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Track and field: Top-notch showdowns to highlight state championship meets

May 30—Many of Maine's best high school track and field athletes will compete head-to-head at the outdoor track and field state championship meets Saturday.

In Class A at Thornton Academy in Saco, South Portland junior Arnaud Sioho and Skowhegan's Billy Albertson are set to resume their triple jump duel, while sprinters Makenna Drouin of Lewiston and Emerson Flaker of Scarborough trade the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

The boys' sprinting events could provide the most drama in Class B.

Mt. Desert Island senior Miles Burr, the 2023 Varsity Maine Boys' Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, will compete on his home track in Bar Harbor for the final time. He's seeded behind Fryeburg Academy's Logan Walton in the 100. Burr holds the 100-meter meet record of 10.95 seconds, but both runners have eclipsed that time this spring.

In the 200, Mason Henderson of Leavitt (22.11), Walton (22.18) and Burr (22.20) are poised for a tight finish.

The Class C meet at St. Joseph's College in Standish will feature some intriguing distance races, particularly on the girls' side. The 1,600- and 3,200 will feature a showdown between Orono senior Ruth White and Greater Houlton Christian Academy junior Teanne Ewings.

Each meet begins at 10 a.m. with field events. Heats in the high hurdles, 100 dashes and 3,200 relays will take place in the morning, with the rest of the track events starting at approximately noon.

Here's a look at each meet:

CLASS A

Drouin, the 2024 Varsity Maine Girls' Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, has a chance to win four individual events, but she faces significant competition. The defending champ in the 100 hurdles, Drouin enters as the third seed with a best time of 15.34, which is behind Windham's Tayla Pelletier (15.28) and Scarborough's Bailey Stoddard-Boughman (15.32).

In the 100 dash, Drouin (12.28) and Flaker (12.29) have nearly identical seed times. Drouin's 300 hurdles time of 45.48 is clearly the best, but she has enough competition from Pelletier (46.38) and Portland's Anneliese Collin (46.72) that a run at the meet record of 44.67 — set in 2011 by Bonny Eagle's Peyton Dostie — is possible. Drouin is seeded second to Flaker in the 200.

Flaker, also a four-event threat, is the top seed in the 400 and is expected to anchor Scarborough's 1,600 relay team.

The Red Storm girls are a contender for the title, thanks to the emergence of sophomores Laurel Driscoll (distance) and Isabella Harmon (field events).

Driscoll posted a state-best time of 4:56.29 in the 1,600 this season. She easily won the event at the SMAA championships in 4:59.99.

After that race, the hardly winded Driscoll said she was looking forward to a race against Portland's Samantha Moore at states. Moore is the defending Class A champ in the 800 and 1,600 and has the state's fastest 800 time (2:14.44) this season. Driscoll is also seeded first in the 3,200.

Harmon enters the meet as top seed in the pole vault (10-7) and high jump (5-5).

Windham's multi-event standout, Pelletier, is the top seed and defending champ in the triple jump and is also a threat in the hurdles. Falmouth's Ruby Prentiss is ranked first in the discus and shot put.

On the boys' side, Sioho is coming off a remarkable SMAA championship performance, setting South Portland records in the long jump (23-7 3/4), triple jump (47-6 3/4), 110 high hurdles (14.6 seconds) and 300 hurdles (38.94). Those marks are the best by a Maine athlete this spring.

At the indoor state championships, which South Portland won, Sioho and Albertson beat the old triple jump meet record, with Sioho winning the event. Albertson is the defending outdoor champ in the long and triple jumps. His season bests are 23-3 and 44-11.

The long jump meet record is 23-0 1/2, which Frank Morang of Cheverus set in 2021. The triple jump meet record is 46-5, set in 1991 by South Portland's Scott Sawyer.

In the high jump, Griffin Gammon of Gorham has a top leap of 6-9 3/4 while Josia Katroli of Lewiston is seeded second at 6-9 1/2. The meet record is 6-10 1/4, set in 2008 by Noble's Anthony Stanton.

Marshwood's Andre Clark set an SMAA record last weekend in the 100 with a time of 10.62 seconds — the fastest in state history. Clark missed most of the season because of a hamstring injury. He ran the 200 for the first time at the SMAA meet, clocking 22.63 to finish third behind Kyle Barron of Kennebunk (22.25) and Nolan Feyler of Gorham (22.40). Barron, Feyler and Clark are the top three seeds, respectively.

Feyler's best 400 time of 48.34 is faster than the 2015 meet record of 48.45 set by Jake Dixon of Cheverus.

CLASS B

York senior Cary Drake has won 16 individual and relay championships across cross country (2), indoor track (7) and outdoor track (7).

She's led the Wildcats to six straight team titles across the three seasons. Last spring, in driving rain that bedeviled all of the state meets, Drake swept the distance triple after running a leg on the winning 3,200 relay team. She is scheduled for the same workload this year and is the top seed in each event. The Wildcats are expected to battle Greely to the wire for the team title.

Greely will counter with depth across more events, and standouts like freshman Victoria Zandan, who is ranked first in both hurdles.

In the boys' meet, in addition to the marquee sprint events, Lake Region distance standout Sam Laverdiere expects to have strong competition from Carter Libby of Gray-New Gloucester in the 1,600 and Freeport's Will Spaulding in the 3,200. Libby is the top seed in the 800.

Will Rush of Medomak Valley is seeded first in the long and triple jumps. His triple jump best of 46-1 is further than the 1991 meet record of 45-9 set by Joe Bedard of Mountain Valley.

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CLASS C

White and Ewings have been battling in cross country and outdoor track (White does Nordic skiing in the winter) the last three years. White has the larger statewide profile because of her three New England cross country championships and successes at the TD Beach to Beacon road race, but Ewings is the defending outdoor champ and a faster runner in the 1,600. White's 3,200 season-best time is 10:27.84; Ewings has run 10:34.16. Drake (10:56.87) and Driscoll (10:58.94) are the only other girls in Maine to run the 3,200 under 11 minutes this spring.

The girls' jumping events also feature the best in Maine this year. North Yarmouth Academy teammates Graca Bila (37-3 1/3) and Sarah Moore (37-2) are the state's top two triple jumpers, while Bucksport's Natasha Monreal (18-1 1/4) and Moore (17-11 3/4) are the best this season in the long jump. Moore is also tied for first across Maine with her 5-5 high jump. Bila is seeded first in the Class C meet in the 300 hurdles and 200.

On the boys' side, Winslow senior Joseph Richards is the clear No. 1 in the 200 (state-fastest 22.01) and 400 (48.71). If he can come close to those times, Richards would break meet records held by John Thomas of Traip Academy (22.3, set in 1984) and Pak Lul of North Yarmouth Academy (49.78, in 2006). Richards is also the top seed in the 100 and third in the long jump.

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