So far the projected turnout for Thornton Academy’s long and triple jump clinic is low. Only two students have signed up but George Mendros, the school’s boys’ track and field coach, remains optimistic about the clinic, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Hill Stadium in Saco.

“We’ll go with whatever we have,” Mendros said.

The clinic, the first of its kind at Thornton, will be offered to fifth- through eighth-graders, a day after a pair of relay meets — Friday’s Scarborough Relays at the Mitchell Sports Complex and the Westbrook Relays at Olmsted Field.

Mendros, Thornton assistant coach Carl Smith and several of the Trojans’ track athletes will be on hand to offer instruction and tips. Furthermore, they’ll help promote a pair of events that tend to go hand-in-hand in track and field.

The long jump and triple jump have the same fundamental foundation of running and jumping, and the long jump, Mendros said, is an event that’s inherent to elementary- and junior-high-aged students.

“As a kid, this is something people would do,” Mendros said. “They have contests to see how far you can jump.”

But when it comes to refining that skill at a competitive level, technique is key.

“The long jump is an event that people think is easy,” Mendros said. “But to do it right, there are certain techniques and warm-ups you need to do.”

The triple jump has more of a technical angle to it, and is an event that’s offered in summer track and field for middle schoolers, but not at the competitive middle school level.

“The long jump isn’t overlooked,” Mendros said, “but the triple jump is.”

The jump clinic is open to boys and girls, and for those who are new to the events and to those who have experience in jumping events.

“The kids at the younger level may not have the same amount of coaching that others have,” Mendros said. “They’ll get some expertise that they might not get elsewhere.”

And for those concerned about rising gas prices and a volatile economy, the clinic has one other benefit — it’s free.

“We’ll go with whatever we have,” Mendros said.

 

TEAMS FROM the Southern Maine Activities Association will meet Friday afternoon for the Westbrook Relays and the Scarborough Relays, a pair of meets that bring together teams from across York and Cumberland counties but also separates them.

The Westbrook Relays is traditionally a meet made up entirely of boys’ events.

Its counterpart, the Scarborough Relays, is an all-girls meet made up of both relay and field events. Both meets will start at 3:30 p.m.

 

THE MAINE Principals’ Association already has determined where this year’s three state championship meets will be held.

All three meets are scheduled for June 4 — Class A at Windham High School, Class B at Cony High School in Augusta and Class C at McMann Field in Bath.

The New England championships are scheduled for June 11 at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vt., and the New Balance outdoor nationals are scheduled for June 16-18 in Greensboro, N.C.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

rlenzi@pressherald.com