SACO — A pair of local state champions will look to add one more accolade before wrapping up their high school careers.

Messalonskee’s Taylor Lenentine, this year’s Class A girls pole vault champ, and Oak Hill’s Drew Gamage, the boys’ Class C triple jump winner, will compete Saturday at Thornton Academy at the New England outdoor track and field championships in hopes of adding one more title to their respective high school careers.

“She’s going to have fun with it,” Messalonskee track coach Scott Wilson said. “She’s excited about making it to the New Englands. She’s already proved herself so it’s just going to be a fun meet.”

Lenentine enters the meet seeded fourth with a mark of 10 feet, 6 inches behind Nicole Kelly of Billerica, Massachusetts (10-9), Natalie Howes of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and Maddie Schneider of Darien, Connecticut. However, Wilson said the Eagles senior has cleared close to 12 feet in practice this season. Wilson also noted that there is always a bit of uncertainty when it comes to an event like the pole vault.

“You never know how people are feeling, who’s going to have the big day or whatever,” Wilson said. “Kids could all of a sudden jump six inches higher than they’ve ever jumped before. That could happen with any of them.”

As for Gamage, he enters the meet seeded second in the boys triple jump with a mark of 45-9 1/2, yet knows he will be hard pressed to catch Ruvens Exantus of Bunnell High School. The Connecticut Class MM champ enters seeded first with a mark of 46-10 1/4.


“Pretty much I’m just going to have fun now,” Gamage said. “It’s not about really beating everybody because right now I’m seeded a foot under the No. 1 guy. I’m just going to try my hardest, hopefully get second, stay where I’m seeded and probably watch the whole meet because it’s supposed to be really good.”

Even still, Gamage said he would like to top his personal best jump of 46-7 if he can. He has set 46-10 as his goal, in part because of Traip’s Atencio Martin, who jumped 46-9 1/4 at the 2013 New England championships held in New Britain, Conn.

“I was looking for like a 46-10 but I don’t have the need for it. It’s just a personal goal,” Gamage said. “I’m always trying to push myself.”

Gamage and Lenentine will not be the only central Maine athletes competing Saturday. On the girls’ side, Nokomis’ Erin Martin, Lawrence’s Abby Weigang and Kents Hill’s Leila Alfaro are each slated to run the 100-meter hurdles, while Weigang, Alfaro and Cony’s Madeline Reny will each compete in the 300 hurdles.

Weigang’s Lawrence teammate, Kiana Letourneau, will run the 800, while Kents Hill’s Anne McKee is scheduled to compete in the 3,200. Waterville’s Alison Linscott (high jump), Mount View’s Jenni Nadeau (javelin) and Messalonskee’s Emily Steinmeyer (javelin) also qualified for New Englands.

On the boys’ side, a number of area athletes will compete in the throwing events. In the shot put, Waterville’s Trever Gray and Maine Central Institute teammates Eric Hathaway and Curtis McLeod are seeded seventh, ninth and 10th, respectively. Gray is also seeded ninth in the discus, while McLeod and Hathaway are entered in the discus and javelin, respectively.


Messalonskee’s Anthony Amalfitano, Zach Hoyle, Carson Bessey and Owen Concaugh will compete in the 4×800 relay, while fellow Eagle Tanner Burton will run the 110 hurdles. Mt. Blue’s Nate Pratt-Holt is seeded seventh in the triple jump and will also compete in the long jump, while teammate Aaron Willingham will run in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Waterville’s Chris Cote will join Willingham in the 3,200. Waterville’s Lauren Brown will also run the 3,200.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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