It continues to be an impressive year for Waterville Senior High School’s Bethanie Brown.
Brown broke her own mark in the mile on Saturday, running a time of 4 minutes, 54.57 seconds at the New Balanace Grand Prix, at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Brown placed second in the junior girls mile.
“She performed very well on a big stage,” Waterville track and field coach Ian Wilson said. “She was rubbing elbows in the warmup room with people who are going to the Olympics.”
Brown, a senior at Waterville, will continue her running career at the University of Connecticut next fall.
This indoor track season, Brown has the fastest 800, mile and 2-mile times in the state. Brown will run in all three at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships meet Saturday, Wilson said.
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The Waterville boys have a trio of strong 55-meter hurdlers. Devin Burgess is ranked No. 1 in the conference with a time of 6.41 seconds. Jordhan Levine in third (8.46) and Troy Gurski is fourth (8.51).
“On any given day, I’m not sure which one is our fastest hurdler,” Wilson said. “It’s been an event of strength for us over the years. We’ve had some very good hurdlers.”
Wilson said the 55 hurdles has stayed a strong event for the Panthers because of success of past hurdlers, who pass their knowledge of the event on to the next generation.
“These guys we have now all remember Alex Rowe, who was a very good hurdler for us. Alex helped teach them the event,” Wilson said. “Their success is due in part to learning from the guys we’ve had.”
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After showing some promise in the long jump and triple jump last season, Erskine’s Jade Canak has become one of the top jumpers in the KVAC this season.
“Every meet, she’s broken a school record,” Erskine coach Dave Hickey said.
Canak is ranked No. 1 in the KVAC in the long jump at 16 feet, 9 inches. That jump is almost two feet better than her best jump at the Class B state meet last February. Canak is ranked second in the league in the triple jump, with a jump of 34-11.5.
“She came into the season in great shape, coming off of soccer season,” Hickey said. “We’ve been able to work with her at a very high level.”
Canak anchors the Erskine girls 4×200 relay team, which is ranked second in the league. Joining Canak in the relay are Kelly McCormac, Avery Bond and Alison Gauvin.
Other Eagles performing well include Courtney Elliot, who is ranked fourth in the KVAC in the girls pole vault, and Dane Pelletier, who is ranked third among KVAC Class B boys in the pole vault. Erik Dodge is doing well in the middle distance and distance events, Hickey said.
A senior newcomer, Christian Reid is ranked second among KVAC B boys in the 55.
“This is his first time out in any sport,” Hickey said.
Senior hurdler Zac Lee is recovering from an ankle injury that’s kept him from competing in the 55 hurdles, except for the first meet of the season. Hickey said Lee, the defending KVAC B champ in the 55 hurdles, will race in the conference meet on Saturday.
“I could’ve hurdled him the last few weeks, but I was conservative with him,” Hickey said.
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The Waterville girls continue to be the top ranked indoor track and field team in the state, according to the web site Maine Milesplit (me.milesplit.com). The site breaks down the state rankings in each event as if they were scored at a meet. Waterville leads the way with 74.2 points, followed by Thornton Academy (51), Bangor (48.5) and Bonny Eagle (36).
A Class B team, the Purple Panthers will not see Thornton, Bangor and Bonny Eagle, all Class A schools, at the state meet. Waterville’s nearest competition for the Class B title is fifth-ranked Old Town, with 32 points.
On the boys side, Scarborough is ranked No. 1 with 46 points, followed by Brunswick (35), Cheverus (32.92) and Ellsworth (32).
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Winslow’s Alliyah Veilleux is ranked first in the KVAC in the girls 55. A senior, Veilleux ran a 7.46 in a meet right before Christmas. Veilleux is ranked second in the shot put with a throw of 33-7.
Sasha Letourneau of Lawrence is ranked first in the conference in the 200, with a time of 27 seconds.
In the girls pole vault, Cony’s Lindsay Folsom tops the league with a vault of 11-6. Cony’s Luke Dang is ranked second in the 55 (6.77) and 200 (23.36).
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242