Nicole Kirk has been one of Scarborough High’s best track and field athletes for the last four years. And after her team clinched its second straight Class A outdoor state championship Wednesday, Kirk feels a rare satisfaction knowing she played a big role.

Now she gets to run just for herself.

Kirk will be one of Maine’s top athletes competing today in the New England high school championships at Thornton Academy in Saco. The event begins at 11 a.m.

Kirk prepared herself mentally for today’s meet, setting lofty goals.

“If it’s a warm day like at the SMAA meet, I think I can set two (personal-best times). Last year I finished fourth in the 200. Every year the competition is different. But I am focused on my last high school meet and excited for the competition,” Kirk said.

Surpassing what she achieved this year won’t be easy.

Kirk won the 100 and 200 meters at the Class A state meet, and broke her own Class A record in the 100 (12.25 seconds). She also helped Scarborough place third in the 400 relay and win the 1,600 relay. And she was unbeaten in individual races against Maine competition for the second consecutive year.

At the New England meet, she’s seeded second in the 100 and 10th in the 200 (25.80). Kirk hopes to set at least one all-class state record today, and thinks both the 100 and 200 marks are within reach.

The all-class state records are 12.1 in the 100 and 25.06 in the 200, both set by Logan Crane of Freeport in 2005.

“I ran the 100 (Class A state record) on Saturday in the rain with some wind. So I definitely think I have more in me. And at the New Englands, the competition will be really good. I’ll just try to make the finals and work on my block start,” Kirk said.

There are five Maine girls and three boys seeded among the top six in their events at today’s meet.

Bethanie Brown of Waterville enters as the only top-seeded athlete from Maine, in the 3,200 (10:34.79). She also has a fifth seed for the 1,600 (4:55.23).

Sarah Perkins of Gorham is the sixth seed in the 100 hurdles (15.02) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (45.43).

Hannah Johnson of Kennebunk is ranked sixth in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches). And Lake Region freshman Kate Hall is sixth in the 100 (12.33).

Among the boys, Nick Danner of Waterville is fifth in the javelin (177-7), teammate Devin Burgess is fifth in the pole vault (13-6), and Matt McClintock of Madison enters as sixth in the 3,200 (9:16.92).

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

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