The track season is nearing its zenith; this past Friday’s Western Maine Conference Championship gathered better than a dozen schools from around southern Maine at the University of Southern Maine’s Costello Sports Complex in Gorham. Falmouth, traditionally strong, did particularly well as a team, taking first on the boys’ side of things and third on the girls’. Likewise, York showed strong; both their boys and girls finished second.

WMCs were especially important for teams this year, as the track schedule is actually quite short – five regular season meets only, one of which was recently cancelled due to the weather. WMCs is thus a critical, last opportunity for athletes to qualify for States. Class A States are slated for Feb. 16 at University of Southern Maine; Class B should take place that same day at Bates College in Lewiston.

“We got snowed out on one meet,” said Freeport head coach Brian Berkemeyer. “So this is the big meet; they need to step it up.”

Look for the top teams to also make a splash at States; meanwhile, even among the smaller teams, without the numbers to stand much chance at a group win, a number of individuals can certainly be expected to stand out. There is, of course, Lake Region’s flabbergastingly fast Kate Hall, but there’re also a plethora of other talented, hardworking athletes with a record of success – Cape’s Mitchell Morris, for example, who won the Mile on Friday and should be a force on the still-larger stage.

Berkemeyer’s squad is among those that could always use more willing, able bodies.

“We’re a small team this year, a little bit more spread out. Fifty kids, and not anybody focusing on one, main event. The distance kids do anything from 400 all the way to the two-mile.”

“We’re looking more for individual performances than a team performance,” he said. “We have a good chance in the mile – I think Chandler Vincent will be in the top five. Eric Brobst is going to try and qualify in the mile, Henry Jaques will be in the mile. Then we’ve got some other guys trying to qualify in the 800.”

“It’s a little bit of a rebuilding year,” Berkemeyer said. “I have a very young team; I only have two senior boys, and one senior girl. I have a lot of juniors, and then a lot of freshmen. The future looks good.”

Boys team scores

1. Falmouth, 168

2. York, 129

3. Fryeburg, 78

4. Greely, 44.5

5. Yarmouth, 38

6. Traip, 31

7. Cape Elizabeth, 26

7. North Yarmouth, 26

9. Wells, 23

10. Gray-New Gloucester, 22

11. Poland, 19

12. Kennebunk, 18

13. Freeport, 15

14. Lake Region, 8

15. Sacopee Valley, 5.5

Girls team scores

1. Greely, 122

2. York, 98

3. Falmouth, 95

4. Traip, 56.5

5. Lake Region, 52

6. Fryeburg, 50

7. Cape Elizabeth, 42

8. Gray-New Gloucester, 33

9. Yarmouth, 31

10. Wells, 28.5

11. Freeport, 17

12. Poland, 13

13. North Yarmouth, 11

14. Kennebunk, 2

Selected senior and open division boys individual scores

400-meter: 10. James Saucier, Freeport, 58.16

4×200-meter Relay: 7. Freeport A, 1:46.80;

Shot Put: 1. Darren Shi, Yarmouth, 47-02.00; 6. Ramsey Dodge, Freeport, 39-11.00

800-meter: 13. Max Greenwood, Freeport, 2:21.81

One Mile: 6. Chandler Vincent, Freeport, 4:42.77

Two Mile: 4. Henry Jaques, Freeport, 10:38.01;

Long Jump: 6. Nick Wilson, Freeport, 18-03.75; 18. Hunter Lillard, Freeport, 16-00.00

Selected senior and open division girls individual scores

200-meter: 8. Emily Latulippe, Freeport, 29.70; 11. Courtney Broderick, Freeport, 30.38

400-meter: 4. Maddie Squibb, Freeport, 1:04.95;

4×200-meter Relay: 6. Freeport A, 2:00.57;

High Jump: 1. Emma Egan, Yarmouth, 5-02.00;

800-meter: 9. Chloe Hight, Freeport, 2:46.56

4×800-meter Relay: 5. Freeport A, 10:31.71

Long Jump: 7. Hannah Schnyder, Freeport, 14-11.25.

Freeport’s Chandler Vincent took sixth in the Mile at WMCs on Friday, and could certainly figure into that event at States.Freeport’s Mikaela Fleenor runs in the Jr. Division 55-meter Dash.

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