The Waterville girls and boys track teams have designs on Class B state indoor championships this winter. The girls, in particular, are loaded with talent and will be a favorite to win a second straight title.

Saturday, the Purple Panthers competed on a much larger stage and fared pretty well at the Dartmouth Relays against some of the top high school talent in the East.

“It’s really hard to go down there,” said Waterville coach Ian Wilson, who brought 21 athletes to Leverone Field House on the Hanover, N.H. campus. “You kind of get one shot to do your thing. Some kids nail it. It’s always a good learning experience.”

Waterville junior Bethanie Brown nailed her event, winning the 2-mile run in a personal best time of 10 minutes, 48 seconds.

“She completely controlled the 2-mile from start to finish,” Wilson said. “It was a half second faster than she ran earlier in the year.”

As of last week, Brown had posted the best 2-mile time in the country among high school girls. And she has yet to begin doing speed work during her workouts.

“She’s still pretty much doing aerobic based training because she’s just getting better,” Wilson said.

The Purple Panthers got good performances from Olivia Thurston in the 400-meter run and Alexa Frame in the 300 while freshman Kelly Bolduc jumped a personal best of 35 feet, 5 inches in the triple jump. That earned her a seventh place finish in a meet that generally draws over 100 competitors in each event.

“The level of competition is just tremendous,” Wilson said. “She really has a lot of room for personal growth.”

Junior Devin Burgess no-heighted in the pole vault, but he was trying a longer pole for the first time.

“It just wasn’t enough practice time,” Wilson said. “I expect him to challenge for the indoor state record.”

Waterville has three meets remaining before the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet Feb. 11 at Bowdoin College.

“We run (against) a lot of Class A teams which is great for us,” Wilson said.

* * *

The Winslow girls posted a strong second-place finish Saturday at a nine-team meet at Bowdoin. The Black Raiders, who compete in Class B, finished second to Class A Brunswick.

“The girls are doing very well,” Winslow coach Bob Morison said. “The freshmen and sophomores that have joined (the team) are starting to come through. We’re trying to find out where they best fit.”

Junior newcomer Alliyah Veilleux set a PR of 28.19 in placing second in the 200 while senior Christine Parilli won the 55 hurdles and qualified for the state meet in the triple jump. Molly Schassberger won the 2 mile, took second in the 800 and qualified and teammate Katelyn Smith won the high jump with a height of 4-8.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids starting to realize they can do stuff,” Morison said.

On the boys side, junior Nick Shuckrow continues to lower his times in the mile and 2 mile.

“The kids that are returning have already qualified in their events for states,” Morison said. “Every week kids are trying different events.”

The Messalonskee girls finished third at the meet. Andrea Eschenbrenner won the shot put while teammate Liz Young finished first in the mile. On the boys side, senior Zach Sutherland placed first in the triple jump.

* * *

Erskine athletes set six school records at Saturday’s meet at Bowdoin College. The boys finished third in the nine-team meet while the girls took fourth.

Erskine coach Dave Hickey was “a little surprised because we had broken four in the first regular-season meet.”

The girls 4×200 meter relay team broke a record they had set the previous week by over two seconds, taking second place with a time of 1:57.62. The team includes senior Michaela Fortin, juniors Kay Hanson and Kelly McCormac and sophomore Jade Canak.

Canak broke her school record in the triple jump with a first-place distance of 32 feet, 11 inches and won the long jump. Other school records to fall included freshman Courtney Elliot and senior Tom Ferguson in the girls and boys pole vault; Fortin in the 55 meter dash and Brittney Ibbitson in the high jump.

Zac Lee won the 55-meter hurdles with a KVAC best time of 8.41 seconds, which is also the second best time in the state this season. Also for the boys, the 4×200 relay team of Dane Pelletier, Alex Lang, Ferguson and Lee finished second while Sean Cabaniss placed second in the high jump and third in the triple jump.

“We purposely had people not in the best events trying to qualify for the KVACs,” Hickey said.

* * *

While Cony sent a small contingent of athletes to Bowdoin on Saturday, coach Taylor Harmon took three to the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover, N.H.

Junior Lindsey Folsom finished seventh in the pole vault with a jump of 10 feet, 6 inches. Last week at Bowdoin, she cleared 11 feet.

“She’s getting better,” Harmon said. “There’s a few things she’s trying to change, it’s just a process. I thought she had 11 feet (Saturday) but she missed it coming down.”

Junior Julian Hubbard, who took ninth in the triple jump with a leap of 41-2 3/4, is also going through some changes.

“We’re trying to get more speed coming down the runway,” Harmon said. “We’ve got him back to 110-111 feet. That’s a long distance. It’s a controlled speed.”

Junior Luke Dang placed 11th in the 300 in a time of 37.42.

“There were over 130 runners,” Harmon said. “That’s his PR.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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