June 13, 2012

Athletes of the Year: 2003

On June 22, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram will honor the state's best high school athletes at our annual banquet. A player of the year for each sport will be honored and we'll name our male and female Athletes of the Year. What makes this year so special is that it's the 25th year of honoring Maine's best, so we will be catching up with all our Athletes of the Year since the first banquet in 1988. Today, we honor the winners from: 2003.

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Erin Hatch, Ben True

ERIN HATCH, THORNTON ACADEMY

IN HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior at Thornton Academy, Hatch was the state’s best track athlete. She was named the MVP both indoors and outdoors, leading the Trojans to Class A state titles in each season. She excelled in the hurdles and jumps.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Attended the University of Maine and ran track for four years, competing in the jumps and hurdles. Graduated with a degree in psychology. Received master’s degree in psychology from Boston University. Is studying for a doctorate in clinical psychology at Antioch University in Keene, N.H.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was recognition for all the years of hard work I put it, that it was worth it. It helped me believe in myself more, that if you put hard work into something, you can have great outcomes.’’

BEN TRUE, GREELY

IN HIGH SCHOOL: True was not only one of the state’s dominant distance runners at Greely High in Cumberland, but one of the top Nordic skiers. He was the cross country most valuable runner as both a junior and senior, and was the top skier as a junior.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where he continued to compete in Nordic skiing and distance running. Achieved All-America status in cross country, skiing and track. Graduated with a degree in art history. Lives in New Hampshire and is a professional runner, sponsored by Saucony. Planning to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It’s really neat to have the recognition, at least of your peers of your state. My sports aren’t necessarily the mainstream sports. A lot people do run as a pastime, but it’s not one that is ever in the limelight. It’s always football, baseball, soccer or hockey. So it was neat to be able to win that and bring light to sports that sometimes don’t get the spotlight … And it gave me reason and justification for continuing on in my sport.’’

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