Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Steve Craig firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Curit has had a knack for coming up big in the big track and field meets.
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.
Photos courtesy Stonehill College
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.
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