Fort Kent, Maine. Susan Dunklee, of Barton, Vermont, and Bill Bowler of Wausau, Wisconsin, both residents of the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY were crowned National Champions on the opening day of the TD Banknorth National Championships.
On the four foot base of spring snow the nations top biathletes and some from Canada competed on the newly renovated trails and stadium at the 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent, Maine. Susan Dunklee posted the fastest time of the day in 25:54.3 over the 7.5 km sprint course for women, visiting the penalty loop once in prone and once in standing. Following close behind was Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO), and her twin sister Tracy Colliander-Barnes (Fort Kent, ME) finishing in 25:17.1 and 25:44.5 respectively.
The home team of the Maine Winter Sport Center swept the 6 km youth women competition led by Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield, ME) with a time of 22:32.3, followed by Grace Boutot (Fort Kent, ME) 15.2 seconds behind and Andrea Mayo (Fort Kent, ME) 21.6 behind the leader. Melissa Manning of the Western NY Biathlon Club won the girls competition in a time of 41:58.1.
For the men Bill Bolwer edged out Jesse Downs (WCAP, Jericho, VT) over the 10 km sprint course with a time of 28:11.1, exactly three seconds ahead of Downs. In third was Zach Hall (Nikiski, AK and a resident at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY) with a time of 28:31.2.
The champion in the junior men category, Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, MN) posted the fastest time of any American over the 10 km course in 27:41.4 with one miss prone and two standing. Teammate Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN) finished in 29:09.4 with five penalties, and third place went to Nick Peterson of the Vermont College program with a time of 31:19.3.
Leading for the masters men was Sean Kato, from Washington Biathlon with a time of 22:07.1. Age group winners for the masters classes will be announce on Friday. Jackson Hall and Chester Jacobs, both of the Southern Maine Biathlon Club, went one two in the boys class, finishing in 32:37.5 and 36:56.5 respectively.