At the end of a season of multi-event stars and record-setters, Sarah Perkins of Gorham stood out for her consistency, dominance and more than that, her ability to turn in three outstanding performances at crunch time.
And that made her the Maine Sunday Telegram girls’ indoor track MVP.
Perkins, a senior, didn’t break any records at the Class A state meet, but her trio of times was one for the books.
Perkins was the only athlete at the meet to collect gold three times, but her times are what set her apart.
She started the day with a winning 55 hurdle time of 8.55 seconds before bettering an impressive field of quarter- milers with her winning 58.23. Then she took first in the 200 in 25.82, just two-hundredths of a second shy of a very fast 5-year-old state record.
Now, 58 seconds wouldn’t crack the top 20 in the 400 at the national indoor meet. And the 25.80, impressive in New England, would have put her just 46th at the national meet.
But in Maine, a budding sprinter is a fun thing.
“Last year she won the hurdles indoors and outdoors. She’s the defending champion,” said Gorham girls’ coach John Caterina. “We were working on that. She’s a fast girl. But this year she did more, running between soccer and track.”
In fact, the work that went into Perkins’ 200 and 400 times were all about helping her 300-meter hurdle race outdoors. So she wasn’t even training exclusively for these events.
At the Southern Maine Activities Association title meet Feb. 4, Perkins won the 55 hurdles and 200, both by a full half-second. But rather than run the 400, she competed in the high jump, which she also led in Class A throughout the regular season.
And she won that with a jump of 5 feet, 2 inches.
“We didn’t run her in the 200 at every meet. We tried to vary her events, to see what would be the best combination for her at states. We could have put her in the high jump and I think she would have won it. But the high jump can be a crapshoot,” Caterina said.
But while varying her events, Perkins always was focused on the sprints.
She worked on flexibility to strengthen her muscles for the 300 hurdles outside. And the stretching and yoga regimen undoubtedly gave her an edge in the sprint events this indoor season.
“In the past she’s had ankle issues, probably from when she played basketball. It slowed her down outdoors. She’s a lot better. They don’t act up on her now,” Caterina said.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:
Correction: This story was revised at 10:40 a.m., March 26, 2012, to correct the spelling of Gorham Coach John Caterina’s name.