Cheverus High’s Emily Turner turned heads with her remarkable performances in the 400 meters in 2016.

So who are we to doubt the senior when she says the team’s goal is to win the first girls’ indoor track state championship in school history?

As a sophomore in 2015, Turner finished third at the Class A indoor meet in the 400 with a time of 1 minute, 2.59 seconds. Going into the indoor state meet in 2016, she had never broken 1 minute. But Turner chased down defending champion Elisabeth Redwood of Bonny Eagle and won in 58.47 seconds.

It was the same story at the outdoor state meet in June. Turner’s best time going into the meet with 59.02. She chased down Redwood again to win in 56.57 and break the Class A record. She also erased the all-time Maine record in the event.

“Breaking 60 (seconds) is good,” said Cheverus Coach Steve Virgilio. “But there are a handful of athletes who do it every year.

“How she went from not being special in her state or on her team to being the best in her state and the best all time … She works very hard. And there is obviously a lot of potential. I think the biggest factor is her will and discipline.”


Turner, who will compete for Boston University on a partial track scholarship next year, shrugs when asked about her marked improvement.

“I am a very competitive person whether I’m (training) with the boys or running in a meet, any meet,” she said. “When I’m in the blocks, I’m shaking. But when the gun goes off, it washes over me and I only focus on the race.”

This indoor season, Virgilio is worried Turner won’t have anyone to chase down, now that Redwood has moved on to the University of Maine. Turner trains with the boys, and Virgilio said she usually beats them in workouts.

But Turner isn’t worried about a lack of competition. She said she always worries she’s not running fast enough, no matter what the competition. And she never expected to improve from 59 seconds to 56.5 seconds last year.

Her take-away message from that accomplishment: At any time, anywhere, someone could improve by a large margin.

“My freshman year, I ran 72 seconds (in the 400). My sophomore year, I ran 62.59,” Turner said. “That proves anybody can improve. I’m waiting for that person who’s going to come out of nowhere. I’m always looking over my shoulder.”


For her senior year, Turner wants to improve on the 25.92 she ran in the 200 outdoors, and even the 56.57 she ran in the 400. She’s unsure if she can become the first Maine girl to run the 400 under 56 seconds.

“Right now, I just want to be as good or better than last year,” Turner said. “Based on how my workouts are going, I think that’s possible. Lifting and in practice, I feel stronger.”

And the ultimate goal of her high school career? Turner wants Cheverus to win a state title.

Last indoor season, Cheverus finished fifth with 35 points, 18 points out of first place, with Turner contributing 18 points. Outdoors, she won three events (100, 200 and 400) and anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay, contributing 40 points to Cheverus’ third-place finish.

Turner expects more of the same at the indoor state meet.

“The goal for the team is to win a state championship,” Turner said. “Nobody puts more pressure on me than myself. I know they deserve a state title, and I hope they get it, whether or not I’m here. If it takes another few years and I’m at Boston University when they win it, I’ll still be just as proud as if we win it this year.”

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