AUGUSTA — Cold rain and driving winds come with the territory of April outdoor track meets in Maine.

On Monday teams from Messalonskee, Maranacook, Mt. Blue, Waterville and Mount View made the trip to Cony High School for a regular season meet where the weather was very much a factor.

“It was pretty ugly,” Waterville coach Rob Stanton said. “It was very windy, cold and just a little bit of everything. It was a bit of a struggle conditions-wise.”

“We’re looking forward to having a meet above 60 degrees and with the sun out,” said Cony coach Jon Millett.

Those meets (in theory) should come sooner rather than later, yet even with the adverse conditions there were a number of intriguing performances at Monday’s meet. Here is a look at a few of them:

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Messalonskee senior Lucy Guarnieri and sophomore Avery Brennan said the decision to switch from playing lacrosse to competing in outdoor track this spring was difficult, yet each showed Monday the choice may have been the right one.

Guarnieri — a former gymnast who tried track for the first time this winter — won the triple jump and placed third in both the high jump and pole vault. She was also on the Eagles’ winning 4×400-meter relay team along with Brennan, Taylor Lenentine and Emily Warren.

“I was doing gymnastics for the first three years of high school and then I didn’t have time because of schoolwork so I decided to try this,” Guarnieri said. “It’s similar to gymnastics in a lot of ways so I found that I was good at it.

“…I had to decide between track and lacrosse this year for spring and It was really tough. I love lacrosse, but I felt like I was just better at track.”

In addition to her performance on the 4×400 relay, Brennan took second in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600. Brennan said she enjoyed doing indoor track this winter and is excited about the future in the sport.

“I want to place in states and hopefully make it back to New Englands,” Brennan said. “By the end of my high school career I want to have some school records, too.”

• • •

Kents Hill does not have a very large team, but a few of their girls provided some good early-season competition for Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A contender Cony.

Rams senior Madeline Reny is one of the top returning hurdlers in the conference, yet she settled for a pair of second place results Monday behind the Huskies’ Leila Alfaro. Alfaro took the 110 hurdles by two-hundredths of a second and the 300 hurdles by 1.03 seconds.

In the 1,600, though, it was Cony sophomore Anne Guadalupi who came out ahead of Kents Hill’s Anne McKee by a little less than 7 seconds. Guadalupi also won the 800 Monday and according to Millett, both she and Reny are right on schedule in terms of building towards the end of the season.

“They’re right where they should be,” Millett said. “They’re both putting in the time and they’re focused on what their goals are for the season.

“They both have individual things they’re working on to make them stronger competitors.”

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Another hurdler, Waterville senior Sarah Shoulta, is just getting back on the track after missing training time in between seasons with a concussion.

“That was actually the first time Sarah has been over a hurdle since the indoor season,” Stanton said. “She had an injury in the interim so she hasn’t been able to train since the indoor season. Given what she’s dealt with in the last month or so I thought she did a heck of a job.”

Shoulta placed second in both the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches) and as a member of the Purple Panthers’ 4×100 relay team (55.15), and she also took third in the 110 hurdles.

“She’s fully cleared so far but Sarah’s a little rusty,” Stanton said. “We expect it will take a couple weeks to kind of crack through that.”

While one Purple Panther is still working her way back, another, Trever Gray, seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough in the throwing events. Gray won the shot put (53-10 1/2) and discus (151-6) Monday.

“Those are both pretty sizable (personal records) for him and to do it in those conditions is that much more impressive,” Stanton said. “…You could tell that there were some good throws in there and it was just a matter of time.

“He’s really been launching some big ones in practice. It certainly always is nice when they happen, but we’ve had a sense that they were coming for a while and he’s ready to have a pretty big season.”

• • •

Angela Strain, a Mount View sophomore, is another athlete who seems poised for a big season. As a freshman she finished in fifth place in the 400 at the Class B championships, and Monday she won the 200, 400 and placed second in the 100.

That being said, Mustangs coach Gus Petrak noted it was a little difficult to gauge just how successful of a meet it was for the talented sophomore. In each of those three events Strain was in a different heat than the other top three finishers.

“She was basically racing against herself,” Petrak said. “She was out there doing what she could.”

Strain was not the only Mustang who stood out Monday, however, as Jenni Nadeau won both the javelin and the discus. Her performance in the javelin in particular was impressive given the conditions. She won the event with a throw of 96-11, while last year at the Class B meet she placed sixth in the javelin with a toss of 93-10.

“Her javelin throw was phenomenal,” Petrak said. “She did have a tail wind so that probably helped her a little bit there but she had a really good meet considering what the conditions were.”

• • •

Elsewhere, Maine Central Institute will host the inaugural Husky Throwdown on Saturday. The throwers-only event will be held at Alumni Field, beginning at 2 p.m.

“It’s something that we came up with this winter as a way to raise some money for our program,” MCI coach Jason Allen said. “We have the ability to host the throwing stuff. We can’t do the other stuff but we can put those throwers on center stage.”

Allen added that 15 teams will participate in the event.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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