High school tack and field preview: Aspirations remain high for several Midcoast squads

Decent weather and the use of updated/new facilities led to a promising start to the 2022 outdoor track and field season on the Midcoast.

And several squads enter the 2022 campaign with lofty expectations.

While Morse High School has been competing at McMann Field in Bath for years, Brunswick High School is set to start its second season on a resurfaced track. Mt. Ararat is preparing to compete on its brand new track facility at the high school this spring as well.

“We are very fortunate to have a new track and turf field, use of the gyms and a weight lifting center. Our athletic director (Geoff Godo) has done a great deal of work to get everything going,” said longtime Mt. Ararat coach Diane Fournier.

“It has been a few years since we have been able to practice at our own facility. It’s great to see this senior class have an opportunity to compete and practice at such a great facility,” added Mt. Ararat coach Justin Laverriere.

Brunswick hosted the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference large/medium and small/medium championships last May.

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“We have not had any issues with the start of the season,” Brunswick boys coach Dan Dearing said. “This will be our second full season on the updated track facility. The venue is outstanding. We have been outside on the track in all weather conditions since March 28.”

Here’s a look a preview of some of the Midcoast teams:

LISBON

Both the girls and the boys are the defending Mountain Valley Conference champs, with the girls capturing the Class C state title. Nicole Sautter takes over for longtime coach Dean Hall.

Back to help defend the titles for the girls, Gabby Chessie, who participates in the triple jump and 200-meter dash. She finished second in both events at last year’s state championship meet. Kiana Goldberg, Kayla Cooper and sophomore Sarah Moore should also be top contenders this season.

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Depth is a strength for the Greyhounds, who also return seniors Lexie Finn, Amelia Mooney and Madyson Ramsey. Along with Cooper and Goldberg, other returning juniors are Aylin Noble-Ramirez and Loreesa Potvin, as well as sophomore Emily Westland.

Sarah Moore of Lisbon High School clears 5 feet 2 inches during a throwers and jumpers meet April 15 in Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Newcomers include Alexia Barnes, Addy Burkhardt, Sydney Crosskill, Ryleigh Davis, Olivia Kuietauskas, Morgan Poulin and Makayla Warren.

On the boys team, which finished fifth in Class C, senior Hunter Burkhardt returns as a top distance runner in Class C as well as hurdler Emmett Mooney after a successful freshman season.

Returning athletes for the Greyhounds are seniors Darien Davis and Bryce Mitchell. Juniors Landon deWildt, Gavin Grenier, Chase Mailhot, Ethayen Roberts, Paden Ventry and sophomore Owen Booker.

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BRUNSWIC

The Brunswick girls track team is poised for a strong season as it looks to improve on its runnerup position at the KVAC championships last spring.

“The girls have set their goal on the KVAC championship title,” coach Heather Hoisington said. “Even though it’ll be a hard road to get that title, it’s very much in the realm of what this team can do.”

Kaeden Green is one of the top returning athletes on the Brunswick girls track and field team. The Times Record file photo

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Some of the returnees include Kaeden Green (sprinter/jumper), Ophelia Ladner (sprinter/hurdler), Maddie Chaput (sprinter/jumper), Madeline Kallin (distance/pole vault) and Sophia Morin (throwing). Green, who is coming off a strong indoor track season this past winter, looks to compete for a state title in the 200-meter and 400-meter events. She will also compete in the long jump and triple jump. Ladner placed second in the 100-meter hurdles in the KVACs and fourth in the state Class A meet. Chaput returns after a strong freshman season in the long jump, 100- and 200-meter dashes. Kallin returns after receiving the co-athlete of the KVAC championship meet last year.

Morin eyes a strong season after making her track debut in 2021. The junior, who also plays softball, placed third in the javelin at the state meet, throwing a school record 110 feet.

Freshman Kayla Monahan (sprinter), Lisi Palmer (sprinter/jumper), Ellie Gilman (distance), along with sophomore Isabel Dauphinais (sprinter) are all coming off successful indoor track seasons and should make an impact.

Dearing likes the mixture of young athletes and veterans on the boys squad and is pleased with their depth.

“We have close to 40 boys on the team so our depth will be a strength,” Dearing said. “We have many young enthusiastic athletes along with several veterans who will lead the team.”

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The team finished second in the medium school KVACs and ninth at the state Class A meet.

Some of the returning members include seniors Miles Logan, Matthew Poulton and Joey Valliere. Juniors Gavin Barbour, Spencer Stadnicki, Luke Patterson, Thomas McCormack and William Dolley should score well this spring as well.

“This year we will be in the large school division of the KVAC’s so we will be looking to compete well with the larger school, Dearing said. “We hope to qualify many athletes to the KVACs and to the state meet, which will improve our chances of placing well at those meets.”

MT. ARARAT

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The Mt. Ararat track teams are looking forward to the spring track season, showing off the new track and field at the high school.

“We’ve had a great pre-season so far and look forward to the meets,” Fournier said.

Mt Ararat senior Grady Satterfield, second from right, laps the pack on the way to victory in the 2-mile run during the Class A indoor state track and field championships Feb. 21 at the USM Field House in Gorham. Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald

The boys are the defending KVAC champs and finished 11th in Class A states. The Eagles feature Nathaniel Smith, Grady Satterfield and Ben Kelleher, Cameron Orr, Tyler Berry, Eliot Timblin and Nolan Timberlake all retuning to the squad, while newcomers Sebastian Varela, Aidan Greenleaf and Gavin Rowe look to add depth.

“The group of seniors has made it a point of emphasis that the work done now will pay dividends later. So far, these athletes have met all of our expectations,” said Laverriere. “The goal is to continue to build this team into a championship caliber team, year in and year out. The boys are helping to build this type of culture.”

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Triple jumper Mikaela Langston returns to defend her state title after she broke a state record with a 38-8.5 jump last June. The girls finished sixth in the KVAC last year.

“I also don’t discount the girls, as each day they give their best to “learn” their events and then apply what they have learned while to improve,” Fournier added.

ORSE

After a season in which young Morse boys and girls track teams were finding their groove — finishing in the middle of the pack in both the conference and state meets — the Shipbuilders will look to continue to improve.

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“We were really young (last season),” head coach Shawn Guest said. “We have some really good individual athletes in certain events.”

Lily Clifford of Morse gets ready to pass the baton in the girls 4×800 relay race during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet last season at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

43 student-athletes came out for the teams this year, including distance runners Lily Clifford, Audrey Crews and Iris Hennin. Emily Tetzlaff (throwing), Sarah Ouellette (pole vault) and Caroline Thelen (sprinter) should also be in the mix this season. Shealyn Brochu and Claire Clifford, both middle distance runners, join the team this year.

On the boys side, Andrew Card, who finished second at the states in the 100-meter ruin, returns, along with distance runners Finn Thelen and Riley Dunn. Sam Taft and Alex Maccio both return in the throwing events.

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FREEPORT

The boys and girls teams will look to stay competitive in the tough Western Maine Conference.

“This year, we are looking to continue to build our program,” head coach of both teams, Matthew Greear said. “We have a lot of raw talent and are excited to have some people try events for the first time. I am very proud to be working with such a talented coaching staff, with tons of experience and a strong commitment to all individuals.”

Senior Molly Cobbs returns to lead the girls and will compete in the pole vault and hurdles. Sophomore Lucy Bourgeois will lead the sprinters. Seniors Emily Pagnano and Rylee Lyons, along with juniors Avery Baker-Schlendering and Jillian Wight, will also help bolster the team. Freshmen Esther Penny, Lucy Riggs and Josie Spaulding will add to the depth.

Freeport High School’s Enoch Boudreau clears the bar during the pole vault competition at the Class B track championships in Bath on June 5, 2021. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

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Enoch Boudreau and Henry Horne return to lead the boys squad. Boudreau is coming off a state title in the Class B indoor pole vault this past winter. Boudreau was the runner-up in outdoor track a year ago as a freshman. Horne, also a sophomore, will score in the distance events as well as the high jump.

Senior Eric Simmons, juniors Jack DiRusso, Finn Furtney and Bobby Strong are also returning. Sophomore Reece Perry and freshman Conner Smith could also make an impact this season.

“We have standouts in almost all events and are excited to hit the track. Ultimately, we want to qualify a bunch of students for states, some points and take home a few state titles,” Greear said.

The Forecaster staff writer Michael Hoffer and Sun Journal staff writer Adam Robinson contributed to this story.

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