Sunday, April 20, 2014
By Deirdre Fleming firstname.lastname@example.org
In most years, teams that win the SMAA track and field championship go on to win the Class A state championship. That's what happened last year, when the Sanford boys and Scarborough girls took both titles.
TOP PERFORMERS BOYS
Julian Nijkamp, Gorham senior: Won the 110-meter hurdles (15.37) and the 300 hurdles (40.30) on his home track at the Cumberland County Championships.
Cody Meserve, Thornton Academy senior: Won the discus (134-2) and shot put (43-10) on May 19 at the York County Championships in North Berwick.
Jared Bell, Deering senior: Won the discus (177-0) and shot put (56-9) and placed second in the javelin (166-7) at the Cumberland County Championships.
Robert Hall, Scarborough senior: Claimed victories in the 3,200 (10:08.74) and 1,600 (4:33.44) at the Cumberland County Championships.
TOP PERFORMERS GIRLS
Kate Hall, Lake Region sophomore: Hall set all-time state bests in the 100 (11.8) and long jump (18-5) and also won the 200 (25.0) at a home meet on May 6, then lowered her 100 mark to 11.7 seconds on May 17 at a meet in Fryeburg, where she also won the long jump (18-11/4).
Ann Slattery, Cheverus senior: Placed first in the 300 hurdles (8.90) and 200 (26.72) at the Cumberland County Championships.
Kiera Murray, Cheverus freshman: Won the 3,200 (11:56.68) and 1,600 (5:26.19) at the Cumberland County Championships.
Amanda Arnold, Thornton Academy senior: Won the long jump (16-4) and 300 hurdles (49.86) at York County Championships.
Cheverus boys' coach Steve Virgilio is hoping his team will follow a similar course.
"Usually, (the SMAA meet is) a good indication," Virgilio said.
Cheverus finished second last year, but with 16 seniors, nine juniors and 17 sophomores, the Stags are as loaded as they've ever been, with a chance to score in nearly every event.
Sanford Coach Kevin Way knows his team will face tough competition at the both the conference and state meets.
"The conference is just super tough. It's brutal, as far as the teams that are high performers (in the state)," Way said.
The SMAA championship will be held Saturday at Thornton Academy. The Mountain Valley Conference meet will take place Thursday at Cony High, and the Western Maine Conference meet is Saturday at Lake Region.
Sanford will be led by senior Alex Shain, the defending state champion in the triple jump and 100, as well as a member of the victorious 400-meter relay squad.
"Alex is the mainstay and the engine," said Way. "We did graduate a lot of talent. But this is the most we've ever had come out for track. We had 15 new kids sign up, a record."
Cheverus, meanwhile, is seeking its first state championship in 15 years.
"The last time we won it was in 1998. I was a sophomore," said Virgilio, now in his fourth season as head coach.
"It's definitely something that has been in the works for more than just this season. We've been talking and working toward it for five or six seasons."
The Stags are led by senior Brady Foshay, the indoor state champion at 800 meters, and his indoor state championship 2-mile relay teammate, Jimmy Campbell. Both have run under 2:00 in the half mile.
The sprinters also are having a good season, in particular senior Jackson McMann. Cheverus owns the state's fastest time in the 400 relay, 44.6. The Stags also boast one of the fastest 1,600 relay teams (3:28.9)
"Jackson has been here from Day 1. He's worked really hard. He's a competitive guy. He's hoping to finish out his senior year on top," Virgilio said.
Then there are the Yeboah twins, Isaac and Elijah, who finished third and fourth in the 300 hurdles at last year's state meet as sophomores. They've taken up the 100 hurdles this year.
"They've both dropped a second or two in the (300) hurdles, and the way they've come on in the high hurdles, they'll be right there," Virgilio said. "They work together and compete against each other in practice, and really push each other."
In field events, senior Matt Cushing, the defending state champion in the javelin, leads the state; while sophomore Nick White has come on in the discus Sophomore high jumper Jacob Schott has cleared 6-0.
"Six feet should get on the podium," Virgilio said.
Virgilio likes the Stags' chances.
"We have a lot of juniors and sophomores who are expected to be up there. And we have a really good group of core guys," he said.
Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: