February 22, 2007
The University of Maine at Fort Kent's Nordic ski team has won the Maine Reynolds Division title in its inaugural season of competition, it was announced this week.
The Bengal skiers easily outdistanced their closest rivals, the University of Maine, 46 to 35, in taking the league honors for overall team competition. The Bengal ladies took the women's title in a romp, 29 to 10, over their closest competitors, the University of Maine at Farmington. The Bengal men skiers finished in third place in the men's competition.
UMFK Nordic ski coach, and Reynolds Division Nordic ski competition coordinator, Roy Michaud, expressed his joy and gratitude, both, for the team's league honors.
"To win the overall team competition in Nordic competition in our inaugural season was a major endeavor," Michaud said. "All the league races went very well. It was a fun league," Michaud added.
UMFK President, Dr. Richard W. Cost, said: "This is an exciting and important victory for the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Here in the St. John Valley, winter sports are part of our way of life, and for this institution the outdoors are vital extensions of our classrooms. For both of these reasons, this championship is especially meaningful and represents a clear statement that Nordic skiing is a very strong program at UMFK. This is truly exciting news."
"Nordic Skiing is a truly demanding individual sport. Athletes spend 99.9 percent of their time out alone on the trail, pushing themselves to the very limits of their physical endurance. Our hats are off to these extraordinary student-athletes," President Cost added.
Coach Michaud complemented several of his Nordic skiers for their individual season performances.
"Heather Hickey (Fort Kent, ME) was undefeated in league competition; Eamonn Harding (Ellsworth, ME) was our most consistent competitor; and Luke Sawyer (Sweden, ME) always finished in the top three or four," he said. "Heather and Luke competed in both the alpine and Nordic competition," he added.
The UMFK alpine and Nordic ski teams competed in meets or carnivals throughout the state of Maine. Prior to the formation of Maine's Reynolds Division, collegiate teams only were able to compete in Eastern Conference meets and carnivals; none of which were held in Maine.