2015 Journal Tribune Boys Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Biddeford’s Justin Gagnon

BIDDEFORD — Some athletes come out of nowhere and surprise his or her teammates, coaches and opponents by winning a championship. That wasn’t the case for Biddeford’s Justin Gagnon, who came into the 2015 outdoor track and field season with a gold medal from the indoor track season.

Gagnon lived up to some lofty expectations as he captured his second state title of the year ”“ both in the hurdles ”“ and he also earned the title of Journal Tribune Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

The 2015 Biddeford graduate had big goals for himself heading into the outdoor track season and Tigers’ coach Ron Ouellette made sure he could achieve them.

“Justin set his own season goals and it was my job to help him attain his goals,” said Ouellette. “I focused on what he needed to do to achieve these goals ”¦ working hard, being a good teammate and his dedication to track.”

Gagnon captured the outdoor 110-meter hurdles gold with a time of 14.70 seconds, which was just 0.22 seconds ahead of second-place Griffin Madden of Scarborough.

“I knew crossing over the last two hurdles, I was like ”˜I’m pulling away and there’s no stopping me now,” Gagnon told the Journal Tribune after the race.

Gagnon, who also took third at states in the triple jump and seventh in the long jump, was able to master the art of the hurdles events ”“ an event that takes incredible talent and technique.

“The most important attribute to master the hurdles is being a good athlete and then getting over the fear of getting over the hurdles with the proper technique,” said Ouellette.

Gagnon won his first state championship with a victory in the 55-meter hurdles at the Class A indoor state meet this winter.

Ouellette believes one thing that made Gagnon such a special high school track and field athlete is his dedication to not just the hurdles, but the sport as a whole.

“Justin has a love of track and field and has a desire to do well,” said Ouellette.

Ouellette believes Gagnon also served as an example for his younger teammates.

“Justin continued the tradition of Biddeford track having outstanding individual athletes and demonstrates what athletes can achieve,” said Ouellette.

— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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