Maria Curit set a number of track records at Biddeford High School, and continues to set records while competing at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., where she is a sophomore.
By Steve Craig
Maria Curit has had a knack for coming up big in the big track and field meets.
This weekend at the Division II New England Championships on her home track, the Stonehill College sophomore from Biddeford has some bigger goals in mind.
"I want to run (sub-56 seconds) in the 400 and make the finals on Saturday and I want to jump better than I've ever jumped. I want to jump 18-8, hopefully," Curit said Tuesday morning between final exams. "That would provisionally qualify me (for the NCAA championships) in both events."
The tasks won't be easy but Curit does have a track record for setting records.
At Biddeford she set the Class A records -- which still stand -- in the indoor long jump (17 feet, 61/2 inches as a junior) and outdoor long jump (18-13/4 inches as a senior).
At Stonehill she already holds, or is part of, 10 records between indoor and outdoor track.
"I've never really done that bad at a big meet. I usually think I'm pretty good under pressure," Curit said. "The end of the year is usually when you're running the best anyway. Since I've been in college, I feel a lot more confident going into these meets because I'm in really good shape."
Last weekend at the Northeast-10 Championship meet, Curit broke her own 400-meter mark with a time of 56.37 seconds. She was pleased with her time but slightly rankled by finishing third.
"That's the best I've ever run but I know what I could have done to run faster," Curit said. "I think I could have run a 55-high if I'd just gone out a little faster. I wasn't that tired when I finished."
The 400-meter mark is just one of 10 indoor and outdoor school records Curit holds, including relays. She also has the outdoor long jump mark (18-5).
As a freshman at Stonehill she won the Northeast-10 400-meter race with a school record time of 56.58 seconds.
In indoor track Curit set Stonehill records in the individual 400 meters and the 4x400 relay at this past February's New England Championship.
She also holds school indoor records in the 600 meters, the distance medley relay and the long jump.
Curit is the daughter of Biddeford High football coach Brian Curit and Karen Curit. She said she has to give her dad some of the credit for choosing to attend Stonehill.
She initially was interested in attending a larger school and had taken official visits to the University of Maine and the University of Richmond, along with Sacred Heart.
But Brian Curit thought Stonehill would be a good fit for his daughter, in part because of the athletic and academic success former Biddeford High basketball star Emily Rousseau had on the Easton, Mass., campus.
"As I've gotten older I've started to listen to him more," Maria Curit said with a laugh.
"A lot of people say they have a feeling about a college when they visit. I really didn't believe it but when I got here, it did feel right," she said. "I think it was a lot of luck. I love it here and I love my coaches which I think is a really big deal when you're doing a college sport."
In addition to her individual events, Curit will be anchoring Stonehill's 4x400 relay, which is coming off another record run of 3:52.65 to finish third at the NE-10 meet. Curit ran a 55.8 split in that race.
"I don't know why but I always run better in the 4x400 than I do in an open race," Curit said.
"I really enjoy running it because I usually run last and everyone's been running really good in the 4x400."
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Ithaca College sophomore Emilia Scheemaker of Scarborough broke her own school record in the triple jump, travelling 39 feet, 11.25 inches at the April 28 Big Red Invitational at Cornell. That effort earned her Empire 8 Women's Track Athlete of the Week honors. Last weekend Scheemaker won the New York State Collegiate Track Conference title in the triple jump and is qualified for the ECAC meet.
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Bentley University senior Craig Robinson of Scarborough placed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Northeast-10 Conference championship, qualifying for this weekend's New England Division II Championship based on time. In late April, Robinson had bettered his personal best in the 5,000 meters by over 35 seconds and is also qualified in that race.
Wheaton College senior Sam Fear of Bath (North Yarmouth Academy) and freshman Sam Miklovich of Gray-New Gloucester formed half of the third-place 4x400 relay team at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships. Fear also placed third in the high jump at 6-4. Miklovich turned in top-15 times in the 100 and 200 dashes.
Husson University senior shortstop Aimee Mortensen of Biddeford was named first-team All-NAC. Mortensen was among the league leaders in plate appearances, runs, doubles and on-base percentage, while hitting .357. Husson (31-10-1) earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament and will face second-seed Rowan on Thursday at Babson College, site of the double-elimination regional.
Husson University won its second North Atlantic Conference title in three years on Monday. Junior infielder Benjamin McLain of Pemaquid (Lincoln Academy), sophomore pitcher Adam Landwehr of Camden (Camden Hills) and the brother pitching combination of senior Mark Dvilinsky and freshman Joe Dvilinsky of Westbrook helped the team to its 26-17 record. McLain batted .152 in 37 games with eight extra base hits. The pitchers each saw limited relief duty with Joe Dvilinsky making one start and posting a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings.
Thomas College senior Colby Averill of Biddeford had three hits in a game on the final day of the regular season while senior pitcher Jake Chamblee (4-5, 7.08 ERA) of South Berwick (Marshwood) went the distance in a 2-1 win against Colby-Sawyer. Thomas fell to Castleton in the NAC semifinal round to finish 16-25 on the season.
Wheaton College junior Leila Mills of Brunswick, featured in last week's College Connections, was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference women's lacrosse Athlete of the Year last week. Mills was joined on the first team by Wheaton freshman Allie Bush of Kennebunk. Mills led the Lyons in goals (44) and points (56) while Bush recorded the second-best assist total in program history with 32 and also scored 11 goals.
n Saint Michael's College sophomore Kate Boyer of Standish (Bonny Eagle) finished her season with two goals in a 16-5 loss to New Haven, ranked 14th in Division II. Boyer scored a team-high 26 goals for the Purple Knights (5-10, 3-9 in the Northeast-10).
Wheaton College sophomore Sean Finn of Kennebunk scored a goal in the Lyons' 15-5 regular-season finale against Massachusetts. Maritime on April 27.
Nick Broadwater of Portland (Deering) was named the MVP of the Hobart College hockey team. The senior goalie was just the third player in Hobart hockey history to earn first-team All-America honors.
William Smith junior Katie Page of Brunswick (North Yarmouth Academy) and the rest of her varsity eight team earned its fourth straight Liberty League Boat of the Week Award after winning gold at the New York State Collegiate Rowing Championships. A week earlier the team took the Liberty League title, the third straight year for Paige and the boat.
Husson University announced that Lake Region senior basketball standout Kelsey Winslow will be attending Husson as part of the 2013 recruiting class. Winslow averaged 12 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior for the Lakers. Scarborough High field hockey standouts Karli-An Gilbert and Shannon Hicks have both committed to play at Gordon College of the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Gilbert, a midfielder, and Hicks, a goalie, were captains for the Red Storm team that went undefeated without allowing a goal until losing to Skowhegan, 3-0, in the state final.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at email@example.com