U.S. Biathlete Susan Dunklee captured 2nd place in the Women's 7.5 Km Sprint on the first day of the IBU World Cup 8 in Presque Isle, Maine.

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Dunklee finished 17.8 seconds behind Czech star Gabriela Soukalova, whose clean shooting and strong performance gave her the sprint win in 20:02.2. Third went to Krystyna Guzik of Poland, 19.1 seconds back.

Two days before her 30th birthday, the Vermont native and member of the 2014 U.S> Olympic Team had her best World Cup finish to date in Thursday's sprint at the Nordic Heritage Center.

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Susan Dunklee/Facebook

Dunklee said it was a “Dream-come-true day for me on a home course with my family here…just a wonderful feeling. I saw this course on Tuesday and said to myself, 'this is my course.' I was very aware of the crowd when I was shooting, probably more than usual, but I did a good job of focusing despite that. This is a great confidence booster before the break and World Championships."