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Local Biathletes Prepare for National Competition

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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Fort Kent, Maine (WAGM) - Next week, some local biathletes will head to the 2021 United States Biathlon Roller Ski Championships. The event will take place August 6th-8th in Jericho, Vermont.

“This is the first even that they’ve held 18 months,” said the coach of the biathletes, Carl Theriault. “So, we’re really lucky to get back there. It’s a great roller ski course, it’s very challenging. "

The biathletes from Fort Kent will leave on August 5th. They’ll spend the 6th doing training sessions and then compete on the 7th and 8th. While in Jericho, they will also get to watch and meet other biathletes who will have been on the world stage.

“It’s really good for the kids to be able to ski and kind of look at their times and results compared to the best athletes that are Olympians so it’s a really good benchmark for the kids to get together,” said Theriault.

“It’s really really neat to just get the whole biathlon community together in the summer not just in the winter,” said one of the athletes, Caleb Hunter.

They have been preparing for nationals all summer.

“We started of the training season May with more slow like easy kind of workouts just trying to get back into it and now as we’re getting closer we try to ramp up intensity and faster shooting to get back in the feeling of racing,” said Hunter.

Improved performance isn’t the only thing they are looking forward to.

“You see a lot of friendships that you’ve had over the years,” said Theriault.

“Just seeing everyone again because biathlon is a pretty small community so you know most of the people in your age group,” said another competitor, Dolcie Tanguay. “And also, the national team comes to nationals in the summer and winter so we get to watch them race and learn from them. Sometimes we get to talk to them and they cheer for us and we cheer from them so it’s fun.”

“There is an educational component for the younger skiers and it’s really great for them to see some of the higher level athletes,” said Theriault.

Skiers will be making the trip from Fort Kent to Jericho all with the goal of learning, growing, and getting to see their friends.

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