Panton man, Addison girl take gold at atlatl contest
ADDISON — At the 20th annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison on Sept. 19, 31 competitors from five states battled the breezes to test their skills. The event, a highlight of September’s Vermont Archaeology Month, is New England’s longest running event using the atlatl, the ancient spear-thrower used around the world before the development of the bow and arrow. Contestants are challenged in tests of accuracy, distance and the International Standards Accuracy competition.
Scores in distance and accuracy are combined to determine overall winners. Girls’ competitor Lillian Clark of Addison, the hometown favorite, was the girls’ overall winner and won the shootout with two perfect bull’s-eyes scores for the title of grand champion and honor of the “laurel wreath crown.”
Men’s gold overall winner was Greg Maurer of Panton and World Atlatl Association vice president; the silver went to Gary Nolf of Connecticut, past president of the World Atlatl Association board; with the bronze to Ken Faucher of New Hampshire. Patrick Gagne of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce University Anthropology Club atlatl team was recognized for his close fourth.
Women’s top medalist was Margie Takoch of Ohio; Kate Pontbriand of Franklin Pierce University Anthropology Club atlatl team won silver; and Lynn Tobin from New Hampshire took the bronze.
In the boys’ overall category Vermont newcomers Zinman Kouassi won gold; Ian Gramling scored the silver medal, and Joey Haines got bronze. Ian and Joey used the atlatls and darts they had made the day before at the atlatl workshop.
In the girls category Vermonters Lillian Clark won gold, Nina Carmolli took the silver, and Mira Carmolli captured the bronze.
During the competition, Bob Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl, Barry Keegan and Charlie Paquin demonstrated and taught the ancient skills of flint knapping (making stone tools) and making atlatls and Woodland pottery.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site, located in Addison at 8149 VT Route 17 at the Vermont foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge, presents the early Native American, French colonial, and American history of the area. Call 802-759-2412 for information. The site is open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays through Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on the Vermont State Historic Sites visit www.historicsites.vermont.gov.
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