The Messalonskee girls indoor track and field team lost several key athletes to graduation, but it returns enough talent to try to and defend its Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A title.

”It’s been interesting,” Messalonskee coach Matt Holman said. “We’ve got some good new talent. We’re really young in the sprints. It’s encouraging. I’m seeing a lot of progress in the short sprints…I’m really encouraged by the effort I’m seeing in the kids in all the groups, really.”

Junior Charlotte Wentworth, the defending KVAC A champion in the 400-meter dash, leads the Eagles. She also finished third in the 2-mile. She’ll be joined by Alexa Brennan and Emma Concaugh — both dangerous in the 800-meters. Maria Veilleux, a top-three conference talent in the triple-jump, also returns.

Erskine’s Lilly Potter runs the hurdles during a Dec. 4 practice at Colby College. Morning Sentinel photo Michael G. Seamans

Skowhegan is also looking to make the move up the conference standings with some promising talent. Amber Savage and Kylie Fitzgerald will be leading the way in the jumps.

KVAC B girls indoor track promises to be well-contested, led by defending champion Winslow. The Black Raiders have plenty of weapons returning for another title run, led by distance runner Olivia Tiner. Tiner, who was suffering from shin stints last season, is healthy now and poised to be a force in the distance events.

“Our goal each year is to be competitive at the conference championship both individually and as a team,” Winslow coach Ken Nadeau said.”We are hopeful that we peak at the right time and that our performance is a culmination of hard work in the halls and on the track and in the classroom.”

Lawrence has consistently been in the mix for some time, and should be again this season. The Bulldogs are led by Cassandra Richards, who finished fourth in the 2-mile at the conference championships last year, as well as Kristin Jackson, who was fourth in the shot put.

Waterville, with new coach Katie Souviney, should also be in the KVAC B fight. The Purple Panthers return Lauren Pinette, the defending conference champion in the hurdles.

Maine Central Institute finished fifth in the conference last season, but may be ready for a major jump. The Huskies boast its largest roster in years, and talent returns with it. Alahna McCarron should be in the conference title mix in the high jump.

Cony will drop down a class and join the KVAC B mix this season. The Rams bring one of the area’s top athletes in Anna Reny, who won the KVAC A in the 200-meter dash, and second in the hurdles.

Erskine and Nokomis have small numbers but strong individual talent. Danielle Shorey leads the Eagles and should be one of the top shot putters in the conference. The Warriors boast Emily Eastman — the top female distance runner in school history — who will be among the KVAC B’s best this winter.

BOYS

Nokomis may have the area’s top boys team this winter. After finishing fourth at the KVAC B championships last year, the Warriors are led by tri-captains Beau Bridges, Ethan Bubar and Law Hinckley.

Lawrence may have trouble competing in team scores, but should have strong individual postseason performances. Isaac Plourde and Gage Boudreau finished third and fourth, respectively, in the shot put at the KVAC B championships last year.

 

Cony will have too small of a team to contend for a conference title, but it does return a pair of talented runners in Myles Quirion and Casey Gallant. The Rams also receive a boost in the field events from freshman Conor Morin.

Waterville, Winslow, Erskine and MCI all have young rosters and seek steady improvement in the hopes of strong individual performances in time for the conference meet.

In KVAC A, Messalonskee should continue to make strides this winter. Josh Goff was third in the conference in the pole vault last year. Ricky Thompson and Garett McKenna will be strong in the shot put.

Skowhegan will have a solid mix of veteran talent and youth, led by Cutter Wager, who can compete in a multitude of events.

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