March 25, 2012

Boys' Track: Ladd goes the distance and leaves the others behind

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Harlow Ladd's sudden takeover of the Maine distance scene this winter track season was a bit surprising.

click image to enlarge

Harlow Ladd of Messalonskee, the winner of the boys’ indoor track MVP, not only broke a cherished 2-mile record at the state meet, but did much better in a national event.

David Emery Photo

TELEGRAM ALL-STATE BOYS' INDOOR TRACK

Ethan Beaulier, Noble junior

Beaulier beat out a tough field to take the 55 in 6.61 seconds, missing the state record by one-hundreth of a second. He then took home gold in the 200 (23.12).

Miguel Caballero, Orono senior

Caballero left the Class B state meet with gold, silver and bronze, winning the 400 (51.61), taking second in the long jump (21-0) and third in the 200 (23.40).

McKenzie Gary, Mt. Ararat senior

Last year's boys' indoor track athlete of the year, Gary defended his Class A title in the long jump (22-00.50) and ran an impressive 51.19 to finish second in the 400.

Tyson Goodale, Bonny Eagle junior

After winning the 55- hurdles at the Class A state meet (8.10), Goodale second in the long jump (20-8.50) and third in the triple jump (41-10).

Timothy Harris, Edward Little junior

Harris won the Class A title in the triple jump (44-05) by 2 feet and also took home the high jump (6-0) title.

Alec James, Scarborough junior

James capped a dominating pole vault year by winning the state title by 6 inches, with a height of 12-6.

Harlow Ladd, Messalonskee senior

Ladd was one of three two-event winners at the Class A state meet. After cruising to a comfortable win in the mile in 4:26.37, Ladd dropped his personal best time in the 2-mile by several seconds -- and ran in the second lane for 10 laps -- to clock a 9:21.87.

Alex Nichols, Brunswick junior

After dominating the 400 in Class A for much of the season, Nichols won the event at the state meet in 51.05. He then took third in the 200 in a quick 23.44.

Mathew McClintock, Madison senior

The distance king of the Class B state meet, McClintock won the mile (4:29.86) and came back to win the 2-mile by 6 seconds in 9:31.63.

Reid Pryzant, Falmouth senior

The multievent star won the 55 hurdles at the Class B meet (8.10), and took third in the long jump (19-10.50).

Tom Reid, York senior

Reid contributed 17 of York's 67.5 points to help his team to its first indoor state title. After taking second in the 55 hurdles (8.15), he also placed third in the triple jump (40-9.75) and finished fifth in the long jump (19-07).

Denzel Tomaszewski, Wells junior

Tomaszewski captured the Class B 55, breaking the state record with his time of 6.58, erasing the 6.59 mark set by Justin Vigeant in 2005. He also placed fifth in the 200 (23.9).

Coach of the Year

Ted Hutch, York

After a season of telling the media he was simply proud of his boys' team for working hard and working together, Hutch finally had to admit that he was hoping for the school's first boys' Class B indoor state title. The truth is, his deep team of talented jumpers, sprinters and distance runners dominated the entire season, taking the Western Maine Track Conference title with ease -- and the Wildcats did it working together. At the Class B state meet, they won just two event but had 12 athletes score. That's a team title.

It was unexpected not just because injuries have kept him from taking the headlines until now, but also because Ladd trains himself and doesn't do a whole lot of it.

Yet Ladd's low-key, low-mileage ways do not equate to low expectations.

The Messalonskee senior showed just how much fire he has at the Class A indoor track and field championship in February, not only by winning the mile and 2-mile, but breaking a 7-year-old state record set by another impressive Maine distance runner.

And yet, Eric Giddings' mark of 9:24.26 was shattered easily by Ladd, who erased it with his 9:21.87 winning time.

And Ladd did so while running in the second lane for 10 of the 16 laps.

"I saw him running as a freshman playing soccer and I thought, 'I've got to get him to run track,"' said Messalonskee Coach Scott Wilson.

It's the record more than the two wins that made Ladd our pick for Maine Sunday Telegram boys' indoor track and field athlete of the year.

And typical of this up-and-coming distance runner, Ladd thinks he can do better.

After giving up soccer his sophomore year to run cross country, Ladd hoped for great things as a junior.

Then tendinitis hampered his indoor season and he was out for three months.

When he came back at the end of the outdoor season having done very little mileage, he finished second in the mile at the state meet and in the 2-mile was well off the leading pace.

It's a memory that drives him now.

"It was embarrassing. I was a captain and wasn't doing my best. I thought about quitting," Ladd said.

He came into this indoor season posting times of just under 9:30 in the 2-mile.

Then, at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet, Ladd won by running an easy 9:25.55.

He was only getting warmed up.

After his 9:21.87 at the state championships, he came back 21/2 weeks later to post a 9:16.40 at the New York City Armory in the junior national track championships.

And yet Ladd sid he can do better.

"He will just keep improving," Wilson said. "Physically, he hasn't peaked.

"Most kids don't have that drive. He always runs to be his best. In workouts he never dogs it. He always pushes himself."

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com

Twitter: FlemingPph

 

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