The Winslow boys won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B indoor track title Feb. 16 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Photo submitted by Ken Nadeau

Last winter, indoor track teams were confined to practices in which they made use of school grounds in whatever ways they could. Jumps in the gym. Sprints in the hallway. Distance running outside.

This year, it was a similar story, with one key difference: This time, those practices were actually for something.

“The kids were just excited to compete, excited to be around other schools and compete,” Winslow coach Ken Nadeau said. “That’s what kept everything kind of going. Losing the facilities, yeah, that was tough. But they knew that they were still able to, on every Thursday, Friday or Saturday … go out and do their thing, which is what their hopes were the entire time.”

After a winter in which indoor track was limited for almost all schools to practice and conditioning, the sport returned this season to competitive meets and championships. Teams were still limited to practices at their schools due to COVID precautions, but the chance to compete again provided enough normalcy to make up for the differences still in effect.

“No doubt, that was pretty huge,” Cony coach Kevin Russell said. “It made up for that missed year. … Just the opportunity of running, we were excited about that, regardless of what it was going to look like. But it turned out to be a great season, and it’s good to be back.”

Good, especially for Russell’s girls team, which won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship and finished tied for third in the Class B state meet. Behind first-place finishes from Grace Kirk (400, 2 mile), Bri Harriman (800), Kristen Kirk (55 hurdles), Emma Brown (200, long jump) and Loralie Grady (mile), Cony won its first indoor conference championship.


“They were really determined this year,” Russell said. “They were determined to go out and make their mark. … That’s their legacy. They put the work in over the four years.”

Russell said the team was particularly driven by losing out on a promising title chance last season.

“They wanted this really badly,” he said. “They were pretty confident that they were going to do it this year.”

Winslow won the KVAC boys title, scoring 120 points for a 22-point victory over Leavitt. Nadeau said his athletes knew just what they needed to earn a victory that, on paper, they weren’t projected to get.

“They knew the numbers. I didn’t have to tell them where we were at,” Nadeau said. “I don’t have to provide a ton of motivation in that aspect.”

The Black Raiders delivered, with Evan Watts winning the 55-meter and 200-meter dashes and finishing second in the 400, and Levi Olin running to a win in the 400. Ryan Martin, Zackery St. Pierre, Ryan Yang and Joey Richards also combined on the winning 4×200 team, while the Winslow girls team had a high-than-expected third-place showing.

“Leavitt should have beaten us by nine points if everything had gone the way it was projected, but that was probably one of the best meets my boys have performed since 2017,” Nadeau said, referencing Winslow’s Class B outdoor track championship team. “It was just an incredible effort by them. … A lot went our way.”

In the Class A girls state meet, Mt. Ararat’s Mikaela Langston won the triple jump and was third in the 55 hurdles, while the Eagles’ Grady Satterfield was first in the 2 mile. In Class B boys, Freeport’s Enoch Boudreau won the pole vault while Lawrence’s Gage Boudreau was second in the shot put. In the girls meet, Cony’s Grace Kirk was first in the 800.

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