Conference track and field meets for the Southern Maine Activities Association and the Western Maine Conference are scheduled to begin this week, but a handful of teams have already gotten a head start on the outdoor track season.

Competitors from 10 teams in all three track classifications competed in the Tom Foley Invitational on April 20 at Greely High School, despite the fact that many schools were closed for spring break.

“We’re lucky in that the teams that were there were all big teams,” York Coach Ted Hutch said. “We lose half of our team over spring vacation.”

The SMAA begins its conference schedule today with four four-team boys’ meets at Biddeford, Marshwood, Noble and South Portland. The girls’ conference schedule begins Wednesday with meets at Biddeford, Portland, Thornton Academy and Windham.

The WMC conference schedule opens at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a 16-team meet at Sacopee Valley that includes York, which fields a team of 117 boys and girls this season. The Tom Foley meet — a nonscoring meet — replaced York’s traditional intrasquad meet, an event into which coaches have thrown a few wrinkles.

“What we do in the beginning is that in the first and second week of the season, we have a meet in which the upperclassmen go against the underclassmen,” Hutch said. “We have something we call the ‘wacky relays,’ and we did a series of relays last year.”

One of those relays pitted the throwers against each other, a 400-meter relay in which they had to carry the high jump mats once around the track, and hand them off to another group of teammates.

“It really breaks up the monotony of the preseason,” Hutch said.

But this year, the Tom Foley meet took the place of the annual intrasquad meet at York, which is expected be one of the WMC’s top teams.

“All the meets are practice for the big meets,” Hutch said. “There are no Heal points, so kids can concentrate on qualifying for the bigger meets.”

 

TEAMS FROM the SMAA and WMC will meet May 4 for four boys’ crossover meets and four girls’ crossover meets, each designated geographically. Gorham will host Fryeburg, Sacopee Valley and Windham. Poland will host Bonny Eagle, Lake Region and Westbrook in a pair of western meets. Cheverus will host Falmouth, Freeport and Portland while Yarmouth will host Deering, Gray-New Gloucester and McAuley in a pair of central-north meets. Greely will host Biddeford, Thornton Academy and Waynflete. Scarborough will host North Yarmouth Academy, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland in a pair of central-south meets. Kennebunk will host Noble, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford and Wells while York will host Massabesic, Marshwood and Traip Academy in a pair of southern meets.

 

THE KVAC and Mountain Valley Conference opened their season April 15 each with a pair of meets, while Edward Little hosted Brunswick, Mt. Ararat and Oxford Hills April 20.

The Eddies won both the boys’ and girls’ meets, and Brunswick’s Mike Slovenski won the boys’ pole vault by clearing 14 feet, 3 inches, the state’s best height so far this season.

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at: [email protected]