The choice of a top outdoor track and field female athlete was tough, given the number of top regional and national stars Maine is turning out.
At the New Balance national meet in Greensboro, N.C., Waterville senior Bethanie Brown took third in the 5,000 and eighth in the mile; and Lake Region sophomore Kate Hall finished fourth in the 100 and seventh in the long jump.
Gorham junior Laura Turner took eighth in the mile racewalk at the national meet, and three other Maine schoolgirls competed against the nation’s best.
But only one female athlete in Maine won four individual events at a state meet while also breaking a state record.
That achievement set Brewer senior Teal Jackson apart.
Competing on a 90-degree day, Jackson won the 100 in 12.45 seconds; the 200 in 25.58; and the long jump in 16 feet, 10 inches. In the 400, she broke a 19-year-old state record with a time of 57.00, erasing a mark set by Cuyler Goodwin of Mt. Ararat (57:17).
“She wasn’t the No. 1 seed as a junior in all those events but clearly the No. 1 this year in all four,” said Brewer Coach Glendon Rand. “We seeded her that way for the conference meet, and (after she won all four), we seeded her that way in all four for the state meet. Then of course it turned out to be a 90-degree day and probably over 100 on the track.
“We made sure she stayed under cover. But after her 100 and long jump, she didn’t look good. We weren’t sure she’d be able to run the 400. But we put some ice on her head and she had some pretzels, and she recovered pretty quickly. Then she went out and broke the state record.”
Jackson’s competitiveness in Eastern Maine is famous, and it led her to go from a contender at the state meet her junior year to being unbeatable in the state in the 400 this year. Rand said she will be remembered for decades to come at Brewer High — where she holds four school records, as well as three Penobscot Valley Conference records.
And when Jackson goes on next year to compete at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan University in Buckhannon, W.Va., her natural speed may take her to a new level of track success.
“She is definitely in the top two or three track athletes we’ve ever had at Brewer,” said Rand. “In the ’90s we had a thrower, Amy Winchester, who won all three throwing events (at the state championships), and she went on to Dartmouth and competed in the Olympic trials.
“I’d say it will be interesting in two or three years to see what Teal can do at the college level.”
Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: