WALES — Drew Gamage would never have gotten into track and field had it not been for his older brother, Derek.

“My brother picked it up two years ago and he did his own team with Lisbon,” Drew Gamage, a senior at Oak Hill High School, said. “Then last year he dragged me into it thinking that it would be great (for me) and he was right.”

Drew, like his brother before him, competes and practices with the Lisbon track team, yet represents Oak Hill along with fellow senior Samson Lacroix. While Gamage had a feeling he could be pretty good at the sport — particularly in the jumping events — given his background in basketball and lacrosse, even he could not predict the success he has had this season.

In a meet held on May 5 at Lisbon, Gamage unleashed a monstrous leap in his final attempt of the day in the triple jump of 46 feet, 7 inches. According to the list of individual records on the Maine Principals’ Association website, the furthest triple jump distance in any of the three classes is 46-5 by Scott Sawyer, of South Portland, in 1991.

However, state records can only be set at state championship meets.

“I just kept pushing myself each jump and that was the third jump,” Gamage said. “I knew I wasn’t going to leave any (thoughts) that I could have jumped further at all.”

This may be just Gamage’s second year in the sport — outside of recreation track in Auburn for a few years in elementary school — but he has not gotten to this point by accident.

“Derek was very technical. I hate to say it, but he didn’t quite have the skill — the God-given skill — that Drew has, but I think the technical aspect of analyzing and video and all that stuff that Derek possessed I think Drew learned a lot from that,” Doug Sautter, an assistant coach at Lisbon who works with Gamage on his jumping, said. “(Drew) learned the technical aspect of watching and learning from his brother more than anything and he’s just the hardest working kid you’d ever want to see on the track.”

Sautter said when he first began working with Drew Gamage he expected him to consistently jump in the 42- to 43-foot range. It was not long before he was exceeding those expectations, though.

“Then it kind of turned the light on that this kid could be going places,” Sautter said. “Once you get a kid like that, you can really get technical in the progression of the triple jump especially.”

Sautter and Gamage spent the bulk of last season working on his approach and other technical aspects to the triple jump. Now, Gamage has coupled those skills with his natural ability to become one of, if not, the best triple jumpers in the state.

“I have never seen a kid be able to hold a second phase like Drew can because of strength,” Sautter said. “He’s able to hit the second phase and not give an inch. His body doesn’t collapse at all. He just hits it and he just keeps on going. It’s uncanny when you watch him.

“There are some other good jumpers out there, but to see him reach for his step and not collapse at all is just a tribute to the strength he possesses.”

While it has overall been a very successful season for Gamage, he has had a tough go of it as of late. He has been dealing with shin splints for the past few weeks, which has limited both how far and often he can jump.

“I’ve gotten horrible shin splints just because of the constant wear of it,” Gamage, who plans to continue his track career at the University of Southern Maine, said. “I’m taking a little bit (of time) off and hopefully I can get up past the 46 (feet) mark by (Mountain Valley Conference championships) and (Class B championships).”

Gamage, Lacroix and his adopted teammates from Lisbon will each compete Friday at the Capital City Classic at Cony High School, where the Greyhounds are the defending champions on the boys side. On the girls side, Cony is the defending champs and should be the favorites once again with teams like Maranacook, Lisbon, Erskine and Boothbay each looking to challenge.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley