Sarah Perkins of Gorham topped her state championship time at the first meet of the season, and at the Dartmouth Relays this weekend, the defending champ in the 55 hurdles could bury her new best mark.

On Dec. 30, Perkins raced to a 8.64-second victory in the 55-meter hurdles, bettering her Class A state meet-winning time of 8.74. It’s a fast start for the sprinter and jumper, and Gorham Coach John Caterina thinks it well may be the yoga Perkins practices outside track.

“She slaughtered her state- meet time. She’s just become so much more agile and nimble. She’s more flexible,” Caterina said.

At the USM Relays last week, Perkins sped to the fast hurdle mark, then an hour later took second in a stacked field in the 55, finishing in 7.40 seconds.

She also leads Class A in the high jump.

“I think at the Dartmouth Relays, she’s going in as one of the top six seeds. I feel like when pushed with the competition, she can probably find another gear,” said Caterina.

The Dartmouth College Invitational draws athletes from across the Northeast.

BOYS’ TEAMS from Class B in Eastern Maine are dominating across the board on the state qualifying list through Tuesday.

In eight of the 14 events (the 200, 400, 800, 2-mile, high jump, triple jump, pole vault and 800 relay) it’s all Eastern Maine athletes in the top slots for state meet qualifiers through Tuesday.

MCKENZIE GARY of Mt. Ararat is coming off a summer and fall of little training and lots of rehabilitating for a strained hamstring, yet the sprinter seems to be returning to his dominant multievent ways.

Through Tuesday, Gary was ranked first in Class A in the long jump (20-7.25), third in the 55 (6.85) and third in the 400 (53.05). And Coach Diane Fournier said Gary was being cautious while testing the hamstring.

“Considering he missed the end of the spring season and didn’t do anything all summer or fall, he’s come along. But he hasn’t really jumped yet,” Fournier said.

At one of the first meets outdoors, Gary felt something pull. Then at the outdoor Class A state meet two months later, Gary took second in the long jump off just one jump, but couldn’t run the 100 because of the strained hamstring.

“I know he doesn’t do a lot of stretching. He kind of goes 100 percent all the time. He strengthened it in the offseason. Everybody seems to think he’s in pretty good shape but he’s not jumping,” Fournier said.

If Gary is healthy for the indoor state meet, he could compete in four events.

“If he’s healthy, he can win three events. That’s 30 points right there,” Fournier said.

BONNY EAGLE is short on boys’ numbers, with just 25 out for indoor season, but high on talent. And it shows.

High hurdlers Kyle Bailey and Tyson Goodale are off to a 1-2 start leading Class A in the 55-meter hurdles.

And Goodale, a junior, is running the high hurdles in the regular season for the first time.

“That’s Kyle’s career-best time. He’s way ahead of where he was this time last year,” said Coach Gary Wilkinson.

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

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