BATH — Erskine Academy’s Kaylee Porter runs the 800 meters, two laps of endurance and speed that ranks among the most grueling events in high school track and field. When she watches the 3,200 runners do their thing, though, Porter shakes her head in awe and wants no part.

“I’d be dead. Holy cow. That’s crazy. They work so hard, too. It’s awesome,” said Porter, who won the girls Class B 800 at Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship.

That’s the thing about a track meet. There’s so much going on, so many skills on display, even the best athletes see something they wish they could do. There’s always an event even the top athletes would love to try. Each athlete is allowed to take part in four events. So even if theoretically, you’re talented enough to do everything, you can’t.

“I’ve always kind of wanted to try a throwing event. I played baseball when I was younger, and I always liked to huck a baseball as far as I could,” Winlsow’s Jake Warn said. “Maybe javelin, shot put, something like that.”

Warn spoke moments after stepping down from the top of the podium as the boys Class B triple jump champion. Warn can jump and sprint with the best of them, but can only watch and be impressed by the throwers.

Laura Ireland shares Warn’s respect for the throwers. A sophomore at Maranacook, Ireland competes in just the 100 and 300 hurdles. At the KVAC meet, she won the Class B 100 hurdles.


“I always wished to try javelin. I’m definitely not a thrower, because I’m not very strong,” Ireland said. “All my friends do it. It seems fun.”

Ireland admitted she’s never even picked up a javelin. But just for argument’s sake, how far does she think she could throw one?

“Probably like two feet,” Ireland said, and she laughed. She had too much respect for the sport to presume she could have any success without a lot of practice and work.

Messalonskee’s Cam Bickford used to throw the javelin. Now, it’s an event he looks at from a distance.

“I used to be OK with it, sophomore year, and I just kind of faded away. Everyone asks me, why don’t you do javelin? You’re good at discus and shot, why don’t you do it?” Bickford said after winning the Class A discus title. “Over the years, I fell in love with the power moves, like discus and shot. Javelin is more a finesse move.”

Bickford’s avoidance of the javelin is rooted part in respect, and part in superstition.


“I try to stay away from it. Over the years, my form went down, because I’ve been focusing more towards shot and disc. I don’t even try to attempt to throw a javelin now. I don’t want to risk hurting myself, mess up my shoulder or elbow because I haven’t thrown it in a while. It’s just something I don’t pick up. It’s just not my thing,” Bickford said.

Skowhegan’s Leah Savage is one of the best jumpers in the state. She won KVAC Class A titles in the high jump and triple jump. It’s the pole vault that catches Savage’s eye.

“I think pole vault would be very fun. I did gymnastics, so I think the flip,” Savage said, twisting her wrist to symbolize the motion pole vaulters make to clear the bar as they release the pole. “I would really enjoy pole vault. It just doesn’t fit in with my events.”

There’s a reason the Olympic decathlon gold medal winner has traditionally earned the title of World’s Greatest Athlete. There’s so much going on at a track and field meet, being very good at everything is close to impossible. The best athletes know this, and they’re respect for their peers comes through.

On Saturday, Harrison Wang of Maine Central Institute won boys Class B 110 hurdles. Each hurdle is a small jump. When Wang thinks of his fantasy event, the leaps are greater.

“I would like to try high jump,” Wang said. “It would feel like I’m flying.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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