NATHAN BLADES, Senior – Track

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* SMAA Distance Runner of the Year (Will Fulford Award)
* SMAA all-star, first-team, senior 800
* SMAA all-star, second-team, mile
* SMAA all-star, second-team, two-mile
* SMAA all-star, third-team, open 600
* Captain

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Blades had another fantastic season from start to finish and is a repeat winner of this award.

Blades had his freshman campaign limited by COVID, but as a sophomore, he placed fourth in the 800 at the Class A state meet. As a junior, Blades was runner-up in the mile and he also came in third in the two-mile. Blades went on to finish 11th in the mile at New England’s and he also qualified for the New Balance Nationals.

Before this indoor track season began, Blades stole headlines in cross country, posting the second-best time in Class A (first for scoring purposes), helping Portland win its first state title in decades.

That set the tone for this winter, where Blades remained consistently excellent, leading the team in scoring (92.25 points) and helping the Bulldogs to a 15-1 regular season record.


In the season opening meet, Blades won the senior 800 and the two-mile and placed second in the senior long jump, setting the tone for dominance in those events. At Southwesterns, where the Bulldogs finished second as a team, Blades was runner-up in both the 600 and two-mile. Then, at states, he was runner-up in both the 800 (1 minute, 59.45 seconds) and the mile (4:19.58) and also came in seventh in the two-mile (10:12.90), producing more than a one-third of his team’s points and helping Portland place fourth. Blades wrapped things up at New Englands, where he finished seventh in the 1,000 (2:31.37).

Blades is the school record holder in the 800, 1,000 and the 4×800 relay. He’s twice qualified for the Nationals in the 800. Blades has one last outdoor track season to look forward to (he was fourth in the mile and fifth in the 800 a year ago), then he’ll run at the University of Pennsylvania next year.

Nathan Blades, Portland’s Winter Athlete of the Year, is simply unflappable on the track and the end result is triumph. Season after season.

Coach Frank Myatt’s comment: “Nathan has been one of the major catalysts for our program’s transformation. It was clear from a young age that he had the tools to become a great runner, but his decision to commit to the middle-distance and distance events in high school put him over the top. He has cemented his legacy among the all-time greats of Portland High track and field as a school record holder in multiple events. As a senior captain, he helps his teammates prepare for competition by sharing his knowledge on racing strategy and opponent tendencies. He is a true student of the sport and I can’t wait to follow his career at Penn.”

Previous winners:

* 2022-23 Nathan Blades (indoor track)
* 2021-22 Wani Donato (basketball)
* 2020-21 Max Cheever (hockey)
* 2019-20 Liam Niles (skiing)
* 2018-19 Will Couture (swimming)
* 2017-18 Terion Moss (basketball)
* 2016-17 Dom Tocci (hockey)
* 2015-16 Amir Moss (basketball)
* 2014-15 Steve Alex (basketball)
* 2013-14 Ben Allen (Nordic skiing)
* 2012-13 Kidayer Albujyly (wrestling)
* 2011-12 Ben Allen (Nordic skiing)
* 2010-11 Mike Herrick (basketball)
* 2009-10 Imadhi Zagon (track)
* 2008-09 Sam Guimond (hockey)
* 2007-08 Imadhi Zagon (track)
* 2006-07 Ryan Carmichael (basketball)
* 2005-06 Andrew Duncanson (basketball)
* 2004-05 Connor Cushman (Nordic skiing)
* 2003-04 Eric Shone (basketball)

MARIA DELMONTE, Senior – Swimming


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* Class A state champion, 100 backstroke
* Class A state champion, 200 individual medley
* All-State
* All-Southwesterns

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DelMonte long ago proved her brilliance as an individual, but in her final high school season, she helped her teammates make history, while taking home some more individual hardware in the process.

DelMonte had her freshman season abbreviated by COVID and didn’t swim with the RamDogs as a junior, focusing instead on her club team, but she had a tremendous sophomore campaign. That year, she won the Class A state title in the 100 backstroke and the 500 freestyle and was named Portland Winter Athlete of the Year.

This winter, DelMonte dominated in all events, setting new school records in the 100 freestyle, 200 free and the 200 individual medley.

At Southwesterns, DelMonte won the backstroke and placed second to Cape Elizabeth standout Cookie Mahoney in the 100 free.

Then, at states, DelMonte won the 200 IM (2 minutes, 8.38 seconds) and the backstroke (57.94), helping Deering-Portland capture the championship for the first time. DelMonte now ranks 12th all-time in state annals both of those events.


DelMonte plans to continue her swimming career net year at the University of Denver.

Maria DelMonte, Portland’s Winter Athlete of the Year, certainly left her mark on her team and in Maine swimming lore. Her best is still to come in the pool, but her championship effort this season will long be remembered.

Coach Sarah Rassmusen’s comment: “Maria has become a rising tide, lifting the dedication and performances of girls around her and truly inspiring her peers and those younger than her. As she and her teammates were celebrating their state title, it was apparent to everyone around her that this team title meant more than any of her individual ones, because this season for her was about doing it for the team. As fast and versatile as she is, what makes Maria truly special is her intangible nature, the effect she has on others. Maria is someone in whom talent meets up with very hard work, but she is special because the whole time she also is laughing, cheering for and encouraging her teammates and competitors. She is humble to her core.”

Previous winners:

• 2022-23 Jane Flynn (hockey)
*2021-22 Maria DelMonte (swimming)
* 2020-21 Gemima Motema (basketball)
• 2019-20 Amanda Kabantu (basketball)
• 2018-19 Jaidyn Appel (track)
• 2017-18 Shayla Eubanks (basketball)
• 2016-17 Maggie Hosmer (track)
• 2015-16 Lauren McIntyre (hockey)
• 2014-15 Gabby Wagabaza (basketball)
• 2013-14 Brianna Holdren (basketball)
• 2012-13 Abby Popenoe (Nordic skiing)
• 2011-12 Kylie Dalbec (hockey)
• 2010-11 Nicollette Kapothanasis (basketball)
• 2009-10 Raechel Allen (hockey)
• 2008-09 Nyachuol Biliew (basketball)
• 2007-08 Nyachuol Biliew (basketball)
• 2006-07 Alex Perdomo (hockey)
• 2005-06 Regina Roberts (track)
• 2004-05 Ashley Anderson (basketball)
• 2003-04 Ashley Brownlee (basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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