The best thing about the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference indoor track and field championship is, this season, the meet will happen.
A major winter storm that dumped more than two feet of snow on some parts of the state caused the cancellation of the KVAC meet last season, leaving hundreds of athletes without one final tuneup before the state championships.
“That was pretty rough last year,” Waterville coach Ian Wilson said. “The kids worked hard and kind of had the rig pulled out from under them.”
The three-time defending state champion Waterville girls are the clear favorites in Class B. On the boys side, Waterville and Belfast could battle it out.
In Class A, longtime power Edward Little is a favorite, along with Brunswick. Messalonskee coach Scott Wilson said he expects this to be one of the closer meets in recent years.
“All the teams are getting better. It should be a great meet, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Scott Wilson said.
In Amanda Knight, Messalonskee has one of the top sprinters in the state. Knight is among the top seeds in the girls 55, 200 and 400. At the Greater Boston Invitational last week, Knight ran the 400 in under a minute.
“She has a good chance of winning all three,” Scott Wilson said.
Messalonskee’s Taylor Lenentine is the top seed in the girls pole vault, and her seed vault of 10 feet is two feet better than her nearest competition, Cony’s Alison LaPlante. Kristen Kern is in a tight group of contenders in the Class A girls 800, and also will contend in the mile.
Skowhegan’s Macy Lee and Emily Steinmeyer are among the favorites in the Class A girls shot put. Ali Chamberlain of Lawrence is a contender in the Class A girls long jump.
In Class B, the Waterville girls may be the deepest team in the conference. Senior Rachel Bergeron is the favorite in the Class B shot put, and is among the top throwers in the state. A trio of juniors — Lydia Roy, Sarah Shoulta and Kellie Bolduc — could pile up big points for the Purple Panthers in the sprints and jumps.
Winslow’s Nicole Fletcher is a contender in the Class B girls high jump, while Erskine’s Jade Canak is the favorite in the Class B girls long jump.
The Waterville boys have the depth to win Class B, led by seniors Jordhan Levine and Troy Gurski in the hurdles and jumps. Chris Cote is a contender in the mile for the Panthers, and Trevor Gray is the clear favorite in the Class B boys shot put.
“(Gray’s) only a sophomore and he’s throwing 52 feet already,” Ian Wilson said.
Maranacook’s Nick Barnes and Shane Hathaway of MCI are contenders in the Class B boys 55 hurdles. Bobby Rose of Gardiner and Erskine’s Phoenix Throckmorton are among the top seeds in the Class B boys 55 meter dash. Erskine’s Erik Dodge will battle Levine in the 400.
In Class A, Scott Wilson expects a big day from Logan Moses. The Messalonskee senior is among the top runners in the 800, mile, and 2 mile.
“(Moses is) feeling really good right now,” Scott Wilson said.
Messalonskee’s Soren Domsivitch is the top seed in the Class A triple jump, and will contend in the long jump and pole vault, too. Jesse Domsivitch is a contender in the 55 and 200.
In the Class A boys high jump, Skowhegan’s Brett Gilbert is the top seed, while the Indians’ Jacob Coombs is the top seed in the 55 hurdles. Cony’s Elijah Tobey is the top seed in the Class A boys shot put.