Steve Virgilio, the first-year Cheverus outdoor track coach, won’t complicate Jack Terwilliger’s training regimen.

When it comes to getting the most out of the senior in the distance events, Virgilio aims for moderation.

“We try to keep it at a reasonable quota,” Virgilio said. “We’ve just been trying to play it by what his body tells us. We’re not trying to overdo it. Jack is a phenomenal runner and when Jack does a reasonable quota, he’s a great performer.”

Terwilliger sat out most of the fall cross country season with iliotibial band syndrome — an inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg — but finished fourth at the Class A championships. In indoor track, he won Class A titles in the 1,600 and 3,200, and the Dartmouth recruit is expected to be in the mix for titles in both events in outdoor track.

But to maximize his potential, Virgilio and the Cheverus coaching staff will emphasize training at a reasonable pace for Terwilliger, who helped Cheverus win the Class A title in the 3,200 relay last year, and finished second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at last year’s state meet.

Instead of competing in the maximum four events in regular-season meets this spring, Terwilliger will compete in two – typically a pair of distance events.

Terwilliger holds the state’s top time of 4 minutes, 24.50 seconds in the 1,600, and has competed in three additional events in his first three meets of the season: the 3,200 relay, the 800 and the 1,600 relay. In a four-team meet last week at Gorham, Terwilliger won the 2-mile run in 9:39.20, nearly 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jesse Orach of Gorham (10:07.40).

Virgilio said Terwilliger’s training is a three-fold progression that incorporates running, strength training and managing aerobic and anaerobic workouts.

“He has trouble when he increases mileage dramatically,” Virgilio said.

“A lot of runners think that the more miles you get, the stronger you get and the faster you’ll be. But we got to a point earlier in the season where we said, ‘you don’t need to run 40 to 50 miles a week to run a 4:20 mile.’ “

The Class A championship meet is scheduled for June 4 at Windham High and Virgilio doesn’t know yet if Terwilliger will be able to compete in the maximum four events.

“His passion and his toughness will tell us where we’re going to go with him,” Virgilio said

“We’ll see if it’s one or two events, or maybe even three.”

THE THORNTON Academy girls’ track and field team opened the season by winning its first two meets, then finishing fourth May 6 at the 16-team Scarborough Relays. Remarkably the Trojans have been successful without having a home track for practice.

Thornton’s Hill Stadium is undergoing renovations to install a synthetic turf field and stadium lights, as well as resurfacing the track.

THE SOUTHERN Maine Activities Association will hold its Cumberland County and York County championship meets next week. The Cumberland County championship meet, made up of the SMAA’s Cumberland County schools, is scheduled for May 20 at Scarborough and the York County championship meet, made up of the league’s York County schools, is scheduled for May 21 at Kennebunk.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or: [email protected]