The onset of warm weather should be a boon to Maine’s outdoor track and field competitors, who have entered championship season.
Maine runners, jumpers and throwers will converge at a handful of sites on Friday and Saturday looking to achieve personal and team success.
In Eastern Maine, the action begins with the Penobscot Valley Conference Small School Championship at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft and continues with the PVC Large School meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at Old Town High School.
The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Championship is slated for Saturday at Morse High School in Bath.
Orono High School looks to defend its PVC Small School titles. The girls squad features outstanding balance and depth.
Leading the charge is junior sprinter Lauren Stoops, the top seed in the 100 meters (12.71 seconds), the 200 (26.36) and the 300 hurdles (47.94). The Red Riots also have top-seeded Emma Honey (triple jump, 31 feet, 7 inches) and Allison Pickering (pole vault, 9-3), along with a distance contingent spearheaded by Rebecca Lopez-Anido, Hannah Steelman, Lily Koffman and Cassidy Dill.
Throw in top-seeded race walker Kylie Gray (9:57.69) and the fastest three relay teams and Orono will be tough to unseat.
Tia Tardy of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln should also contend for some individual titles. The sophomore boasts the state’s fastest times this spring in the 800 (2:14.24) and the 1,600 (5:06.98) and is the meet’s No. 1 seed in the long jump (17-5).
Mavis Taungatu’a of Bucksport has been a force and is the leader in the discus (102-9), javelin (102-9) and shot put (38-9½).
The Orono and Foxcroft Academy boys are laden with front-line performers.
The Red Riots’ catalysts include Tristan Butterfield, the top seed in the 400 (52.93) and 800 (2:00.70) and the No. 2 man in the 1,600 (4:38.37), along with discus thrower Jake Koffman (153-4) and pole vaulter Eden Dulin (11-6). Orono’s 4×400 and 4×800 relays also are top seeds.
The Ponies are paced by junior Judson Smith, who leads the field in the 110 hurdles (16.72) and 300 hurdles (42.13), long jump (20-2½), triple jump (40-10½) and high jump (6-2). Peter Boyer is ranked first in the shot put (50-0) and FA’s 4×100 quartet has the fastest time of the spring.
Baramee Janla of Sumner in East Sullivan is the man to beat in the 100 (11.64) and 200 (23.77) and Matthew Toussaint of Fort Kent goes in with the best times in the 1,600 (4:36.09) and the 3,200 (10:03.05).
The Old Town boys and Hampden Academy girls are the defending champions in Saturday’s PVC Large School Championships.
Old Town’s keys include Nick Boutin, the pace-setter and Class B top seed in the 100 (11.26). He is the PVC leader in the 200 (23.20) as is Charles Moody in the 110 hurdles (16.21), state top seed Mitchell Cole in the long jump (21-9½) and its 4×100 relay (45.58).
Broncos distance standout Paul Casavant goes in as the No. 1 seed in the 1,600 (4:34.31) and the 3,200 (10:09.18) as do triple jumper Alex Charette (39-8½) and 800 runner Caleb Lord (2:01.76). Hampden Academy’s 4×800 quartet heads the field in 8:47.68.
Caribou’s Dominic Judd has run a state-best 41.30 in the 300 hurdles.
Among the PVC Large School girls, Hampden Academy receives consistent speed from No. 1 seed Elizabeth Labun in the 800 (2:32.85) and 1,600 (5:40.00) and Krystal Grant has bragging rights in the 300 hurdles (50.03). Long jumper Christie Woodside (16-6¾) and javelin performer Daija Misler (95-10) also sit atop the rankings as does the Broncos’ 4×100 team (52.52).
Bangor is sparked by Felicity Palmer in the 400 (1:03.80), Abby Reynolds in the 100 hurdles (16.94) and Olivia Wallace in the pole vault (9-6).
Ellsworth’s Elizabeth Perry is the top seed in the shot put (37-3¾) and discus (115-0).