Biathletes to train at Fort Kent

Posted June 19, 2009, at 11:03 p.m.

The nation’s top female biathletes will converge on Fort Kent from June 21 through July 4 for a summer training camp.

The athletes will live at University of Maine at Fort Kent facilities and train at the Maine Winter Sports Center’s 10th Mountain Center.

The biathletes will take advantage of the roller ski loop at 10th Mountain Center, which was extended last year and is now the third-longest in the U.S.

The U.S. Olympic Trials for biathlon were held in Fort Kent in 2005, and MWSC officials say it’s certain that the athletes who make up the 2010 U.S. team will be in Fort Kent for the camp.

“We’re really excited to be in Fort Kent and to utilize the facilities there,” assistant U.S. coach Patrick Coffey said in a news release. “This will be a first-time experience for me, but I’m looking forward to seeing the 10th Mountain and surrounding landscape. I’ve heard many great things from the athletes.”

The event will be a homecoming of sorts for many of the participants, as all but three of the athletes have spent time training in the Maine Winter Sports Center program.

“Many of the women still keep in contact with friends they made during their time here,” MWSC biathlon coach Gary Colliander said in the release. “They’re all really excited to come back and be here.”

U.S. team members who will be attending are Lanny Barnes of Durango, Colo., Tracy Barnes-Colliander of Fort Kent, Carolyn Bramante of Duluth, Minn., Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake, N.Y., Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vt., Haley Johnson of Lake Placid, N.Y., Laura Spector of Lenox, Mass., Sara Studebaker of Boise, Idaho, and Jenifer Wygant of Burnsville, Minn.

Also attending will be some of Maine’s top young biathletes, including BethAnn Chamberlain, Grace Boutot, Hilary McNamee and Meagan Toussaint.

Wii to feature Fort Kent site

Officials at the Maine Winter Sports Center are touting their Fort Kent facility’s inclusion as one of 13 World Cup venues in a biathlon video game on the Nintendo Wii platform.

The Wii is an interactive system that requires users to simulate motions that are taking place on the video screen — in this case, holding a game wand in each hand while standing on a sensor board and shifting weight to approximate skiing.

Athletes in the game raise their heart rates, then hit the shooting range.

“It’s a lot of fun to have a global giant like Nintendo become part of the momentum and fun we are creating here in Maine,” MWSC president Andy Shepard said in a news release. “I think it also is a statement about Maine’s new role on the world’s sports stage.”

MWSC’s 10th Mountain Center hosted a biathlon World Cup event in 2004.

Family Fun Day today

The Outdoor Family Fun Day is scheduled today at the Penobscot County Conservation Association at 570 North Main St, Brewer.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is no admission charge, but children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Some of the day’s activities include a canoe trip, fly casting, a rescue dogs demonstration, archery and geocaching information.

To submit an item for publication in the Outdoor Notebook, send e-mail to jholyoke@bangordailynews.net, fax to 990-8092 or mail information to Outdoor Notebook, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402-1329.

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