During regular-season meets, Isaiah Harris of Lewiston pretty much picked his events, said Coach Paul Soracco.

But once the Class A championship meet arrived, it was up to Soracco to decide where to use his talented runner.

“Track is an individual sport, but there’s the team aspect of trying to win a state championship,” said Soracco. “My job is to give us the best chance to do that.

“I knew we had a chance and it would likely come down to the final event. Who else would you want running the anchor leg than Isaiah? I knew once he had the baton it was over.”

Harris went from third to first shortly after the handoff in the 1,600-meter relay and stayed there to give the Blue Devils the victory and the state title. That completed a memorable day in which Harris, a senior, won the 200, 800 and 1,600.

Those three individual races are an unusual combination for a runner, but one that Soracco felt Harris could handle.

“If you put a challenge in front of Isaiah, he’s all over it,” said Soracco. “If he has someone to catch, he’s going to catch him. That’s a vast array of races – from the 200 to the mile. Not only to be able to do it, but be the best that day at both spectrums, that’s pretty amazing.

Isaiah has an endless amount of potential and the best is yet to come.”

Harris gave a sampling of that potential when he took third in the 800 at the New Balance high school national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. His time of 1:49.63 was a Maine high school all-time best by almost two full seconds.

Harris is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s boys’ outdoor track athlete of the year.

“I had a good season my junior year and I was hoping to have as good if not a better year this spring,” said Harris. “Everything worked out.”

Harris will attend Penn State University on a track scholarship. He also looked at Georgetown.

“I wanted to go to a big school,” said Harris. “I liked the Penn State campus, the coach and the people I met.”

Harris said he was nervous before nationals.

“It was my last high school meet. Once I got onto the track, everything was fine,” he said.

Harris ran in the first of four heats. Soracco believes that if Harris had been in the last heat – which included the top-seeded runners – he could have won the event. Give Harris a challenge or someone to chase down, and he usually succeeds.

“I wanted to be in the last heat,” said Harris. “I talked to the officials, but they said they were strictly going off performances. Unfortunately, I hadn’t posted a time during the season to get me in the final heat.”


Jack Bouchard, York junior, javelin: Bouchard set a Class B record in the javelin with a throw of 200 feet, 6 inches to help the Wildcats win the state title, then won the New England championship (196-1).

Nicolas Boutin, Old Town senior, sprints: Boutin won the 100 and 200 at the Class B meet and ran a leg on the winning 400 relay team. His time in the 100 (11.22 seconds) was the best in all classes.

Jake Dixon, Cheverus senior, sprints: Dixon set a Class A record in the 400 (48.45) and finished second in the 200 (22.41) in a close race. He was third in the 400 and eighth in the 200 at New Englands.

Justin Gagnon, Biddeford senior, hurdles/jumps: Gagnon won the 110 hurdles, finished third in the triple jump and was seventh in the long jump in Class A.

Drew Gamage, Oak Hill senior, jumps: Gamage set a Class C record in the triple jump (45-91/2). He placed second in the high jump and fifth in the long jump. At the New England meet, he was third in the triple jump (46-1 1/2).

Dan Guiliani, South Portland junior, thrower: Guiliani won Class A and New England titles in the shot put and shattered the all-time state best with a throw of 66-5 during the regular season. He also finished second at the state meet and sixth in New England in the discus.

Isaiah Harris, Lewiston senior, sprints/middle distances: Harris won the 200, 800 and 1,600, and ran the anchor league on the 1,600 relay as the Blue Devils won the Class A title. Harris won the 800 at New Englands and was third at nationals, lowering the all-time state best (1:49.63) by nearly two seconds.

Drew Nealey, Belfast junior, pole vault/hurdles: Won the pole vault (14-0) at the Class B meet and was also third in the triple jump and 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles.

Nick White, Cheverus senior, throws: Won the discus (161-11) at the Class A state meet and finished second in New England (162-4). Also placed second in the Class A shot put.

Victor Yang, Fryeburg Academy junior, jumps: Yang won the high jump and triple jump at the Class B state meet. His 6-foot-6 effort in the high jump was the best in any class.


Paul Soracco, Lewiston: In his first season, Soracco guided the Blue Devils to their first Class A state title since 2006. He coached the Lewiston Middle School team before this season, and before that was an assistant football coach at Reading (Mass.) High.