FAIRFIELD — In its 15th season, the Community Cup Meet finally added another contender to its community.

The annual track and field meet featuring central Maine schools was held Friday at Lawrence High School, with Maine Central Institute joining the cast. With rivalry meets dotting the landscape in advance of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship May 25 in Bath, MCI was looking for a meet that fit its program.

Having close relationships to the coaches of the Community Cup schools, MCI coach Jason Allen asked, any chance we can get in?

Central Maine Institute’s Alex Mason, right center, leads the 100-meter hurdles against Skowhegan’s Kyl Fitzgerald, far left, MCI’s Lillian Verrill, left center, and Lawrence’s Justis Damron during the Community Cup at Lawrence High School in Fairfield on Friday. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“We formed a pretty tight-knit relationship. We’ve been all over the place for our ‘rivalry’ meet. We went to Leavitt one year and had a rivalry meet with Leavitt, Mt. Blue and Oxford Hills. The last few years we’ve been going to Belfast, but that meet’s really big. There’s been talk of trying to reduce the number of teams there,” Allen said.

The Community Cup began in 2005, as a meet for Waterville, Winslow, Lawrence, Skowhegan, and Messalonskee to extend their rivalry to track and field. Adding MCI to the mix made sense, Skowhegan coach Dave Evans said.

“It was a no-brainer. I think it was unanimous among the teams. I went as far as saying, maybe we should be adding Nokomis and Erskine,” Evans said. “Considering MCI was once attached to the Lawrence team, at least indoors, and we compete with each other a lot of times, I think it’s a great addition to the meet. They’re a very competitive team. Jason does a great job.”

Last season, Mount View took part in the Community Cup as a non-scoring team, as a way to get in a meet when another opportunity fell through. Allen felt the addition of the sixth team to the mix last season may have helped MCI’s case to join the meet.

“I think that helped open the door,” Allen said.

Winslow coach Ken Nadeau said adding MCI to the Community Cup field only increased the level of competition.

“I love it. I think MCI brings a certain dynamic. They’ve always had good throwers. You look at what they bring today, there’s a lot of good throwers,” Nadeau said. “Adding an extra team kind of even things out a little bit. It gives us more of a championship feel, too. I like anything that benefits the kids.”

For MCI athletes, competing in the Community Cup was a way to extend friendly rivalries.

“It means a lot. Past meets, it’s either been Class A competition or lower classes. Having (Class B) right next to us that we know we can beat and they can beat us, it’s nice having them push us all of the way,” senior Matt Glidden, who competes in hurdles and jumps, said. “I’ve played them growing up. I know them. At the same time, we like playing each other and we root each other on at the same time.”

Added Evans: “I’d say it’s a friendly rival. Our kids have a lot of respect for their team, and vice versa. When we go work out indoor, you’ll see Jason there working with pole vaulters, and they could be from Skowhegan or wherever. I see this as a great addition and good for our competition.”

The Huskies don’t have the overall depth of some of their Community Cup opponents, but had some strong individual efforts throughout the meet. RJ Chadwick took a win for MCI in the boys 1,600-meter racewalk with a time of 8:58.83, while Glidden was victorious in the 300-meter hurdles, in 43.94 seconds. Xavier Moss took second in the boys shot put for MCI with a throw of 40 feet.

Skowhegan’s Andrew Ireland, center, competes in the 110-meter hurdles during the Community Cup at at Lawrence High School in Fairfield on Friday. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

MCI’s inclusion made the girls discus and shot put two of the most anticipated events of the Community Cup. MCI’s Christa Carr is among the top throwers in the state, and this meet gave her the chance to compete against defending state shot champ Sarah Cox of Waterville, as well as top discus throwers like Winslow’s Weslee Littlefield and Ainsley Day of Lawrence. Carr placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 92 feet, 8 inches, behind Cox (105′), Littlefield (103-5) and Day (97-4). Four hours into the meet, the top flight of the girls shot put had yet to throw.

“It gives us another look. I think that’s every coach’s objective, to get a look at who’s coming. It’s another real good chance to see how you match up,” Nadeau said.

“I know the spring’s been tough for a lot of people. We’ve been fortunate. We’ve had all our meets on schedule. The weather hasn’t always been great, but we’ve had all our meets. I feel like we’re in a good spot,” Allen added.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

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