Fort Kent sports facility to host state Nordic championships
FORT KENT, Maine — The cross country trails and lodge at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center will soon be abuzz, as the community hosts the Class B and C Nordic State Championships, Feb. 21 and 22.
Carl Theriault, the Fort Kent Community High School Nordic head coach and FKOC board president, said he expects more than 200 athletes to take part in the winter sporting event.
There are 14 eligible schools in Class B that could take part and another 15 in Class C. Including coaches, parents and fans, Theriault said there may be close to 400 people at the ski event.
“We want to make sure people in town know there will be a lot of extra traffic and people around,” Theriault said. And, the more local fans that come out to watch the competitors the more exciting it will be for the student athletes.
As the coach of the Fort Kent team taking part in the meet, Theriault is taking off his Outdoor Center hat for this event, he said.
The Fort Kent venue last hosted a state meet in 2010, although it regularly hosts high school regular season Nordic meets.
Each school is allowed a maximum of eight skiers who will be allowed to compete. The Nordic meet will feature two days of classic and freestyle skiing along a 5-kilometer course. A final pursuit race will cap off the event.
Theriault said many teams will arrive on Tuesday, to settle in and get some practice laps at the venue.
Among the top teams from downstate expected to take part are Waynflete Academy, Orono, Telstar, Freeport and Yarmouth. Aroostook County schools, which normally produce strong Nordic skiers, will also take part.
Theriault said his team looks good heading into the final meet of the season.
“Our boys look to have a really good chance to do well,” said Theriault. “And the girls have been getting better with each meet.”
The Warrior boys finished a close second behind the always dominant Caribou Vikings, at a recent meet in Madawaska. The Fort Kent girls finished third in that meet.
“We have a young girls team,” Therialt said. “But, they moved a few spots and are doing really well.”
This year, in addition to the top team awards, top ten individual skiers will be recognized in the classic and freestyle races, as well as the final pursuit event.
The trails at the Outdoor Center, which have seen more than ample snow this season, are expected to be in great shape for the high school championships, Theriault said.
Five of Theriault’s Nordic skiers are also on the team’s alpine team and will be doing double duty during winter break week, as the Class C alpine state meet is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday next week in Mars Hill.