Peyton Dostie and Nicole Kirk competed against each other in high school, Dostie at Bonny Eagle and Kirk at Scarborough, where they first realized how good the other was. Now seniors at the University of Southern Maine, they have pushed each other to become two of the best Division III athletes in the nation.

Dostie and Kirk will represent USM at the NCAA Division III indoor track and field national championships on the campus of Grinnel (Iowa) College this weekend. Dostie is seeded seventh in the 60-meter hurdles (8.76 seconds) and third in the pentathlon (3,545 points), an event that includes competition in the 60 hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800. Kirk will run the 200-meter dash, where she is the fifth seed (25.26 seconds in converted time).

“It’s been awesome being with Peyton,” said Kirk. “We’ve been running together a long time and it’s great to have someone as talented as her to practice with. We use our strengths to feed off each other.”

Dostie, who finished eighth in the pentathlon a year ago to achieve all-America status, said the two “push each other. We both want the best for each other.”

And that’s been pretty good for the Huskies.

Dostie, a business major, and Kirk, a nursing major, populate the school’s record list. Dostie is first in six individual events (55 hurdles, 60 hurdles, 400, 600, pentathlon and high jump), second in three others (60 dash, 200, long jump). Kirk is first in three individual events (55 meters, 60 meters, 200) third in another (400). With Kirk the lead runner and Dostie the anchor, they have been part of the four best times for the 4×400 relay team. Kirk is listed four times in the top 10 4×200 relay teams, with Dostie listed twice.

“I learned early on they simply don’t miss practice,” said George Towle, the Huskies’women’s coach. “They both have that cliched work ethic that a lot of the great athletes have. And they kept getting better.”

Towle said they have provided great role models for his younger competitors.

“They’re just no-nonsense,” said Towle. “They come to practice and they insist on getting every workout done right to the T. They don’t know any other way to do it, I guess. And the younger people have to pick up on that.”

The two say that’s just the way they were taught. “I’ve been competing in track since I was in middle school,” said Kirk. “When I was a freshman in high school there were girls who I hoped to be like. When I was a freshman here at USM, it was the same thing. I think it’s always a goal to be a role model for the younger kids.”

Both have been to the nationals before. Kirk didn’t place last year and she said she learned some valuable lessons. “I have to look at it as not being any different from any other meets we’ve been to,” she said. “It is different but last year I got too worked up, thought about it too much. It was paralysis by analysis. Hopefully this year will be a little different.”

Likewise, Dostie said, “I try not to think about it, just go into it and do what I need to do.”

She’d like to improve her score in the pentathlon, which isn’t easy. “You hope to have a personal best in each event, or a good mark,” she said. “The chances of everything going absolutely great, it’s hard for that to happen. I want to make sure I do my best in everything and hope it pays off.”

Dostie will be competing in two events at the same time. Her trials for the 60 hurdles will come in the middle of Friday’s pentathlon.

“I’ve never done that before,” she said. “We’ll see what happens. I looked at the (pentathlon qualifying) list and noticed there were a few other girls also doing the hurdles.”

Towle is optimistic.

“They’re certainly on top of their games right now,” he said. “They haven’t missed a beat all season.”

The Huskies are sending seven athletes to the NCAA championships. Among them are senior Dan Webb of Sanford, who is competing in the 800 and on the 4×400 relay. Webb and Dostie were both honored by the Little East Conference on Tuesday.

Dostie was named the LEC women’s track athlete of the year and Webb was named the men’s track athlete of the year.


St. Joseph’s College grad student Nic Lops of South Portland (Cheverus) was named Great Northeast Athletic Conference player of the week after going 4 for 6 with a run and three RBI in a doubleheader sweep of WPI.

 St. Joseph’s College sophomore Josh Partridge of Deerfield, New Hampshire, was named GNAC pitcher of week after throwing five scoreless innings, allowing two hits with five strikeouts, in a 7-0 win over WPI.


USM freshman Paul Leonardo of Groton, Massachusetts, was named Little East Conference men’s rookie of the week after scoring three goals in a 14-6 win over Maine Maritime Academy. He also collected two ground balls.

 St. Joseph’s College sophomore Elyse Caiazzo of Scarborough (Cheverus) was named the GNAC women’s player of the week. She had eight goals, two assists, 13 ground balls, seven caused turnovers and three draw controls in two games.

 St. Joseph’s College freshman Michael Finn of Quincy, Massachusetts, was named the GNAC men’s rookie of the week. He scored seven goals with three assists and five ground balls in his first two games.


Senior Charlie Merry of Kennebunkport (Kennebunk) is playing No. 2 singles for St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. He is off to an 0-2 start, the latest a close 7-6 (7-1), 7-5 loss at St. Lawrence. He has also played two matches at No. 3 doubles.