AUGUSTA — Both the present and future in girls throwing in the Mountain Valley Conference will be on display Thursday when the conference track and field champions will get crowned at Cony High School.

At last season’s MVC meet, it was a clean sweep in the throws for Carrabec, as Emma Pluntke won the shot put, Shen Black took the discus and Macy Welch claimed the top spot in the javelin. Welch has since graduated, yet both Pluntke and Black will be the favorites to defend their titles at Cony.

“Shen has thrown for her personal best of 103 feet, 8 inches for the discus and she’s been having a really spectacular year,” Carrabec co-coach Maurice Langlois said. “Emma is having a really solid year, too. She’s been dominating. Both of them have been dominating every meet that we’ve been to. I think Emma’s best throw (in the shot) is 33 feet, 2 inches so they’ve both been having really solid years.”

It is likely that Pluntke and Black will continue their dominance Thursday with the duo each seeded one-two in the shot put and discus, respectively, yet a pair of potential future MVC champs could be making their debuts in Monmouth freshmen Maddie Amero and Mahala Hayden.

In Amero’s case, her time may be sooner rather than later as her top throw in the javelin this season of 99 feet, 9 inches has her seeded first heading into the meet.

“It’s kind of crazy. I didn’t think I’d get to throw that far,” Amero said. “I was really coming into it thinking maybe I could hit 50 (feet), maybe I could hit 60 (feet) if I’m really good.


“To come out and really get that far it’s kind of incredible for me. I’m hoping later on I’ll be able to get even further and get really far into the distances.”

While track at the high school level may be new to Amero, the sport is not. She first started when she was 5 years old when did summer track in Auburn.

“That was pretty fun and that’s what really kicked it off for me,” Amero said. “It’s what really got me into it.”

Amero also noted that having strong competition on her team her age, like Hayden, has helped her improve this season.

“You learn a lot of tips and pointers from other members of your team,” Amero said. “It really just kind of pushes you because you know that there’s someone that’s really close to you or further ahead of you and you want to catch them.”

Hayden — whose top event is the discus — picked up track in middle school, but has seen a significant jump in her distances so far this spring. Her top toss in the discus of 83-3 has her seeded third behind Shen and Pluntke heading into MVCs.


“The beginning of this year I didn’t throw much, I just did shot put,” Hayden said. “I did hurdles but later in the season I started doing all three (throws).”

For most freshmen, it is about trying to find out what events their talents naturally lend themselves and for Hayden and Amero they appear to have found a home in the throws. The duo, along with fellow talented freshmen Moira Burgess and Emily Grandahl, give the Mustangs plenty of hope for the future.

Even though Carrabec will lose Pluntke after this season and Black the next to graduation, co-coaches Langlois and Tyrel Love are not ready to cede the future of the throws to teams like Monmouth just yet. Both noted that Pluntke and Black have helped draw more interest in the throws at Carrabec, which the two coaches are hoping will pave the way for future success in the circles as well.

“They’ve really actually helped us grow our base and hold our interest,” Langlois said. “They’ve been really good about just getting their peers interested in throwing. When the season first started we didn’t have a big throwing squad. By the time we had our first meet they had already gotten four or five other kids interested in throwing that weren’t interested before.

“That has a lot to do with, one, just how good they are at it and, two, they have done just a great job leading.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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