The Mt. Blue High School boys track and field team routinely features a deep cast of distance and middle distance runners, but struggles to cover many of the other events.

“Last year, we pretty much made our kids do throws just so we had warm bodies in there,” said coach Kelley Cullenberg. “Nobody had a lot of potential.”

Things have changed dramatically for the Cougars, who attracted eight football players this spring to give them much-needed coverage in field events.

“Three of our five captains are doing track,” Mt. Blue football coach Gary Parlin said. “Kelley didn’t just get some good athletes, she got some great kids.”

Dustin Zamboni, Cody Workman and Izaiha Tracy came out for the team this season. The three juniors are expected to play big roles for the football team next fall, Parlin said.

“This will get us in great shape for football,” said Zamboni, a two-way tackle. “It keeps us busy and we can stay competitive.”

Mt. Blue football assistant Bob Bourassa, whom Parlin says “runs the weight room,” joined Cullenberg’s staff this season. He is working with the throwers.

“Coach Bourassa had a lot of these kids in the weight room,” Parlin said. “He is our weight room guy. He’s a good person for (Kelley) to get on staff. Everything he does, he does 100 percent.”

Added Cullenberg: “We go from not having anyone who can do those events to potentially having six guys entered in each of the throwing events. None of them have ever thrown before, but they have a lot of potential. They are really excited about it, and this new blood really will help take us to the next level. The excitement is building.”

* * *

Mt. View has a new rubberized track surface this season, which bodes well for the team’s sprinters and relay teams.

“We finally got markings to do some relays,” Mt. View coach Kevin Petrak said. “Before we had to just say ‘hand off somewhere over there.’ This is great. We can now work on some things that we couldn’t do before. My sprinters should do well on this surface.”

* * *

The track team’s numbers have increased dramatically at Carrabec, giving coach Dan Foss his deepest team in nearly a decade.

“This is the deepest team I’ve had in nine years,” Ross said.

About 30 student-athletes came out this spring, including 16 boys. The Cobras had just eight boys last season.

The increased participation resulted in Ross adding an assistant coach — Anthony Falpash — for the first time.

Why such a higher turnout?

“We started a starter program in junior high about three to four years back, and it’s finally trickled through,” Ross said.

* * *

The Mountain Valley Conference tweaked its schedule to allow teams the opportunity to compete in other meets throughout the season.

Previously, teams competed in conference meets twice a week, leaving little wiggle room for teams to compete elsewhere.

MVC teams this spring will compete in just one conference meet a week.

“This really gives us freedom to find invitationals to go to,” Winthrop coach Ed Van Tassel said. “We can try and get in some more competitive events if we want to.”

* * *

Messalonskee junior Harlow Ladd, one of the top distance runners in the state, is working his way back after he missed most of the indoor season with tendinitis.

“We won’t push him early,” Messalonskee coach Scott Wilson said. “He’s been out a long time. He ran a 4:24 in the mile early in outdoor and then got hurt. We’ll be careful with him, but he should have a great year.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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