Fresh off victories in the mile and 2 mile at the Class A state indoor track and field meet, Messalonskee senior Harlow Ladd is geared up for Friday’s New England high school championships at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

Ladd said he used the mile race as a tune-up for the 2 mile at the state meet last week and it worked well as he set a state record.

“The mile was more a strategic race for me,” Ladd said. “I knew I was going after that record.”

Ladd finished the mile in 4 minutes, 26.37 seconds, then blistered the 2 mile in 9:21.87, breaking the old record set by South Portland’s Eric Giddings by nearly three seconds.

“I think it was the idea that it was my last state championship,” Ladd said. “I’m excited to se what I can do against New England competition.”

Ladd doesn’t know much about the competition at the New England meet, but he does know one thing.

“I know that Matt McClintock is going to be there so it’s going to be a real race,” he said.

McClintock, a senior at Madison, won the mile and 2 mile at the Class B state meet last week in 4:29.86 and 9:31.63. Ladd doesn’t put a great deal of stock in those times and knows he’s in for a battle against McClintock, the state’s top cross country runner.

“I’m confident now to the point where I could give him a run for his money,” Ladd said.

* * *

Waterville is sending just two competitors, junior Bethanie Brown and senior Nick Margitza, to the New England meet. Brown won the 800, mile and 2 mile in leading the Waterville girls to the Class B state title while Margitza won the shot put.

Brown set the state record of 5:02.25 in the mile and earlier this year won the 2 mile at the Dartmouth Relays.

“I think she’s got a very good chance (at the mile),” Waterville coach Ian Wilson said.

Margitza, who set a personal best in the shot at the state meet of 53 feet, 1 inch, will be up against some tough competition.

“I think he’ll be thrilled if he could place,” Wilson said.

Cony’s Lindsey Folsom won’t compete at the New England meet despite winning the Class A pole vault because that event isn’t offered. Folsom won with a jump of 10 feet, 6 inches, based on fewer misses than two others that jumped the same height.

“I would say her takeoff wasn’t where it was the week before,” Cony coach Taylor Harmon said.

Folsom cleared 11 feet at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet and narrowly missed 11-6.

“She was right there,” Harmon said.

She’s qualified for the nationals in New York City and may compete there. Cony’s Julian Hubbard will compete in the long jump at the New England’s after finishing sixth at the state meet with a leap of 19-11. Hubbard injured his ankle on an early attempt and didn’t qualify in the triple jump.

“He’s improved this year by almost a foot in the triple jump and 10 inches in the long jump,” Harmon said.

Teammate Luke Dang will also compete after finishing fourth in the 200 meter dash.

* * *

Messalonskee junior Arthur Conover easily repeated his title in the 500-yard freestyle race at the Class A swimming championships last week, but he won’t compete this Saturday in the New England meet at Bates College in Lewiston.

Instead he’ll swim at the YMCA state meet in Orono.

“For my club team, the meet this Saturday is required,” he said. “I’d love to do both.”

Conover won the 500 at the New England meet last year and has brought his time down significantly since. He won the state 500 in 4:40, more than 28 seconds better then the second-place finisher. He also knocked three seconds off his personal best in taking second in the 200 IM.

Conover swam a slightly faster 500 at a club meet in December and has set his sights on the state record of 4:33 set by Bangor’s Jason Thomas in 1999.

“That’s definitely a goal for me next year,” he said.

He still has over a month of competition left for his club team and plans on swimming at the YMCA nationals in North Carolina in April.

The Messalonskee girls, who finished second to Bangor at the state meet, will send seven or eight swimmers to the New England meet according to coach Tom Sheridan. The Eagles enjoyed their best season ever, winning the KVAC title recently for the first time.

* * *

Cony swim coach Jon Millett will send four girls to the New England meet. Victoria Weber, Phoebe Campbell, Kayley McNeff and Melissa Peterson will all compete. The Rams are coming off a fifth-place finish at the Class A state meet.

“That was Cony’s best-ever performance at the state meet for the girls,” Millett said. “I’m very pleased. It was a great way to end the year.”

Nearly all their performances at the state meet were personal records. Weber took second in the 100 free and third in the 200 while Campbell was sixth in the 50 and seventh in the 100, both PR’s.

The four also combined to finish second in the 400 freestyle relay and fourth in the 200 relay, both team records. On the boys side, Adam McNeff finished seventh in the 200 and ninth in the 500.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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