About 1,175 kids signed up to attend Saturday’s State Youth Track and Field Championship at Windham High School, according to man-with-the-microphone and Scarborough track maestro Ron Kelly, and when the parade of athletes circled the track around midday, that number seemed just about right.

“It’s individual,” Kelly says of track’s particular appeal for many kids. “Usually it’s them, with themselves, running against time.” Though there is a team aspect – in that each competitor’s earned points help boost his or her team to a combined victory – every athlete is always focused on setting new personal bests.

That number represents the largest such gathering of young tracksters anywhere in the country, Kelly proudly announced to the crowd, and it hints at a happy future for high school track in Maine. Towns from across the state fielded contingents, among them Westbrook, Gorham, Scarborough, Windham, Brunswick, Falmouth and Cumberland/North Yarmouth.

The set of events closely resembles that of a high school meet, with standbys like the 100-meter dash, the long, triple and high jumps, and the discus, javelin and shot put all on display. The javelins are shorter and blunter, and the shots are lighter, but all the learned motions are there. The athletes are divided into age ranges: 8 years and under, 9-10 years, 11-12 and 13-14.

“There are so many different events kids can do,” Kelly said, stressing the diversity of track and field, another of the sport’s special draws. “Whether it’s the short, stocky kid doing shot put, discus; the fast kids, there are events that are for track.”

The Panther Track Club of Poland took first overall, with a score of 371.5, while York finished second (244) and Auburn Running Club third (243). Scarborough finished fourth (190.5), a few points ahead of Gorham in fifth (184.33) and a long string of others behind. Brunswick, for instance, took eighth, Falmouth 11th, Windham 16th, the Lakers 19th, Westbrook 20th, and Cumberland/North Yarmouth 30th. In all, 35 squads competed.

Eight-year-old Kailyn McIntyre, of Brunswick, had a strong day among girls 8 and under, finishing first in the 100- and 200-meter dashes; 7-year-old Emerson Flaker of Scarborough showed her stuff in the same events, taking third in the 100 and second in the 200 – not to mention first in the 400.

Gorham’s Sherry Devan, 10, grabbed first in her division’s 100 and third in their 200; Rose Jenkins, 9, of the Lakers, took second in the same 100, while Scarborough’s Megan Randall, 10, finished first in the 200, 400 and 800.

The Lakers’ Molly McGrail, 12, posted solid outings in her division’s 100 (third), 200 (fourth) and 400 (second). Westbrook’s multi-talented Angelica Johns won the 11-12 girls high jump, took fifth in the javelin, and helped propel the 4×100 relay team into fifth as well, alongside runningmates Even Beattie (12), Carolyn DiBiase (11) and Jasmine Aguirre (12).

Cumberland/North Yarmouth’s Carolyn Todd had an especially successful day among 13-14 girls, winning both the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs.

Among 11-12 boys, Westbrook’s Devin Cyr turned in a great showing, taking second in the 800 and first in the 80 hurdles. Teammate James Brooking, 14, finished first in his division’s 100 and 200, and second in their shot put. Cumberland/North Yarmouth’s Duncan Lary also had a good day in the throws, taking fourth in the ages 13-14 shot put, sixth in the discus and seventh in the javelin.

The complete results are available online, at http://www.meusatf.org/results/results.pdf.

Westbrook’s Dominic Creenan catches his breath after winning the 15-and-under boys 100-meter dash.Emerson Flaker of Scarborough, just 7, finished third in the 8-and-under girls 100-meter dash.Sydney Savard, 8, of Windham runs the 8-and-under girls 100.Brunswick’s Madison Ross, 8, runs the 8-and-under girls 100.Gorham’s Devan Sherry, 10, won her division’s 100-meter dash.Windham’s Riley Beem, 12, took fourth in her division’s 100-meter dash.Westbrook’s Sophia Williams during the 15-and-under girls 100-meter dash.Falmouth’s Max Alley, 13, won his division’s long jump.Windham’s Wyatt Yost, 14, runs the 1,500-meter.Athletes from Scarborough march ’round the track during the midday parade.Athletes from Westbrook march ’round the track during the midday parade.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.