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Outdoor track: 10 teams to watch in southern Maine

Apr. 19—BOYS

1. Gorham: As was the case indoors, the Class A boys' team title could very well come down to the final events, with many teams bunched closely at the top. The Rams should be in that mix with strong spots across the board, particularly in the hurdles and field events. Seniors Nolan Feyler (hurdles, sprints), Aidan Lee (110 hurdles, high jump), Joshua Wright (300 hurdles) and Luke Burns (discus) were state meet scorers last year, and junior Griffin Gammon is the reigning New England high jump champ and a threat in the long jump and discus.

2. Scarborough: The Red Storm were second in Class A last year after winning three straight and five of the previous six titles. Nate Murray is among the state's best in both the shot put and discus. Dylan Brown and Graham Peiser in the javelin and long jumpers/hurdlers Miguel Torres and John Read can also add points from the field events. Baxter Merriman (800, 1,600), Ethan Keller (3,200), and freshman Atticus Merriman (3,200) form a strong core in the distance events.

3. South Portland: The Red Riots were indoor champs this winter and have all of their indoor state meet scorers on the outdoor team, plus some additional potential scorers. Arnaud Sioho, the indoor triple jump champ, is also very strong in the long jump and both hurdle events. Henry Risch (shot, discus), Evan Small (3,200), Tyler Bryant (high jump, triple jump, javelin), Michael Lawlor (800), Fischer Petrlik (1,600, 3,200) and race walkers Alexandy Pierre and Patrick Heffernan give South Portland excellent scoring range.

4. Portland: The Bulldogs have several strong seniors, including distance runners Nathan Blades and Benjamin Prestes, and hurdler/thrower Myles Hang. At last year's state meet, Blades was fourth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 800, Prestes was fourth in the 800, and Hang placed second in the 110 hurdles. Elias Coleman, Prestes and Asa Winter will be key members of the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams. Overall, Portland has quality competitors across the events and expects to be among a group of teams that includes Mt. Ararat, Lewiston and Bonny Eagle (led by race walker Rowan McDonald, jumper Brandt Abbott and 400-meter runner CJ Cooper) who could top Class A if the chips fall the right way.

5. Greely: The Rangers have all of their scorers from this year's Class B indoor championship team, with great depth in the running and jumping events. Last spring, Jonah Guibord was third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles. Charlie Anania and Gaelan Lucey are also strong hurdlers. Liam Coull, a junior, leads the distance group, sophomore Connor Skillin can score in the 800, and Alex Mendoza is a threat in the horizontal jumps. The relay teams will also be top-tier. Local WMC rivals Freeport and York are also title contenders, along with defending champ Leavitt. Freeport is led by state champ pole vaulter Reece Perry and distance runners Will Spaulding and Alex Gilbert. York has indoor high jump champ Gavin Davis, middle distance runner Sam Hunter, and typically lots of depth.

GIRLS

1. Scarborough: The Red Storm won the indoor state championship, primarily by scoring a few points in many events. This spring, they have shot at winning their first outdoor title since 2012 and with 70 athletes, as depth will again be a strength and should make for strong relay teams. Junior sprinter Emerson Flaker, a top-tier point-getter, is back on the track after playing basketball in the winter. Laurel Driscoll and Kyleigh Record (distance events), Isabella Harmon (field events) and Bailey Stoddard-Baughman (hurdles) are also scoring threats.

2. York: The Wildcat are looking for their third straight Class B outdoor title. If they succeed, it will mean the squad led by senior distance standouts Cary Drake and Molly Kenealy will have won Class B championships in seven consecutive athletic seasons, having won two straight cross country and indoor titles. Drake is the defending Class B champion in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Drake, Portland's Samantha Moore, and Class C runners Ruth White of Orono and Teanne Ewings of Greater Houlton Christian Academy are among the top distance runners in New England.

3. Freeport: The Falcons were second to York last season and might have the pieces to stop the Wildcats' dominance. Senior Lucy Bourgeois was the runner-up in the 300 hurdles and combined with Taryn Curry, Lucy Riggs, Lizalyn Boudreau and Lilah Hall to win the 400 and 1,600 relays at last year's state meet. Hall, Lucy Huggett and Esther Penney are a strong distance trio. Kessa Banner in the pole vault is another key returner. The freshmen and sophomore classes are also strong based on their cross country and indoor seasons. Greely is another Class B contender, finishing third last year and second indoors this winter. Sophomore Rowan Barry was fourth in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at states a year ago. Top relay runners Jackie Franklin, Abbie Lennox and Emma Stein, and senior sprinter Abbie Jacobson also return for the Rangers.

4. Portland: With Moore, the Bulldogs start a meet knowing they can count on a bundle of points in the distance events. Moore is the defending Class A champion in the 800 and 1,600, and also won the Class A cross country title this past fall and two events at this year's indoor state meet. Last season, Anneliese Collin won the high jump, was second in the 300 hurdles and third in the pole vault. Portland also has many experienced runners who contributed in the relays, including seniors Iman Alaari and Inas Alaari, juniors Ava Chadbourne and Adong Vincent, and sophomore Alice Anderson.

5. North Yarmouth Academy/Maine Coast Waldorf: This co-op team isn't the favorite in Class C. That distinction goes to Ruth White-led Orono. But the Panthers do have the firepower to repeat their second-place finish from a year ago, starting with Sarah Moore, the New England champion in the long and triple jump who is also the top returning high jumper in Maine. Senior Graca Bila also returns. She was fourth in the 300 hurdles and triple jump and anchored the second-place 1,600 relay at the state meet. Sophomore race walker Rahel Delaney was second last year, and the relays should be solid. Maine Coast sophomore Soren Stark-Chessa, the Class C South cross country champion, should add points in the distance events.