He currently is in the Southwest, visiting family in Arizona and seeing the sights, from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Jarett Flaker is moving around, but you won’t find him sprinting.

Scarborough’s Jarett Flaker won the 55, 200 and 400 meters at the Class A indoor championships this winter. Jill Brady/Staff photographer

Not yet.

Flaker, a Scarborough High junior and one of Maine’s most accomplished high school sprinters ever, is taking it easy, hoping for a successful and healthy spring in outdoor track.

After a sophomore season that included three individual state titles and two state records, Flaker went into the outdoor season with high expectations. But a pulled hamstring muscle in his right leg kept him out of the Class A state meet.

“It was really disappointing,” Flaker said.

Scarborough hoped for a third straight state title but Thornton Academy and Falmouth finished tied for first.

“With (Flaker), we were still underdogs to Thornton Academy,” Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux said. “His absence certainly affected our final team score – and that of others … Our guys rose to the occasion, though, and we came up just short by seven points.”

This winter the Scarborough boys were champions again – the Red Storm’s fourth straight indoor title and eighth in nine years. Flaker again stood out with three individual victories, but it was not without drama. Heading into the state meet, Flaker feared that he reinjured his hamstring.

“I was doing a drill and I got this weird feeling (in the hamstring),” Flaker said. “I rested the rest of the week.”

At the state meet, Flaker broke his own Class A record in the 55 meters (from 6.50 to 6.46 seconds). He also won the 200 (22.65) and 400 (50.20), in slower times than his winning marks in 2018 – times he bested earlier this season.

In a January meet at Boston University, Flaker set Maine all-time bests in the 200 (21.86) and 400 (48.73).

The sore hamstring was an issue at the state meet but he was able to run.

“On the surface it looked like he didn’t have as good of a meet, based on his times from the previous year, but he managed himself well to win each race and to help the team,” Veilleux said.

“The season didn’t finish the way we wanted. The goal was All-American in the 400 but he accomplished a lot along the way.”

At the national indoor meet in New York last month, Flaker and teammates Ben Hatch, Salvator DeBenedetto and Noah Drapeau set a Maine all-time best in the sprint medley relay (3:36.94), beating the previous record of 3:40.32 that was also set by a Scarborough team in 2010.

Flaker hasn’t sprinted since. He’s worked on strengthening his hamstring while maintaining his fitness by swimming and training on a stationary bike.

The hamstring issue seems to be the only way to slow Flaker. An all-purpose back in football, Flaker missed the preseason in 2018 and began the regular season cautiously. But once he got going he was hard to stop, finishing with 994 rushing yards on 74 carries (13.4-yard average) and 250 receiving yards on 13 catches.

Flaker hasn’t decided which sport – or sports – he will pursue in college.

When he returns from his spring vacation next week, he’ll get back to his routine – schoolwork, practice and volunteering. Two times a week, after school, Flaker and his classmates head to a Wentworth School third-grade class taught by Jude Veilleux (Derek’s wife). There, Flaker reads to students and assists with their English.

After time with the kids, Flaker will be on the track, with a healing hamstring and high hopes.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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