Recently, five state-best marks were set by Southern Maine athletes, but that’s all they will remain — state-best. Not state records.

The Maine Principals’ Association only recognizes state records in track and field that are set at state championship meets. So, effectively, a high school track athlete only has one chance to set a state record — the first Saturday in June, when the state meets are held.

So while state-best marks can be set any time during the regular season, they’re not recognized as records by the MPA.

George Mendros, the boys’ head coach at Thornton Academy, explained that there are particulars that come into play in determining state records — notably, technology and officiating structure — as part of an official process to verify a state-record time, distance, height or leap.

“It has to do with timing devices, and in field events, marks are supposed to be measured and a meet referee has to come over and verify the mark,” Mendros said. “You could do it in championship and high-quality meets, but you do it to ensure the performance is exactly what it said it was. At regular-season meets, you don’t have the same type of quality control.”

Earlier this season, Biddeford’s Keila Grigware, Greely’s Mark McCauley and Kennebunk’s Abbey Leonardi set state-best marks — Grigware at 139 feet, 8 inches in the javelin; McCauley at 1 minute, 53.6 seconds in the 800 meters; and Leonardi in the 1,600 (4:52.9) and 3,200 (10:36.3). Leonardi also posted a state-best time of 9:47.64 in the 3,000 at a meet in Massachusetts, but that distance is only run at out-of-state meets.

For a basis of comparison, the MPA state records in those events are 129-1 in the girls’ javelin, 1:53.8 in the boys’ 800, 4:57.27 in the girls’ 1,600 and 10:42.8 in the girls’ 3,200.

Mendros keeps track of state-best times and posts them at the end of the season on the Sub5 Track Club’s high school web pages, a process he started seven years ago.

However, Mendros doesn’t see a need to make all regular-season meets eligible for state-record status.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate,” Mendros said. “Times and distances might not be accurate.”

 

LEONARDI, A JUNIOR, shaved time off her state-best mark in the 1,600 on Saturday at the SMAA championships at Thornton Academy. She won the 1,600 in 4:52.78 and also finished first in the 800 in 2:16.70.

Leonardi will enter Saturday’s Class A championships as the No. 1 seed in the three distance events.

At the KVAC championships at McMann Field in Bath, Brunswick’s Will Geoghegan won all three distance events. Geoghegan led a 1,600 field that had three runners under 4:20 — Geoghegan in 4:14.69, Mt. Blue’s Kelton Cullenberg in 4:16.78, and Cony’s Luke Fontaine in 4:17.88.

All three state meets begin at 10 a.m. Saturday — Class A at Cony High School in Augusta, Class B at Windham and Class C at Foxcroft Academy.

 

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