Clare Egan shoots from standing position during the 4×6-kilometer mixed relay Saturday at the Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou, China. Egan helped the U.S. finish seventh in the opening biathlon event. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Cape Elizabeth native Clare Egan led the United States to a seventh-place finish Saturday in the first biathlon event of the Beijing Olympics – the 4×6-kilometer mixed relay.

Egan, skiing second for the U.S., posted the second-best time on her leg to move the Americans from 10th place up to fourth. She needed just one extra round to clear her 10 targets and handed off to Sean Doherty just 29.7 seconds behind first-place France.

Doherty of Center Conway, New Hampshire, kept the U.S. in contention for what would have been its first-ever Olympic biathlon medal through the third leg, but anchor Paul Schommer had to ski a penalty loop after missing four shots on his first shooting stage and dropped back to seventh.

Norway, anchored by three-time overall World Cup champion Johannes Thingnes Boe, took the gold medal in a three-way sprint finish with France (silver) and Russia (bronze).

The U.S. was 2 minutes, 12.7 seconds behind Norway.

Egan’s next event is the 15K individual at 4 a.m. Monday.

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