 a.m. EST)
Fri., Feb. 10 - Women's 7.5km sprint (8:30 a.m. EST)
Sat., Feb. 11 - Men's 10km sprint (8:30 a.m. EST)
Sun., Feb. 12 - Women's 10km pursuit (7:25 a.m. EST) & Men's 12.5km pursuit (9:30 a.m. EST)
Tue., Feb. 14 - Men's 20km individual (8:30 a.m. EST)
Wed., Feb. 15 - Women's 15km individual (8:30 a.m. EST)
Thurs., Feb. 16 - Single mixed relay (9:10 a.m. EST)
Sat., Feb. 18 - Men's 4x7.5km relay (5:45 a.m. EST) & Women's 4x6km relay (9:00 a.m. EST)
Sun., Feb. 19 - Men's 15km mass start (6:30 a.m. EST) & Women's 12.5km mass start (9:15 a.m. EST)

Heartbeat: US Biathlon Podcast (c) US Biathlon