The schedule shows the track and field postseason kicking off in 10 days when the conferences start to hold their championships. But for many central Maine teams, the big meets start later this week with the Community Cup in Waterville and Cony’s Capital City Classic meet at Alumni Field in Augusta.

The Community Cup, which rotates hosts between the five participating schools each year, features Lawrence, Messalonskee, Skowhegan, Waterville and Winslow high schools competing. Waterville hosts this year’s meet, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Adding to the intrigue of this, the 12th Community Cup, is that for the first time in the event’s history, someone other than Waterville will be defending the Cup. The Messalonskee boys ended the Purple Panthers’ 10-year reign last year at Skowhegan Area High School with 143 1/2 points, 50 ahead of Waterville. Lawrence, Skowhegan and Winslow rounded out the standings.

The Waterville girls, meanwhile, kept their winning streak alive, but it wasn’t easy, In one of the most competitive Cups in memory, the Purple Panthers held off Messalonskee, 110 1/3 to 98 1/2, followed by Lawrence, Skowhegan and Winslow.

Teams will start gearing up for the meet at practice on Monday, but they won’t be treating it like one of the typical regular season meets that precede it.

“This is a big one,” first-year Messalonskee coach Matt Holman said. “It sets up our championships season. It’s our first championship meet. That’s how we’re going to attack it. We’re going to do our best to get the kids in the best spots to win the meet.”

Holman expects another good battle with Waterville on its home track, but that isn’t the only reason his athletes look forward to the meet each year.

“You get excited about it because all of the area schools are there, and also because Waterville has been such a powerhouse, to knock them off is almost one of those unexpected things,” he said.

Waterville coach Rob Stanton downplayed any extra incentive his teams might have to keep their streak alive or start a new one on their home turf, but added the Cup always raises the stakes for his athletes.

“We kind of see it as kicking off our championship season and you want to try to win the local championship, so to speak,” he said. “It’s an important meet for us historically. We’ve had good success there and it’s an opportunity to qualify for the conference championships and state championships, so we start trying to bring the focus up a little bit.”

• • •

Cony hosts the Capital City Classic on Friday at 4 p.m. at Alumni Field with a dozen teams from all classes expected to participate — Cony, Boothbay, Erskine, Gardiner, Hall-Dale, Lisbon, Maranacook, Monmouth, Mountain Valley, Richmond, Winthrop and Wiscasset.

“It’s a big meet and should be a lot of great competition,” Cony coach Jon Millett said. “Weather looks great as of (Sunday) for the meet.”

Last year, Lisbon swept both the boys and girls titles. The girls spoiled Cony’s bid to keep their title by a dozen points, followed by Monmouth, Maranacook and Erskine. The Greyhound boys had an easier time winning their meet, beating runner-up Boothbay by 34 points, with Cony, Erskine and Gardiner rounding out the top five.

Pre-meet ceremonies begin at 3:40 p.m. with special recognition of senior athletes, followed by a remembrance for longtime Cony track and field coach Taylor Harmon, who died last October.

• • •

Holman is pleased with how the Eagles are building up to the championship schedule. On Saturday at Winslow, the boys won their six-team meet easily while the girls finished second, just six points behind Leavitt in their eight-team meet.

“We finally put a solid meet together,” he said.

Once again, Messalonskee’s depth in the middle distance and distance events and talent in the hurdles shown through at Winslow. Owen Concaugh won the 800 in 2:00.44, a little more than two seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Carson Bessey. Cony’s Caleb Richardson was third. Concaugh also led an Eagles sweep of the 1,600, followed by Zach Hoyle, Natale Cardillo and Daniel Turner.

“Concaugh, Hoyle and Bessey have been the heart of the distance team and they’re starting to come into championship form,” Holman said.

Concaugh, Bessey, Hoyle and Daniel Labun teamed up to win the 4×400 relay, while Turner joined Concaugh, Bessey and Hoyle to win the 4×800. Cardillo won the 3,200, while Burton and Labun finished 1-2 in the 110 hurdles.

Jeshua Donisvitch won the 200 and was part of the winning 4×100 relay with Labun, Burton and Chase Warren. Labun (pole vault) and Cameron Bickford (shot put) were the winners in the field events.

Holman said the Community Cup will be a chance for some new faces to emerge and bolster the Eagles’ regular contributors.

“I expect our typical strong athletes to perform. They show up pretty well for those big meets,” he said. “I think some of the younger kids coming up will help seal the deal if we’re able to win it.”

Top performers for the Messalonskee girls at Winslow were Emily Steinmeyer, who won the shot put and javelin, Liz Larsen, who won the race walk, and the winning 4×400 relay team of Emma Wentworth, Emily Warren, Libby Breznyak and Avery Brennan.

• • •

Leavitt (160), Messalonskee (154) and Winslow (134) staged a tight three-headed battle for the girls team title at Winslow on Saturday.

Paige Smith led the Black Raiders with victories in the 100 hurdles, triple jump and high jump and second place in the long jump. Maeghan Bernard won the 300 hurdles.

Cony’s Anne Guadalupi won the 800 and was part of the Rams’ victorious 4×800 relay team along with Talia Jorgensen, Tara Jorgensen and Lindsay Watts. Kents Hill’s Anicia Gillespie won the 400 and Anne McKee was first in the 1,600. Shenciaray Black of Carrabec won the discus.

Messalonskee (204.3) pulled away in the boys meet while Cony (127.3), Leavitt (124) and Winslow (121.3) fought for the next three spots.

Winslow’s Jake Warren had a big day, winning the 100, long jump and triple jump. He edged Donisvitch by .01 of a second to win the sprint title. Cony’s Jeff Bilodeau won the 300 hurdles. Maranacook’s Troy Worster won the discus and Zachary Cates of Carrabec won the 1,600 race walk.

• • •

Waterville racewalker Billy Chambers broke the seven-minute barrier for the first time while winning the 1,600 event at Lawrence on May 5 in 6:53.45. Not only did he shatter his seed time (7:29.52), but he put himself in the conversation among the top high school racewalkers in Maine and America.

“Every time he sets a personal best, he sets a school record, and for a while there he was the state and national leader,” Stanton said. “He’s gotten better every single year and it’s fun to watch him.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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