Winslow’s Carly Warn runs the 55 meter dash during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference track meet on February 8, 2020 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

While the season has been far from normal, and with questions still remaining in regards to the postseason, area indoor track coaches have found the process to be a positive experience thus far.

“I think the kids, and I just don’t speak for my team, I have a pretty good relationship with Jason Allen over at (Maine Central Institute) and I talk to Jamie Juntura quite a bit over at Leavitt, I just think everybody is happy to have a season, to start there,” Winslow head coach Ken Nadeau said.

That’s not to say it’s been ideal for teams. Runners have competed in masks. Spectators haven’t been allowed at meets. And meets have also been planned around the availability of track facilities, which is more difficult than usual this season, as not every college has opened its doors for teams to compete. The last notable Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet was in late December, though a meet was scheduled for Monday, but canceled due to weather.

For Allen, an adjustment was getting final confirmation on whether his team would compete in masks or not right before the start of the season.

“That was an adjustment, for a lot of them to go from thinking that they were going to compete maskless, then finding out that was not the case,” Allen said. “But all in all, they’ve been great with rolling with the punches with whatever has been thrown at them, whether that’s having a meet around Christmas time, scheduled (earlier) and then moved from one venue to another… All in all, kids are pretty resilient and they want to be able to compete and are doing what is asked of them to make the best of it.

“The lack of facilities is probably the biggest (hurdle) that everybody is dealing with,” Allen said. “Two years ago, when we last had our regular season, we got to go to Colby (College in Waterville) every Wednesday night with everybody else in central Maine to practice which made a huge difference, especially for your technical events like pole vault, jumping pits, being able to run more than two hurdles so that come competition time, you know what you’d get out of (the athletes).”


Nadaeu added there’s always the feeling of the season ending early, a justifiable concern for a sport that didn’t have a regular season or postseason last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and numbers growing again in the state due to the omicron variant.

“I think the hard part is, you just never know if they’re going to pull the plug (on the season),” Nadeau said. “There’s a bit of anxiety about that, I get anxious about that myself. The (COVID) numbers that we’re seeing out in public are not less than what we were dealing with when we were shut down (last year). To compound that, there’s just not a lot of facilities that are allowing people in. And I totally understand (host school’s) position, they’re there to service their paying population. But who knows?”

Concern still remains for the postseason. While a date, time and location has been set for the Class A state championship meet — Feb. 21 at noon at the University of Southern Maine field house in Gorham — only a date (Feb. 19) is set for the Class B meet, according to the Maine Principals’ Association indoor track bulletin.


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After enjoying a good outdoor season, MCI’s Emma Burr is back for the indoor season. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

On the track, Allen has been pleased with the progress of the MCI girls track team, which is quickly becoming one of the top teams in KVAC B.

“Emma Burr and Gracie Moore, I thought, were going to carry us going into the season,” Allen said. “They’ve been as good as advertised. I honestly thought our girls team would be good within the conference. But if you score it out, right now it’s kind of a two-team race between us and Cony. I didn’t think that would play out. I thought we might be good, might be competitive and might have a shot at making some noise at the conference level, but I thought there might be some other teams that would be there.”

Burr, a junior, has been a standout for the Huskies in the sprints, hurdles and triple jump. Moore — a senior who will play field hockey for Division II Bentley University on an athletic scholarship in the fall — has also led MCI in sprints and the long jump. But the Huskies have had multiple athletes round out the scoring, including senior Samantha Martin (pole vault, shot put), juniors Shalomi Goeway (400-meter dash, high jump) and Janessa Foster (long jump) along with sophomore Addison Verrill (distance).

“That’s the thing that’s really surprised me, just how good our girls have been, as a team, as a whole” Allen said. “Really, at this point, we’ve won three of our four meets and the school that’s beaten us so far is Brunswick.”


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Capital Region’s Cam Dostie fires away from the net after getting hit by Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse’s Gerek Potvin during a hockey game Dec. 23 in Yarmouth. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

After some time off due to COVID-19, the Capital Region boys hockey team is nearly ready to get back on the ice.

The Hawks — made up of players from Maranacook, Winthrop, Hall-Dale, Lawrence and Spruce Mountain — last played on the road Jan. 5 in a 7-1 loss to Camden Hills. But the team has since been on pause, as head coach Richard Fortin said about half of the team dealt with COVID-19.

“We had to hit pause on the season,” Fortin said. “We’re hoping to get back to practicing (Wednesday) and then we go up and play John Bapst on Saturday, which, with two weeks off, will be a little tricky. But I think everyone is dealing with it, more or less.”

Capital Region is 0-4, but have been making progress in each outing. It’s best game so far was a 4-3 loss to Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse — a game decided on a late goal — in Yarmouth on Dec. 23.

“The way our season has gone, we play half of a game or period really well,” Fortin said. “Then we either fall apart, or we don’t start good, or finish good… Just before our pause we played against Cony and they beat us by quite a spread, but if you look at the game, it was a one-goal game until almost the second period was over. It’s figuring out (playing a full) 60 minutes with this group. It’s kind of presented itself as the obvious challenge (for the season) and then, we’re off for two weeks.”

While he looks to get the team back to playing a full 60 minutes of hockey, he said the first goal will be for the Hawks to get their conditioning back in Saturday’s game at John Bapst.

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