The renovated track and field facility is at Mt. View High School is ready to go.

With a little cooperation from Mother Nature on Thursday, Mt. View will host its first track and field meet in nearly two decades.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Mt. View coach Kevin Petrak, who’s in his seventh season. “It’s our first home meet in 17 or 18 years. So this is my first home meet experience. I am anxiously anticipating to see how it turns out.”

The facility had undergone several renovations during the last few seasons to make a home meet possible. The school installed a new rubberized surface on its eight-lane track last season.

“We had all the equipment last season,” Petrak said. “We had the pits, a discus cage, everything. The problem was that the throwing area went right into the middle of the track field. Our field wasn’t ready last year to host a meet.”

Nokomis and Mt. Ararat will compete in the meet Thursday. It is the second meet this week for Mt. View, which went about a month without competing. The Mustangs competed at Lewiston on Monday night in their first meet since the season opener on April 12. Petrak said that April vacation and bad weather forced a few meets to be postponed.

“It’s hard to start off doing some meets than not have one for quite awhile,” Petrak said. “The motivation factor comes into play.”

Mt. View senior Curtis Griffin shined Monday, winning four events — the 100- and 200-meter dash, as well as the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. Owen Freeman won the javelin.

On the girls side, Delainey Kein finished second in the 1,600 and long jump. She was also fourth in the 800.

* * *

The running joke among the Messalonskee track and field team is that it is undefeated at home. The Eagles have taken that on as their motto, making T-shirts with the slogan on them.

The Eagles make do without a track and field facility at the school. The high jumpers practice in the gym, the runners work on a dirt track and the throwers practice on the lacrosse field. The pole vaulters have to hit the road to get work in.

“We’ve been going up to Lawrence,” Messalonskee coach Scott Wilson said. “Thank goodness they offered, which was really nice. It does help. We don’t have a facility, so that helps. We took five (pole) vaulters up there (Monday) then we went back to Messalonskee to get some work in there. It was great.”

The way athletes have performed this season, meanwhile, is anything but a joke. The Eagles are opening a few eyes in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

Amanda Knight (200, 400), Megan Pelletier (high jump, javelin), Kaitlin Eschenbrenner (javelin), Andrea Eschenbrenner (shot put, discus, javelin) lead deep and talented girls team that is holding its own against stiff competition.

Harlow Ladd (distance), Elijah Steele (high jump), Zach Sutherland (jumps) and Cody Lachance (throws) lead the boys team.

“We’re doing well,” Wilson said. “It’s funny because when we practice we are scattered all over place. We just try to make do. We improvise a lot, but it’s making the kids get stronger, better. We’re hanging in there.”

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Like Messalonskee, Mt. Blue also doesn’t have a track facility.

The school is undergoing a $64 million renovation and addition project that has left athletic teams without practice fields.

The Cougars, coach Kelley Cullenberg said, make the best of it.

“It continues to be a challenge,” she said, “but the kids are sticking to it. If we can hang on for a few more years, the program will start to really grow again. We still have a total of 54 out, which isn’t huge, but it’s not too bad, either.”

The Mt. Blue boys are coming off an impressive performance at a seven-team meet at Lawrence last Thursday.

The Cougars, led by Justin Tracy (800, 400), Josh Horne (1,600), Sully Jackson (3,200), Shane O’Neill (high jump, 110 hurdles) and Zach Veayo (race walk), finished fourth.

Tracy is coming off a leg injury suffered during indoor season and is scoring well for the Cougars.

“He qualified for New Englands in cross country but then he got injured in indoor track,” Cullenberg said. “He’s really learned the value of being patient. He’s changed his focus in his training, and it’s showed.”

* * *

Winslow junior Alliyah Veilleux is rounding into form after recovering from a foot injury suffered late in the indoor season.

Veilleux competes in the sprints, as well as the shot and discus.

“We’ve been slowly building her back up,” Winslow coach Shawn Carey said. “I’m inclined not to put a kid out there and wreck them, so we’re really careful there. But she is now where we thought she would be.”

Veilleux won the 100 last Friday at a meet in Fairfield with a time of 13.12. She also won the 200 in 27.84.

Carey said he plans to have Veilleux run the 400 in the final few weeks of the regular season to get her qualified in that event for the conference and state championship meets.

“We want to maximize our points,” Carey said. “We may want to get her in the 4×400, too. That team is only 15 seconds off from a school record, so we’ll see.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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