Canadian athletes dominate, volunteers lend to success at FKOC NorAm
FORT KENT, Maine — An international biathlon event at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center, which was rescheduled due to adverse weather, went on without a hitch this past weekend thanks to local volunteers.
The FKOC originally planned the NorAm #6 biathlon during the weekend beginning Friday, Jan. 18, until weather forecasts predicted a winter storm which would drop nearly two feet of snow on the St. John Valley.
FKOC President Carl Theriault said weather conditions were ideal this past weekend.
“The weather was absolutely perfect for biathlon,” he said. “There was sunshine, cold temperatures, no wind and the trails were fast. We got lucky.”
Although Theriault said the number of competitors was down at the NorAm 6 due to its being rescheduled, among the nearly 20 biathletes who participated in the event were eight youths who represented the FKOC.
“This was a first race for a lot of kids and some have been training for about a year,” Theriault said of the FKOC team. “It has been my specific goal to get more local kids involved (in biathlon). The key is just for them to have a good time. I think this is the largest group of local kids we’ve had involved with local biathlon and it fills my heart.”
Despite the short notice of the rescheduled NorAm event, the FKOC was not short of community volunteers who were willing to help out, according to Theriault.
Among those volunteers were Donald and David Guimond, whose late brother Scott Guimond contributed so much time and effort toward volunteering at FKOC biathlon events that the FKOC named a section of the competitive trail in his honor.
The Guimonds manned the penalty loop during the NorAm competition in honor of their brother.
Scott Guimond, the youngest of his siblings, passed away nine years ago.
“He was involved with the Fort Kent Outdoor Center/biathlon from its inception in Fort Kent. He was in charge of the penalty loop and crew for biathlon events,” Don Guimond said. “After his passing the penalty loop was dedicated in his honor. Dave has taken over his position in charge of the penalty loop and I continue to participate as part of the crew, as I did when Scott was around.”
A plaque near the penalty loop at the FKOC reads “Scott’s Around.”
Canadian athletes dominated both the Saturday sprint race and Sunday mass start race at the NorAm.
First-place winners of the Sprint included Reagan Mills of Prince Edward Island in the men’s race. Callie Campbell, also of Prince Edward Island, took first in the junior women’s division. Madison Taljaard of Nova Scotia was the top athlete among youth women. Jim Kettering of Biathlon, N.B., mastered the master men’s division. Simon Hale of Prince Edward Island took first in the U17 boys category. Fidel Wendt, also of Prince Edward Island, scored the most points among the U15 boys, and Fort Kent’s own Fletcher Marquis topped the U13 race.
Sunday’s mass start results were identical, with the exception of the U17 boys contest, during which Fort Kent’s Sam Bosee bested Hale, and the U13 division, which Quinn Michaud of Fort Kent won.
For a complete list of NorAm race results, visit the Fort Kent Outdoor Center website.