Blossom festival champions crowned

14 years ago

Photos by Joseph Cyr, Richard  Nichols and Kevin Sjoberg

FORT FAIRFIELD – A number of sporting events took place during the annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival, which wrapped up Sunday. A round-up of the action follows:

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Fifty-eight cyclists, ranging in age from under 8 to 69, took part Saturday in the Spud Cycle Classic bike race in Fort Fairfield. Presque Isle’s Devin Higgins, a member of the Velocite club, won the event with a time of 1:04:07. Also crossing the finish line in the winners’ pack were Thad LaVallee of Boston and Taylor Schwartz of Manchester.

Other top finishers in the 25-mile Maine Potato Blossom Festival competition were: James Wohlgemuth of Carmel, Von Perry of Easton, Matt Michaud of Fort Kent, Seth Haskell (no town listed) and Liam Wholly of Bangor, all at 1:04:08.

Rounding out the top 15 were: Francois Violette of St. Leonard, N.B., and Steve Connor of Dedham, both 1:04:11; Chris Brewer of Bath, and Kyle Washington of Caribou, both at 1:06:35; Max Saenger of Stockholm, 1:06:38; and Jeff Dubis of Fort Kent, and Dean Collins of Madawaska, both at 1:08:31.

Richard “Dick” Nichols was the oldest competitor, as the 67-year-old Fort Fairfield resident finished 37th with a time of 1:42:15.

Josh Doody, a 15-year-old from Grove City, Penn., won the 12-mile race in a time of 49:55 followed by Easton’s Eli Pangburn, 13, at 53:39 and Caribou’s Tyler Strid, 15, at 57:07. Morgann Towle, 12, won the 1.2-mile event with a time of 6:44. Max Bartley was the .8-mile race winner with a time of 3:24 minutes while Kadin Barnes won the .4-mile event in a time of 1:49 minutes.

SP-blossomrace-dc4-ar-29Caribou’s P.J. Gorneault covered the Maine Potato Blossom 5 Miler course Saturday in 27:51 minutes and 45 seconds, ahead of second-place finisher Thomas Beckum, also of Caribou. Rounding out the top five runners were Austin Townsend, 31:41; Corey Park, 32:05; and Richard Cotta, 32:24.

Other top finishers in the 77-runner field were: Austin Ross, 32:34; Bryan Powers, 32:49; Brandon LaSater, 33:09; Finn Bondeson, 33:54; Susan Plissey, 34:39; Leo Kashian, 34:49; Jeff Irving, 34:50; Hank Karlsson, 35:20; Carl Soderberg, 35:47; and Jordan Powers, 36:24.

The youngest runners to finish the race were 12-year-olds Dillon Beckum, 36:55; Morgann Towle, 1:13:48; and Alexis Coiley, 1:13:49. The oldest competitors in the road race were Art Thompson, 76, 1:02:36; Don Zillman, 66, 48:16; and Bruce Alexander, 63, 49:21.

Bill Flannery was the fastest walker at 1:00:47, followed by Pam Kinsey, 1:02:11 and Joe Doherty at 1:02:42. There were 18 walkers in the race.

Seventy-eight paddlers in canoes and kayaks took part Saturday in the six-mile Aroostook River Regatta in Fort Fairfield. The event is part of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival.

Fred Ludwig of Houlton and Stephen McAleer of Ludlow, N.B. teamed up to win the river race as the covered the flatwater course in 46 minutes, 17 seconds by canoe. Stockholm’s Will Sweetser paddled his kayak over the finish line in second place just 24 seconds later with a time of 46:41.

Other top finishers included: Ron Bomberger and Chip Loring, 47:51; Corey Park, 48:26; Fran Cyr, 51:36; Jim Park, 51:38; Tom Towle, 58:12; Brent Jepson, 53:18; David McCrossin, 55:29; Don and Terry Wescott, 56:38; Kevin Strid, 58:39; Tom Beckum, 58:47; and Norman Page, 58:51.

Also, Rob Langner, 59:42; Kelsey Towle, 1:10:26; Nicole Cyr, 1:01:37; Fran Prest, 1:03:46; Tyler Strid, 1:04:28; Steve Schaub and Andy Coiley, 1:05:00; and Marie Strouse, 1:05:42.

Tom Towle, director of the Fort Fairfield Recreation and Parks Department, has released the results of the “Spud Challenge” Triathlon held Saturday and Sunday during the annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival.

Presque Isle’s Corey Park earned the “iron man” title as he compiled a combined time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 29 seconds in the run, paddle and bike competition. Park, 20, was followed by runner-up Brent Jepson of New Sweden, 58, who finished in 2:46:07.

Fran Prest of Presque Isle took the women’s title in 3:17:51.

Kevin Strid of Caribou was third in 3:20:14.

In the junior category, which featured a shorter bike leg, Tyler Strid, 15, of Caribou placed first in 2:39:46; Morgann Towle, a 12-year-old from Fort Fairfield, was next in 4:04:36; and Alexis Coiley, 12, of Fort Fairfield, was third at 4:06:46.

The triathlon combined results from the Maine Potato Blossom 5 Miler Road Race, the Aroostook River Regatta 6-mile river race; and the 25-mile Spud Cycle Classic bicycle race. The youth bike leg was 12 miles long.

It was a full field Saturday morning at Aroostook Valley Country Club as 156 players on 52 teams teed off in the annual Maine Potato Blossom Festival Scramble golf tournament.

SP-blossomgolf-dc1-ar-29The team of Scott Fox, Jamie Pollock and Jody Crawford, all from Nackawick, New Brunswick, fired a 14-under-par 58 to win Division One honors. They were followed closely by an all-AVCC team of Ralph Michaud, David Ricker and Bobby Russell, who carded a 59.

In Division Two, a Perth-Andover, N.B.-based team of Brian Shannon, Chris Murchison and Rick Christensen took top honors with a 64. Randy Ratcliff, Andrew Lynch and Mark Sotomayor, all Aroostook County natives with Fort Fairfield ties, came in second place with a 65.

The Fort Kent-based team of Tom Bard, Jimmy Lopez and Chad Gervais went undefeated to capture the Coca-Cola 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament last Tuesday, which was part of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival.

They defeated the team consisting of Cody Roach, Matt Rochford, Kris Snyder, Aaron Wasson and Billy Smith to win the championship.

A total of seven teams competed in the double-elimination event, held at the community center.

Presque Isle defeated Oakfield in the championship game of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival junior girls softball tournament last Tuesday.

Olivia Hudson pitched four no-hit, shutout innings; Taylor Williams showed off her arm from behind the plate, throwing out four base runners attempting to steal; and Kelsey Gilson came on in relief to pitch two shutout innings to secure the championship for Presque Isle with a 13-0 victory.

Gilson finished the day the way she started it from the plate. She had three hits and scored three runs for the offense. Megan McKnight and Megan Seward contributed two hits each for the offense. Hailey Cameron, Jessica Cameron, Emily Colligan and Lee Ireland contributed timely hits to add to the Presque Isle lead.

SP-blossomsoft-dc2-ar-29 Fort Fairfield and Ashland tied for third in the eight-team tourney for girls 12 years of age and younger. Other teams participating were Limestone, Madawaska and Washburn.    

Hudson, Ireland and Gilson combined to throw a three-hit shutout against Caribou in the first game of the annual tournament last Tuesday.

Gilson also helped her cause offensively by scoring four runs on four hits. Hailey Cameron, Jessica Cameron and Williams added two hits apiece.

Presque Isle played a short-handed Ashland team in game two of the day and came away with an 18-2 victory. Hudson pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four of the six batters she faced.

Defensively, Williams threw out the two base runners attempting to steal second.

Young swimmers from Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Kent and Fort Fairfield came together Wednesday, July 14 to compete in the festival swim meet.

Held at the Fort Fairfield Community Pool, nearly 100 athletes competed in a variety of swimming events. Presque Isle collected the most team points (381) to finish first in the meet. Fort Fairfield placed second with 256 points, followed by Caribou, 184; and Fort Kent, 104.

Individual winners by age group were as follows:

sp-ff swim-dc3-shar-29Girls 8 and under, Cassidy Coiley, FF; boys 8 and under, Chase Coiley, FF; girls 9-10, Sarah Beaulieu, FF; boys 9-10, Tyler Levesque, PI; girls 11-12, Alexis Coiley, FF; boys 11-12, Parker Lambert, PI; girls 13-14, Laura Lusardi, Caribou; boys 13-14, Alex Hemphill, PI; girls 15-18, Alecia Palmer, PI; and boys 15-18, Brandon Warren, FF.