December 5, 2013

Telegram All-State Boys' Indoor Track: Bell wanted to be better, and he already was the best

Jared Bell of Deering changed his technique in the shot put and added more than four feet.

By Deirdre Fleming
Staff Writer

click image to enlarge

Jared Bell of Deering repeated as the Class A shot put champion after deciding he wanted to switch from a standard throw to a spin move. He’s planning to head to Princeton.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer


Ethan Beaulier, Noble senior, sprints

Won the 55-dash at the Class A state meet (6.60) and placed third in the 200 (23.16).

Jared Bell, Deering senior, shot put

Defended his state title in the shot put in Class A (56-0.25). Bell then went on to place third at the New Englands with his throw of 55-3, the highest finish of any Maine male performer at the meet.

Jacob Buehelt, Falmouth senior, sprints

At the Class B state meet, won the 200 (23.23) and took second in the 55 (6.71).


Donald Boyer, Foxcroft Academy senior, hurdles/jumps

Won the 55-meter hurdles at the Class B state meet in a state-record 7.68. Boyer also won the triple jump (41-9.5) and high jump (6-0).

Dan Curts, Ellsworth junior, distance

Won the mile (4:39.80) and 2-mile (9:55.87) at the Class B state meet.

Robert Hall, Scarborough senior, distance

At the Class A meet, was second in a mile (4:27.24) and third in the 2-mile (10:15.26), then finished fourth at the New Englands in the mile (4:20.20).

Connor Harris, Edward Little senior, jumps

Double winner at the Class A state meet with his victory in the triple jump (44-10.75) and high jump (6-2).

Alex Nichols, Brunswick senior, sprints

Won the 400 at the Class A state meet in 49.93 to set a state record and erase the 2009 mark of 50.37 set by Cam Stevens of Gorham. Nichols also won the 200 (23.11); and went on to take seventh in the New Englands in the 300 meters (35.83).

James Ociti, Biddeford junior, sprints

Captured second place in the 400 at the Class A state meet behind Alex Nichols' state-record performance. And at the New England championships, finished fourth in the 600 (1:22.91).

Tom Reid, York senior, hurdles/jumps

At the Class B state meet won the long jump (20-9.75) and the triple jump (41-9); and took second in the hurdles (7.98) to lift his team to the Class B state title for the second consecutive year.

Justin Tracy, Mt. Blue senior, distance

Won the mile at the Class A state meet (4:26.18); and finished in the top 10 at the New England meet with his ninth-place finish (4:29.32).

Denzel Tomaszewski, Wells senior, sprints

At the Class B meet, broke his own state record in the 55-meter dash with his time of 6.53 (besting the previous mark of 6.58) and took second in the 200 (23.69). At the New Englands, took fourth in the 55-meter dash (6.55).


Ted Hutch, York

After winning their first indoor Class B state championship last year, the York boys came back just as strong to win handily for the second consecutive season. They did so with all their frontrunners performing as expected, and with some surprise improvements, all of which spells out great coaching. Ted Hutch earned this honor the way the York boys earned the state title.

Often the track and field performer of the year is an athlete who competes in multiple events, wins multiple events or sets state records.

This year's outstanding honor in boys' track goes to an athlete who excelled in one event but proved he's one of the best in New England, and did so after completely devoting himself to changing and perfecting his technique.

Deering senior Jared Bell came into this indoor season as the defending state champion in the shot put but he wanted more than another state title. So after throwing 51 feet, 11.5 inches in the event last year to win the Class A meet, he changed his technique from the standard throw to the spin move, and it paid off.

Bell won the Class A state meet with a throw of 56-.25, then went to the New England championships in Boston and took third with a throw of 55-3. It was the highest finish of any Maine high school male athlete.

We liked not only Bell's ability to perform well in a big meet, but his thoughtful approach and commitment to his sport.

At the end of the outdoor season last year, Bell decided to change his form and devoted himself to the task, Deering throws coach Frank Myatt said.

Working with his father through the summer and into the fall, Bell watched videos of throwing techniques. Neither of them had any experience learning a new technique in a field event. They watched videos of proper spin-move technique, then would critique Bell's.

"When I won the state meet indoors, that motivated me. I wanted to do even better my senior year. Over the summer I learned the spin move watching videos with my dad, and went to throw the shot and discus four times a week," Bell said. "We'd go up to Falmouth, just my dad and me in the morning and at night. It was a lot of work but I feel it paid off big time. I had a leg up on most other competitors.

"If anyone knows anything about track and field or the throws, you are constantly making adjustments. I was, right up until the New Englands."

Now, rather than thinking of turning and throwing, Bell runs through a lengthy list of all the positions and movements he needs to execute for a perfect spin move, and to assure he doesn't foul.

He thinks about keeping his back straight, staying low, trying to jump higher, keeping his upper body torqued, and making sure the angle of the shot is a perfect arc.

After playing baseball and track, he decided this year to just compete in outdoor track. And in choosing Princeton as his college for its academics, Bell also made certain he approved of its track and field facility so he can continue to improve and excel in the sport he loves.

"I was actually a little skeptical, but he showed me the spin move one day and after a couple of days of really watching him, he had the basics down," said Myatt. "Then he was just fine-tuning. Nobody can really expect to add four feet at any point. His improvement was really about dedicating himself and putting in the time."

Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:


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