GORHAM — There weren’t as many spectators as usual Saturday at the Southwestern Maine Activities Association indoor track championships, as only parents of senior athletes were allowed to attend.

But after the 2021 championship season was wiped out by the COVID pandemic, the SMAA’s top athletes very much appreciated that parents were there at the University of Southern Maine Field House to cheer them on to personal bests, league records and break-out performances – unlike during their regular-season meets.

“I’m so excited for states. I was just a second off the school record in the 2 mile. The atmosphere today was amazing. I’m excited for more competition and fans again,” said Thornton Academy senior Mia-Claire Kezal, who won both the 800 and 2 mile.

Gorham earned the girls’ title with 131.83 points, ahead of Thornton with 120 and Bonny Eagle with 111. South Portland was the boys’ champion with 142 points, followed by Scarborough (123.5) and Gorham (105.5).

Kezal won the 800 by more than 5 seconds in 2 minutes, 18.13 second, setting a new SMAA record.

Less than 40 minutes later, she breezed through the 2 mile, opening up a lead of a half lap on the way to a 14-second victory in 11:27.99.


Gorham, meanwhile, was led by a trio of senior stars who are all hoping for the school’s first Class A indoor title in a week. 

Alyvia Caruso won three events, capturing the long jump (17 feet, 1 inch), triple jump (35-0 1/2) and 55-meter hurdles (8.88). She achieved a personal best in the hurdles, and also helped Gorham win the 800 relay (1:51.22). 

High jumper Emma Green took first place in the high jump (5-2), and Sydney Connolly won the 200 (26.95). They teamed up with Caruso and Maddie Michaud for the 800 relay.

“I wanted to prove to myself today I could win three events,” said Caruso. “For the last week, we’ve been practicing at USM in the morning. We’re lucky we get to use it, but we practice from 6 to 7:15. It’s kind of crazy. But I don’t feel I’ve peaked yet.”

In the boys’ meet, Bonny Eagle senior Aidan Walcott won the high jump with ease, clearing 6 feet on his first jump, despite the fact he hasn’t had a day of practice this season and has competed in only three meets.  The Class A outdoor champion at 100 and 200 meters, Walcott decided to try indoor track for the first time while also still playing basketball for the Scots.

“It’s a lot. It’s not easy. Basketball is the main focus, but Bonny Eagle hasn’t won a state title (in boys’ basketball) since the 1970s. I want to help them do that,” Walcott said. 


Gorham senior sprinter Andrew Farr, who will compete for Yale next year, won the 55, 200 and 400. Because of a hamstring injury, he nearly didn’t run the 55, but clocked 6.55 for the victory.

“I had a good long warmup, and having a lot of fans all around helped, having this energy. The meets this year just felt like practice,” Farr said.

Scarborough senior sprinter Jayden Flaker agreed. Flaker said he wasn’t at his best Saturday, and he hit the first hurdle in the 55 hurdles. Still, he quickly pulled away from the field for the win in 7.88 seconds.

“There hasn’t been the same atmosphere (in regular-season meets). Usually there’s more people, and before the start it gets quiet. That quiet helps me get locked into my zone. It makes me run faster,” Flaker said.

Nick Connolly missed a few regular-season meets because of hamstring and shoulder injuries. On Saturday, the Scarborough senior said he was just starting to hit his top form, as he improved his personal best by 2 feet in the shot put with a winning throw of 56-3 1/2.

Connolly was looking ahead to the state meet, when the Red Storm will attempt to win their seventh consecutive Class A championship. 

“We’ve won all of them during my high school career – all of them that weren’t canceled due to COVID,” Connolly said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s the best feeling.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.