The Fort Kent Community High School boys and girls teams celebrate their state title wins in the Maine Class C Nordic championships. Credit: Courtesy of Jocelyn Saucier

FORT KENT, Maine — After three years of changing venues due to the pandemic, athletes from 32 Maine high schools competed in the Maine Nordic ski championships this week at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center.

Athletes from Mt. Blue High School, Freeport High School and Fort Kent Community High School took home the boys and girls titles in classes A, B and C, respectively.

It was the first time since 2018 that Fort Kent has hosted the state championships.

“We had to put it off three years in a row because of COVID,” Fort Kent coach Carl Theriault said. “There were probably 400 people up there, and not once in the whole three days did anyone mention COVID. It’s amazing to think of where we were a year ago and how much it’s changed.”  

Hard work went into hosting the event, as volunteers prepared the venue for the arrival of the 275 athletes, their coaches and families from across Maine.

A crew of about 20 parents, high school students and personnel, including Fort Kent Principal John Kaleta, stepped in to shovel about four feet of snow from atop the spectator bleachers at the outdoor center.

“It was a great shoveling party. We got it done in an hour and 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe it,” Theriault said. “It was a very emotional moment for me because I thought, ‘My God, what community support we have for things like this,’ you know.”

Theriault said the weather cooperated with the ski championships, and Fort Kent would love to host the competition again in the future.

“It’s not like a basketball court where it can be the same anywhere. It’s so different in skiing. You’re dependent on Mother Nature totally. We’re blessed with a great place with some great conditions,” Theriault said. “We have the best snow conditions in Maine throughout winter but certainly this time of year.”

Theriault said the volunteers are thankful to host the meet in Fort Kent, and mindful of the unusual distance for the downstate teams to travel to compete in the St. John Valley town.

“If we made it worth the trip, I know we’ve done the job. I know absolutely in spades we made it worth their trip this year,” Theriault said.

The final team scores were:

Class A Boys: Mt. Blue High School, 782 points; Greely High School, 761 points; Deering High School, 736; Portland High School, 720; Brunswick High School, 712; Falmouth High School, 703; Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, 692; Edward Little High School, 539; Cheverus High School, 350; Camden Hills Regional High School, 327; and Thornton Academy, 163.

Class A Girls: Mt. Blue High School, 786 points; Greely High School, 740 points; Portland High School, 739; Falmouth High School, 711; Camden Hills Regional High School, 705; Cheverus High School, 550; Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, 533; Brunswick High School, 376; Edward Little High School, 194; Deering High School, 176; and Bangor High School, 167.

Class B Boys: Freeport High School, 775 points; Yarmouth High School, 772; Leavitt Area High School, 754; Maranacook Community High School, 740; Caribou High School, 718; Maine Coast Waldorf/North Yarmouth Academy, 516; Gray-New Gloucester High School, 190; and Presque Isle High School, 174.

Class B Girls: Freeport High School, 773 points; Leavitt Area High School, 766; Yarmouth High School, 746; Maranacook Community High School, 724; Caribou High School, 717; Presque Isle High School, 702; Maine Coast Waldorf/North Yarmouth Academy, 690; York High School, 333; Traip (Robert W.) Academy, 186; and Old Town High School, 172.

Class C Boys: Fort Kent Community High School, 792 points; Waynflete School, 755; Mt. Abram High School, 731; Orono High School, 728; Ashland District School, 727; Spruce Mountain High School, 705; Mountain Valley High School, 673; Madawaska Middle/High School, 360; Maine School of Science and Mathematics, 176; Telstar Regional High School, 174; and Winthrop High School, 167.

Class C Girls: Fort Kent Community High School, 780 points; Orono High School, 777; Waynflete School, 769; Madawaska Middle/High School, 365; Winthrop High School, 363; Spruce Mountain High School, 356; Ashland District School, 351; Telstar Regional High School, 186; Mountain Valley High School, 183; and Maine School of Science and Mathematics, 179.