Several high school athletes from Maine will participate at the high school national championship races, beginning this week at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. 

The Outdoor Nationals, presented by Nike, will take place from June 30-July 3. High school runners, jumpers, and throwers from across the country will compete. There were qualifying standards for the outdoor nationals, and any athletes could attend should they reach the threshold during the 2021 season. 

Mainers who will participate includes: Lucien Beardsley of Gorham; Ben Greene of Falmouth; Delaney Hesler of Bonny Eagle; Mya Judice of Thornton Academy; Mikaela Langston of Mt. Ararat; Rowan McDonald of Bonny Eagle; Tyler Patterson of Brunswick; along with Emmaline Pendleton, Hannah Stevens and Addy Thibodeau, all of Bonny Eagle.

Mt. Ararat senior Mikaela Langston is in Oregon this week to compete in the triple jump at the high school outdoor national championships. Photo provided by Candice Wright

Pendleton, Stevens, Thibodeau will team up with Hessler to represent Bonny Eagle in the 4×800 meter relay. Hessler will also run the 5000-meter race. Beardsley will take part in the boys 3,000-meter race walk championship, along with McDonald. Judice will participate in the girls 3,000-meter race walk. Greene and Patterson will once again battle it out in the 1-mile run — the duo battled it out in the 1,600 at the Class A state championship.

Langston will be jumping in the triple jump, the event she set the Maine state record in at that same Class A title meet.

“I’m expecting the unexpected, after all, I am going up against some of the best athletes in the country,” said Langston, a senior at Mt. Ararat and Orrs Island native. “It’s definitely a little intimidating knowing what you’re going up against.”

Langston took up the sport in her freshman year, Mt. Ararat assistant coach Justin Laverrie said.

Laverrie specializes in coaching jumping events and will make the trip to Oregon along with Langston and her mother, Shannon. Laverrie says Langston will be going up against about 40 other girls on Thursday. 

“We’re both going in with limited expectations, but she has been hitting 37 (feet) consistently in practice,” said Laverrie on Tuesday. “This gives me confidence she can do something good at nationals. She’s really been hitting her stride.”

Langston flew out to Oregon on Wednesday. 

Mt. Ararat senior Mikaela Langston is in Oregon this week to compete in the triple jump at the high school outdoor national championships. Photo provided by Heather Hollenbach

Another familiar Midcoast standout who hopes for a breakout showing this week is Patterson, a recent Brunswick High graduate.  

Runners had to have run a 4:15.30 mile to qualify for nationals, something Patterson said he achieved earlier this season at a meet in New Jersey. 

“It’s going to be a totally different game,” said Patterson, who will run at Cornell University this fall. “Anytime you’re going up the competition that will be at this meet, the adrenaline gets going a little more than any other race.”

The 1-mile is scheduled for Saturday evening. He said he’ll take a few days to adjust to the time change and the scorching hot weather that has swept across the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s a very special opportunity, I’m looking at it as a nice way to finish my high school career and gain experience for the next level,” he said. “Racing at Hayward Field (Oregon’s football and track stadium) is going to be memorable, but I’m trying not to get nervous and just enjoy the moment.”

Langston agreed.

“I feel so blessed to be able to go to an event like this,” she said. “The opportunity is amazing, and I hope to take full advantage of it.”

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