When he’s in the blocks, in that moment before the starter’s gun goes off, Taylor Bielecki makes sure to not get anxious. Don’t false start. Don’t stumble. Just hear the gun and run.

“Let the gun scare me out of the blocks and I can just go from that. I try to let my mind go blank and let muscle memory take over,” said Bielecki, who recently completed his junior year at Waterville Senior High School.

Few in the state ran faster than Bielecki last spring season. He won the 100-meter dash at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championships in 11.52 seconds. Bielecki followed that with a pair of second-place finishes at the Class B state meet in the 100 and 200, two of the closest races of the meet.

Old Town’s Wayne Dorr, left, and Waterville’s Taylor Bielecki, second from left, head to the finish line of the 100-meter dash at the Class B track and field championships last season. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

For his efforts, Bielecki is the Morning Sentinel Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Matt Glidden of Maine Central Institute — who won the KVAC Class B 300 hurdles title and placed second at the Class B state meet in the same event — was also considered.

“Taylor is a really humble athlete,” Waterville track and field coach Katie Souviney said. “He holds himself to a very high standard.”

Bielecki first tried track and field in fourth grade. After trying most of the events, he gravitated toward the sprints. As a sophomore, Bielecki ran 12.24 seconds in the 100 preliminary round at the Class B state meet, and 24.04 in the 200. Practicing his form in the offseason, as well as simply being stronger and faster this spring, helped turn Bielecki into a contender for the state title in both events.

Bielecki entered the state meet tied with Wayne Dorr of Old Town as the top seed. In the preliminary round, Bielecki had the fastest time, 11.52, to Dorr’s 11.60 seconds. Throughout the season, Bielecki has focused on his block starts, what he calls the weakest segment of his race.

“My coach (Souviney) had told me beforehand be aggressive out of the blocks and go all out,” Bielecki said.

When another runner false started on the first attempt of the 100 final, it wiped out what Bielecki thought was a good start. The second one was just a little off, and Dorr took the lead quickly. Over the second 50 meters, Bielecki closed the gap, coming even with Dorr.

“I could tell I was catching him. At the end we both leaned, and I had no clue who won. Then I looked at the board,” Bielecki said.

Dorr had run 11.57 seconds. Bielecki had 11.60. The same thing happened later in the final heat of the 200. While Bielecki overcame a slow start, Trace Cyr of Presque Isle prevailed. Cyr won in 23.44 seconds, with Bielecki second at 23.64.

“He’s very good once he gets to his maximum velocity,” Souviney said of Bielecki. “Once he gets it all together, he’ll do great things.”

Those hundreths of seconds do not haunt Bielecki. He sees them as motivation.

“I was kind of hoping to win, because me and the Old Town kid were tied for first (seed), but I definitely want to do better next year. (Dorr) was the fastest kid I’ve raced all season. I’ve never been in a race that close. It was nice to have competition like that.”

The 100 might hold a slight edge over the 200 as Bielecki’s favorite, but he feels he may be more suited for the 200 as his track career progresses.

“At states I really felt good for the 100. By the time the 200 rolled around, I was tired. I didn’t feel as good until after I started running,” Bielecki said. “I feel like 200 is probably better for me, because I have higher top speed. Once I get out of the blocks and get going, I’m faster than everyone. It works out better for me… I feel like I’ve done enough sprinting so my form is, I know what I’m doing now.”

Souviney said Bielecki’s willingness to work, combined with his ability, made him a team captain this past season.

“As a captain, he was the first one over and cheering on his teammates. Then he can focus on what he needs to do,” Souviney said.

Bielecki also plays soccer and basketball at Waterville. With one more year of high school ahead, he said he’d like to compete in track in college, where he hopes to study engineering.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 


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