After a breakout junior season, Lawrence High School senior Kiana Letourneau is back for seconds this year.
Well, not literally.
Letourneau finished second at the Class B state championships in the 200- and 400-meter events, just days after finishing second in the 100 and 400 at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet. Following a dominating indoor season this winter, Letourneau is leading the Lawrence charge this spring.
She won the 55, 200 and 400 KVAC championships during the indoor season.
She’s joined by teammates Jaden Gray, who was second in the KVAC 1,600 last spring, and jumper Payton Goodwin on a team that is well-rounded and capable of scoring in virtually every event.
The Bulldogs lead a number of Class B teams in the region that expect to have big seasons.
Waterville senior Cecilia Morin won the 3,200 at the KVAC B meet last spring and placed fourth in the 1,600. She placed in both events at the state meet. For Winslow, senior Paige Smith was fourth in the 110 hurdles at KVACs and sophomore Anna Pellerin placed in the race walk. Both should see significant improvement this season and help lead a deep Black Raiders squad.
“We have some noisemakers in our sophomore class, no doubt,” Waterville coach Ted Brown said. “It’s a smaller group than the boys, but they’re a hard-working group. We’re going to make some noise.”
Two-time defending Class B 800 champ Kaylee Porter leads an Erskine team that has doubled in size this spring. Senior Ally Porter is a consistent scorer in the throws and teams with Kaylee Porter to lead an otherwise young team.
At Mount View, the emphasis won’t be on team scoring, but instead on individual performances as the program tries to beef up its numbers.
Junior Betsy Hunt finished last spring just one inch shy of equaling the school’s high jump record of 5-foot-3.
“It’s a complete individual coaching opportunity,” Mount View coach Kevin Petrak said. “You just try and get the most out of them without them having to worry about team scoring, while keeping them enthusiastic about what they’re doing.”
Cony returns a strong contingent of girls who placed in the Class A meet, including senior Anne Guadalupi (distance), junior Tara Jorgensen (800) and sophomore Gabby Low. Freshman Cecilia Guadalupi adds depth to the middle distance events.
Messalonskee boasts another solid team after winning the conference title for the first time during the indoor season over the winter.
Youth will be served for the Eagles: Freshman Emma Concaugh set the school record in the 800 while winning that event and the 400 at the KVACs this winter. Senior Avery Brennan adds depth to the middle distances.
“We had a lot of success and real solid group of young athletes during the indoor season,” Messalonskee coach Matt Holman said. “But our leader is Avery. She’s a staple on the girls side. She’s been a leader on that program since she got up here. It will be sad to see her go.”
Alison Hughes (throws), Victoria Friend (jumps) and Krista Carr (throws) are all on the verge of big seasons for MCI.
Hughes, a junior, finished fourth in the shot put at the Class C state meet last season.
The Huskies need to find some depth, and they should be much better at the end of the season once new faces get acclimated to events and varsity track and field.
“Some of our kids that last year were freshmen and/or new to the sport are more experienced and progressed nicely through last season,” MCI coach Jason Allen said. “A bunch of the newcomers are good athletes, too. Kind of like the boys, they’ll find spots to help us down the stretch.”
First-year Gardiner coach Jen Boudreau takes over the varsity after coaching the middle school team. The Tigers are still trying to build the number of participants but are headed in the right direction. Senior Sierra Goodridge and junior Leah Woodard should score in the middle distance events.
Monmouth ended Lisbon’s 11-year hold on the Mountain Valley Conference championship two years ago and may have enough firepower to challenge the mighty Greyhounds again this spring.
Seniors Izzy Lewis (sprints) and Victoria Spencer (race walk), along with juniors Abby Allen (javelin, high jump) and Emily Grandahl, are among several returning scorers for the Mustangs,
“We’ve got high numbers,” said coach Tom Menendez. “We’ll cover all the events. My expectations are top two in the MVC and top five in the states.”
Hall-Dale returns proven scorers in Sabrina Freeman (hurdles, middle distance) and Maya Freed-Barlow (sprints, jumps), and coach Jarod Richmond expects junior Sierra Millay (sprints, middle distance) to have a breakout year.
“We’re pretty athletic,” Richmond said. “We’ve got some speed.”
Winthrop performed well in the MVC meet but failed to take that success to the states despite qualifying several individuals. Juniors Kinli DiBiase (sprints, jumps) and Sierra Huff (hurdles) are the top returning scorers.
“We need to encourage them to take it to the next level,” coach Ed Van Tassel said.
Maranacook returns a small but versatile group led by sophomore Nicole D’Angelo, who placed third in the state meet in the shot put. Junior Ariana Wiles took fourth in the KVAC racewalk while junior Maddie Taylor finished fourth in the 3,200.