Kaylee Porter loves to compete. Issue a challenge and the Erskine Academy senior will snap it up like a pit bull on a steak.

Porter’s challenge last week involved the number of push-ups she could do in one minute as part of the school’s winter carnival events.

“I got a little competitive,” she said. “I did 67 push-ups in a minute and I won.”

Her challenge Saturday at the Class B state track meet at Bates College will be twofold. First she’d like to win her specialty, the 800-meter run, and second Porter hopes to lower her personal best time of 2:20.87 set last week at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet.

“I want to try and run about a 2:16, which would qualify for nationals,” she said.

Porter has an outdoor personal best time of 2:16.55 and for the last two years has won the Class B state title in the event. But indoor track was new to her. An injury prevented her from competing last year and, prior to that, she took her sophomore year off. As a freshman she played basketball.

Indoor tracks are tighter and shorter, 200 meters as compared to 400 outdoors and the fans are right on top of you.

“Colby is really tight,” Erskine coach Scott Rollins said.

In winning the KVAC title, Porter simply bolted to the front and cruised to a nine-second victory.

“She went out hard,” Rollins said. “She’s a competitor. I haven’t known of many folks who are as competitive as her. She is not going to lose at anything she gets challenged on.”

Porter qualified for several indoor events this year, including the 200, 400, 800 and the mile, setting school records in each event. Saturday she’ll also compete in the 200.

“I like how fast it goes,” she said. “I also like how it translates for the 800.”

Rollins describes Porter as a happy-go-lucky kid who puts on her game face when she steps up to the line. Asked what her greatest attribute is she said “compassion on and off the field and helping her teammates.”

That passion and compassion permeates her life. She played soccer for three years and on an elite team in the off-season, foregoing it her senior year because “I just fell in love with track so much.”

That led Porter to compete in cross country for the first time an endeavor she describes as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

A top-notch student, Porter is a student council member and as a junior ran for Maine state president of the student council board and won. Contestants were asked to write speeches of what a good leader should be. In boiling it down to a few words Porter wrote “leadership depends on teamwork and selflessness.”

Porter’s race Saturday will likely lead to a shot at the New England meet and hopefully one at the nationals. She still has the outdoor season and a third straight 800 title ahead of her. Next year she plans to run track at the University of Maine.

“I met (coach Mark Lech) and we kind of hit it off,” Porter said. “And I just fell in love with the campus.”

The school also offered her major, nutrition.

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