Senior shot putter Amir Broadus and other members of the South Portland High football team helped to recruit five football players to come out for indoor track this winter. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND — During a year in which several indoor track and field teams in southern Maine have seen a sharp decline in participation compared to before the pandemic, the South Portland High boys’ team has defied the odds with more than twice as many athletes out this winter.

The result: the Red Riots went 16-0 in the regular season and won the SMAA’s Southwesterns title for the first time since 2002. Seniors say with a much larger squad there’s a new energy on the team that they believe will be passed on after they graduate.

“It’s not just a bunch of kids out doing track,” said senior shot putter Amir Broadus, who is seeded second for the Class A state meet. “It’s like a brotherhood. We support each other. Especially this year. Running with masks is tough. Like for the guys running the mile – we cheer for them to help them get through it. We help each other to push past it.”

On Monday, the Class A and B indoor track and field state championships will be held at the University of Southern Maine Field House in Gorham. Masks will be required for everyone, including athletes during competitions. But unlike regular season meets, spectators will be allowed (provided they show COVID-related health documentation). The Class A meet starts at 10 a.m. and Class B begins at 5 p.m.

South Portland is unlikely to catch defending champion Scarborough, the clear favorite again this year. But given the numbers out this year and the way the top athletes have stepped up, the Red Riots could have their best finish in years. 

David Kahill, coach of the South Portland High boys’ track and field squad. speaks with the team during practice in the school’s gym last week. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

The South Portland boys’ roster is up from 20 to 45 – including more than 20 who are new to indoor track and field, said Coach David Kahill. He credits coaches from fall sports, who always encourage their athletes to do winter sports but have done more of it during the pandemic. And Kahill credits his seniors for the team’s success this winter. 


Broadus said football players like himself helped recruit another five players off that team. Senior Jacob Ramos, who runs cross country and outdoor track, joined the indoor track team for the first time even though he also competes on the swim team. In fact, after competing in the Class A state swim meet in Cape Elizabeth on Monday morning, Ramos plans to drive to USM in hopes of making it in time to run the 800 meters.  

“It’s not easy,” said Ramos, seeded third in the 800. “But for my first year on indoor track, I am so proud of what these guys have done.”

South Portland assistant coach Max Ludwig competed on the South Portland team that won the Southwesterns title and its last indoor state championship two decades ago. Ludwig said the change this year from the past two years is obvious.

“The numbers are a big thing,” Ludwig said. “Back when I ran, we were also a big team.”

Senior Brady Guay executes a long jump during a practice at South Portland High School on Wednesday. “The energy this year is definitely different given the sheer number on the team,” he says. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

But it’s not just big – it’s deep in talent. At Southwesterns, the team had 19 athletes score in individual events. 

“The energy this year is definitely different given the sheer number on the team,” said senior long jumper Brady Guay. “It’s a very positive atmosphere and the juniors (freshman and sophomores) are stacked.”


In Class A, the Scarborough boys have won nine of the last 10 state indoor titles. Their prospects are good for winning on Monday, with top-seeded athletes Jayden Flaker in the hurdles, Zach Barry in middle distance and Nicholas Connolly in the shot put. 

Gorham also will be in the mix, with distance runner Calvin Cummings, one of the fastest 2-milers in the state, and sprinter Andrew Farr, who leads the state in the 200, 400 and 55 meters.

Cheverus’ Frank Morang should dominate the long and triple jump, as he leads the state in both events and set the state record in the triple jump outdoors last spring. 

The girls’ Class A meet should be a clash between Bangor, which won the 2020 title and the 2021 outdoor title, and Gorham, which has never won an indoor state title. 

Bangor has the state’s top sprinter in Anna Connors – who like Farr could win all three events – and the top 2-mile runner in Megan Randall. Gorham brings two seniors who could win individual titles: Alyvia Caruso in the hurdles and Emma Green in the high jump. Gorham also has the fastest 800-meter relay team in the state. 

Mia-Claire Kezal of Thornton Academy should dominate the 800 and mile, as the top seed in both, as well as the 2 mile. And Mt. Ararat senior Mikaela Langston – the outdoor state record holder in the triple jump – should dominate her event again. 


In Class B, the York boys have won the last two Class B indoor meets and four of the past six. Once again they have the numbers and talent to win another title – led by senior Hunter Pruett in the 800 and junior Matt Charpentier, the top seed in the shot put.

Cape Elizabeth also could be close with top distance runners Owen Patry and Vaughn Lindenau, shot putter Tommy Gray and triple jumper Oscar Gustafson. 

The Class B girls’ meet will be a fight between Cony, which won the 2021 outdoor Class B title and has three top-scoring seniors, and York, who hasn’t won a girls’ title in 12 years but was the runner-up outdoors last spring. York is led by senior Lexi Brent in the middle distance and hurdles and sophomore Cary Drake in the distance events. 

Spectators at the Class A and B meets must present one of the following: proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test result within the past 72 hours, a negative Antigen test result within the past 24 hours, or proof of a positive COVID test within the past 90 days. Home tests results will not be accepted. 

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