Last winter, indoor track teams were confined to practices where they used school grounds in every way possible. Jump into the gym. Sprints down the hall. Distance running outdoors.
This year, it was a similar story, with one key difference: this time, these practices actually served a purpose.
“The kids were just excited to compete, excited to be at other schools and competing,” Winslow coach Ken Nadeau said. “That’s what kept everything going. Losing the facilities, yeah, that was tough. But they knew they could always, every Thursday, Friday or Saturday… go out and do their thing, that’s what they hoped for all the time.
After a winter in which the indoor track was limited for almost all schools to practice and conditioning, the sport returned this season to competitions and championships. Teams were still limited to practices at their schools due to COVID precautions, but the ability to compete again provided enough normality to offset the differences still in effect.
“Without a doubt, it was pretty huge,” Cony coach Kevin Russell said. “It made up for this missed year. … Just the opportunity to race, we were excited about it, whatever it was going to be like. But it turned out to be a great season, and it’s good to be back.
Good, especially for Russell’s women’s team, which won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship and finished tied for third in the Class B state competition. (400, 2 mile), Bri Harriman (800), Kristen Kirk (55 hurdles), Emma Brown (200, long jump) and Loralie Grady (mile), Cony won her first indoor conference championship. .
“They were really determined this year,” Russell said. “They were determined to go out and leave their mark. … It’s their legacy. They put the work in four years.
Russell said the team was particularly motivated by the loss of a promising title shot last season.
“They wanted it really badly,” he said. “They were pretty confident they were going to do it this year.”
Winslow won the KVAC boys title, scoring 120 points for a 22-point win over Leavitt. Nadeau said his athletes knew exactly what they needed to get a win they weren’t supposed to get on paper.
“They knew the numbers. I didn’t have to tell them where we were,” said Nadeau. “I don’t have to provide a ton of motivation in that aspect.”
The Black Raiders delivered, with Evan Watts winning the 55-yard and 200-yard dashes and finishing second in the 400, and Levi Olin picking up a win in the 400. Ryan Martin, Zackery St. Pierre, Ryan Yang and Joey Richards also combined in the winning team 4×200, while Winslow’s women’s team earned a higher-than-expected third-place finish.
“Leavitt should have beaten us by nine points if everything had gone to plan, but it was probably one of the best encounters my boys have had since 2017,” Nadeau said, referring to the championship team. Winslow Class B Outdoor Runway. “It was just an incredible effort on their part. … A lot of things happened on our side.
In the women’s Class A competition, Mikaela Langston of Mt. Ararat won the triple jump and finished third in the 55 hurdles, while Grady Satterfield of the Eagles finished first in the 2-mile. In Class B boys, Enoch Boudreau of Freeport won the pole vault while Gage Boudreau of Lawrence was second in the shot put. In the girls’ meet, Grace Kirk of Cony finished first in the 800.
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