FAIRFIELD — For a number of reasons, Abby Weigang was off her game last spring.

Whether it was the aftereffects of transferring from Orono High School to Lawrence midway through her junior year, the pressure of being a two-time state champion or nagging a injury, Weigang did not live up to her own lofty standards during the 2014 outdoor track and field season.

“I was just out of my comfort zone,” Weigang said last Saturday after the winning the 300 hurdles and placing second in the 100 hurdles at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A championships at McMann Field in Bath.

This spring, Weigang has gotten back to the level at which she was competing while at Orono and then some, yet the journey has not been an easy one for the 6-foot senior.

Weigang was a key cog in a pair of Class C championships while with the Red Riots, winning the 100 and 300 hurdles and placing second in the pole vault in both her freshman and sophomore years. She also was a member of Orono’s 4×400 meter relay team that took first in 2012 and second in 2013.

Changing schools, particularly midway through the academic year, took its toll on her, though.


“I had been in the Orono school system my whole life. I’d had the same track coach since doing summer track when I was 6 years old up until that sophomore year of high school,” Weigang said. “Changing coaches, changing schools it was a bit of a shock, especially going in as a two-time defending state champion I felt that there was a lot of pressure on me. It was sort of hard to mentally warm up to the new team.”

Weigang also spent the better part of her junior season battling shin splints. As a result, she did not make it out of the preliminaries in the 100 hurdles and finished ninth in the 300 hurdles at the Class A championships.

Much like the hurdles that she now fluidly powers over, though, Weigang has cleared those injuries and adjustments. After winning a Class A championship in basketball this winter, Weigang will be looking to accumulate even more hardware Saturday at the Class A championships at Mt. Ararat High School. Weigang enters the meet as the top seed in the 300 hurdles and the second seed behind Noble freshman Nina Tasker in the 100 hurdles.

She, however, will not be the only female hurdler from central Maine aiming for a state title in the hurdles Saturday. Weigang has not raced against Tasker this season, but did see two of her strongest competitors at the KVAC A meet last Saturday in Nokomis’ Erin Martin and Cony’s Madeline Reny.

“I was so excited for it because I knew regardless of my place that’s not what matters, it’s my time,” Weigang said. “I knew that running against those two girls in both races I would have an awesome day.”

Reny finished third in both the 100 and 300 hurdles at states a season ago, while Martin, a junior, has taken a tremendous leap forward from a season ago to put herself in title contention.


“I’ve worked a lot harder this year, at practices especially,” Martin said. “I’ve just been thriving for this. I want to be a state champion.”

At the Class B meet at McMann, Waterville’s Sarah Shoulta enters as the defending champ in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. The senior said she was not quite where she wanted to be at the start of the season, but racing against competitors like Weigang and teammate Kellie Bolduc, among others, has helped her improve her times.

“Abby has pushed me a lot,” Shoulta said. “My times weren’t that good at the beginning of the season so every time that I would face her she would pull me a long and help me get times that I was looking forward to getting. That helped me a lot.”

Another local hurdler, Kents Hill’s Leila Alfaro, will also be in the hunt for a state title in the hurdles Saturday at the Class C championships in Yarmouth.

Alfaro narrowly edged Seacoast Christian’s Kylene DeSmith in the 300 hurdles last season and the two should once again be in store for a tight battle Saturday with Orono’s Lauren Stoops also very much in the mix. Alfaro, DeSmith, John Bapst’s Katie Cotton and Boothbay’s Morgan Crocker are all contenders for the Class C title in the 110 hurdles.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640


Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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