Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Deirdre Fleming firstname.lastname@example.org
The Western Maine Conference championship meet Friday will be a dress rehearsal for some athletes looking to bigger goals this season, but an important one.
James Ociti, at front
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK GIRLS
Kate Hall, Lake Region sophomore: Remains undefeated this season in the 55 meters, 200 and long jump. But most impressive is Hall's past two 200 starts, where twice she went under the state record of 25.94. She leads the state in all three events.
Amanda Arnold, Thornton Academy senior: Took both her events at the Southwestern championships to win the triple jump (33-2.25) and the long jump in 16-7.25, which stands as the third-best mark in Class A in the state.
Carly McKenna, Thornton Academy senior: Has dominated the high jump and hurdles all winter, and kept on pace at the Southwesterns to win the 55 hurdles (9.09) and the high jump with 5 feet, 2 inches.
Charlotte Pierce, Thornton Academy senior: Swept her two distance events with ease, while running two other races, taking the mile (5:07.49) and the 2-mile (11:29.07).
James Ociti, Biddeford senior: On Jan. 19 Ociti won the 55, the 400 and the long jump, but Ociti's 400-meter time of 51.05 is what gets him top honors this week. The split not only won the event at the SMAA championships but is the second-fastest in the state this season.
Ethan Beaulier, Noble senior: Won the 55 and the 400 at a Jan. 19 meet; and at the Southwestern Championships on Feb. 2 captured the 55 (6.68) and the 200 in 23.13, which is the second-fastest time in the state.
Richard Delgado, Deering senior: Won the hurdles (8.15) and the high jump (6-0) at the Southwestern Championship on Feb. 2.
Duncan Prnesto, South Portland senior: Became another league double champion with his victory in the long jump (20-0.5) and the triple jump (39-0.8) at the Southwesterns on Feb. 2.
The meet will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
The York boys' team will be after its third straight indoor conference title, but also will be figuring out the best way to win its second straight Class B state title, which would be only the second in school history.
And in the girls' meet, while Greely looks positioned to defend its title, a single point-getter from Lake Region could put her team high on the leader board: Kate Hall looks to stay on pace for breaking at least two state records this winter.
Hall, a sophomore, already has passed the state record in the long jump this season with her state-leading mark of 18 feet, 0.5 inches, and twice in the last month has gone under the 9-year-old state record in the 200, with times of 25.87 seconds on Jan. 25 and 25.88 on Feb. 1.
The state record in the long jump is 17-6.5 set by Emily Mitchell of York in 2011; and the 200 record is 25.94 set by Logan Crane of Freeport in 2004. Hall needs to set the state record at the Class B state meet Feb. 18.
She leads the state in the long jump, 200 and 55 dash, having run a 7.30 in that event.
Logan also holds the state Class B 55 record of 7.13, set in 2004, and while Hall hasn't topped that, the dash remains another event where she could set a state record.
Lake Region Coach Mark Snow thinks three state records are well within her reach this season.
"She set three personal records at last year's meet, so she has proven to be a big-meet performer. I wouldn't even rule out the 55-meter (state) record, even though Kate has not run as well in that event as she did at the USM Relays (on Dec. 29)," Snow said.
Hall entered the season focused on improving her 55 time, working on her sprint form and work out of the starting blocks. She never expected to post such a fast 200 time so quickly. But she thinks now that work helped her fast 200 split.
"I was so excited when I ran it. I had no idea my time was 25. I was waiting to find out because my dad usually sees my time, but he was yelling and couldn't see the clock. When they told me, I wanted to hug every single person there," said Hall, whose best previous 200 indoors was 26.25.
Meanwhile in the boys' WMC meet, despite the fact York graduated several top performers, Coach Ted Hutch said it still has three big point-getters, and underclassmen who have come on strong this season.
"I think we have enough strength to do it a third time. I don't expect to run away with it. It will be closer than in regular- season meets," Hutch said.
York has front-runners in Josh Brooks in the 200 and 400, Joe Vogel in the long jump and triple jump, and Tom Reid in the hurdles and jumps.
It also has sophomore Jordan Pidgeon, who improved more than a foot in the high jump (6-0), and could finish in the top three in the conference and state meets.
"The state meet is so far away. We have to look at injuries, the flu, it all depends on who's healthy. But we're really excited," said Hutch, York's indoor coach for 13 years.
"One of our assistant coaches, Matt Weber, he's an engineer at the shipyard and wicked smart. He's been drafting event lists. There are a lot of emails among the coaches, a lot of coffee in the morning."
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: