There were events last spring in track and field. There were championships. In many ways, the sport returned after the lost 2020 season.

But track and field still had a long way to get back to normal. This spring, it should complete the journey.

“This year feels a lot different,” Monmouth coach Tom Menendez said. “We’re going to have a little bit bigger meets, we’re going to be able to travel a little bit further. … The mask restrictions are off on the buses and at the practices and at the competitions. We’re going to have just one MVC meet, we’ll all get together, we’ll all see each other head to head.

“There’s certainly going to be a different feel for it this year than there was last year.”

Some teams are hoping this spring won’t look too different than the last one. Count Cony in that group, which won the Class B girls championship last season and has some key athletes, including Grace Kirk (Class B runner-up in the 800 and 1,600), Kristen Kirk (third in high jump, fourth in 300 hurdles), Bri Harriman (eighth in 800), Emma Brown and Mallory Audette, returning.

Cony also won the KVAC indoor track championship, but coach Shawn Totman said how the Rams fare will depend on the depth they develop.


“You have to have a little bit more depth than you would need to have in indoor, and I think we have it,” he said. “It’s going to take a little bit to figure out where to put the pieces. We have some girls that are just incredible athletes. … But it’s like ‘Where are we going to put the other supporting cast to help us score those points?’ That’s what we’re going to be doing pretty much all year.”

Totman is excited about how the boys team, led by Conor Morin (fourth in high jump), will do after coming in 17th last year.

“The kids that were new to track last year, a lot of them did indoor,” Totman said. “Their confidence around the team, around the events that they’re in, is so much higher. I think that’s what’s going to pay off. … I really like what I’m seeing.”

Cony will compete in a middle-sized KVAC tier with Camden Hills, Lawrence, Nokomis, Morse, Erskine, Medomak and Gardiner. With over 30 athletes on both the boys and girls teams, Gardiner could be poised for a strong season in conference and state competition after finishing eighth and 13th in the girls and boys Class B meets, respectively.

“(They’re) definitely stronger and ready to go,” coach Jenn Boudreau said. “I’ve seen more effort than I have ever seen before, and more excitement when it comes to hitting the track and getting out there. … They’ve been just hungry for it.”

Defending 100 and 200 champion Alayna Blier leads the girls, who also bring back key pieces in Ashlyn Poulin (second, race walk), Yana Montell (fifth, javelin) and sprinter Addison Carter. The boys are led by Isaac Dostie (second in 110 hurdles, third in 300 hurdles), sprinter/hurdler Tom Gingras and KVAC high jump champion Tom Murphy.


“I feel like they’re going to stack up pretty well,” Boudreau said. “Our team’s going to look pretty competitive in those (KVAC) groups.”

Members of the Maranacook track and field team run during a March 29 practice in Readfield. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

In Class C, Winslow — part of the small school KVAC group with Waterville, Maranacook, Mount View and MCI — is back after placing runner-up in the girls meet, but coach Ken Nadeau said his team was hurt by graduation.

“I think on the girls side it’s going to be a rebuilding year,” he said. “The girls team’s quite small, we started with seven and I think we’re up to 10 now. It’s hard to cover the field with that number.”

The Winslow boys, however, should be competitive after winning the KVAC title in indoor. Levi Olin, who was second in the 400 and fourth in the triple jump, leads the way, while Evan Watts (100), Stephen Spencer (javelin), Ryan Martin (100) and Joey Richards (800) are also among the top returners for a Black Raiders team that always does well on the track but could be strong in field events too.

“Can we contend? I think I have a lot of pieces that will do really well,” Nadeau said. “I’d like to think that we could (continue the indoor success), as long as we keep our heads on straight.”

Monmouth’s Alexa Allen runs the 1,600-mete race during the Mountain Valley Conference championship meet last year at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Monmouth rolled to the MVC girls title last year, but though the Mustangs bring back four-time conference champ Alexa Allen (400, 800, 1,600, 3,200), they’ve lost many of the scorers from that meet.

“I’m thinking that we can be in the top two, the top three (in the MVC),” said coach Tom Menendez, whose boys team will be led by third-place 3,200 runner Brosnan Comeau. “I’ve got the kids, it’s just developing the talents and the confidence.”

Hall-Dale won the MVC boys title last year, but lost top scorer Ian Stebbins. In Avery Jewett (top 10 in discus and javelin), Elliott Rich, Jarius Polley and Ricky Elliott, however, the Bulldogs should be a factor again in the boys race. Emma Burr projects to be a high point scorer for the MCI girls in the hurdles, sprints and javelin.

In Class A, Skowhegan, Mt. Blue and Messalonskee will compete in the KVAC large school tier alongside Lewiston, Oxford Hills, Edward Little, Brunswick and Mt. Ararat. Messalonskee will be led by Caden Cote (third in pole vault) and Cody Knox (third in 300 hurdles), while Nicole Salvadori is back on the girls side after finishing fourth in the high jump.

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