MCI’s Emma Burr leans over the line on her way to winning the 100-meter dash at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Small/Medium School meet on May 27 in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

It’s not a normal state championship prep week for the Cony High School and Maine Central Institute track and field teams. Not this year.

Both Cony (Class B) and MCI (Class C) are coming off historic performances at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships last week. The Rams earned a clean sweep, winning the boys and girls medium school championships. It’s the first conference sweep of recent memory, head coach Shawn Totman said.

“It’s kind of hard to put into words,” Totman said. “I’m just so proud of these kids, how they performed in that championship meet.”

State champions will be crowned in track and field Saturday. Cameron Stadium in Bangor will host the Class A meet, while Mount Desert Island High in Bar Harbor will host the B meet. The Class C meet will be held at Lewiston High School.

The MCI girls (138 points) held off Leavitt (136) by just two points to capture the conference small school title. It’s the first conference crown for the Huskies in more than 20 years.

“We’ve never won KVACs until this year,” said MCI head coach Jason Allen, who is in his 22nd year with the program. “It was quite exhilarating, although the way it came down to the wire, it was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. I texted both of my assistants before the 4×400 (relay) and I said, ‘I think I’m going to puke.'”


The Cony girls have now won four consecutive KVAC outdoor titles. The Rams were led by Bri Harriman (5:50.05), who won the 1,600-meter run and was part of a winning 4×800 team that included Annabelle Orth, Grace Kirk and Loralie Grady. Kristen Kirk added victories in the high jump and triple jump.

The girls, they know what it takes to win,” Totman said. “They’ve had really four years in a row now to practice the mentality that you need to pull out a championship. Camden (Hills) is an excellent team and Morse had a great meet. We knew it was going to be a real competitive meet for the girls. To come out on top, it’s amazing. This girls team has faced so much adversity with injuries to Grace Kirk and Mallory Audet. It seems like we’re now putting the pieces together at kind of the right time.”

The Cony boys had a strong showing in the field events. Conor Morin won the high jump (5-10), triple jump (39-11) and long jump (20-07). Danny Phan won the pole vault (9-06), while Jonny Lettre had a dominant performance in the javelin (137-01). The Rams also won the 4×100 and 4×800 relays.

Cony’s Kristen Kirk wins the 100 meter hurdles at the Capital City Classic earlier this season at Cony High School in Augusta. Kirk and the Rams will compete in the Class B track and field championship meet Saturday in Bar Harbor. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Our boys really hung in tough when (Lawrence and Morse) were kind of coming at them at the end,” Totman said. “The boys and girls winning a championship at KVAC, that’s never happened before, that I know, it’s just a fact. When they announced those team scores, they didn’t leave the track all night. I had to kick them off, finally. They were so excited. It’s a real shot of adrenaline to our program and our school.”

Totman knows there will be plenty of competition at the Class B championships. Both the York High School boys and girls programs have had strong seasons and are coming off dominant wins at the Western Maine Conference championships.

“You get all those southern teams that are good like York and Yarmouth, Freeport and Cape Elizabeth,” Totman said. “MDI is going to be on their home track, I guarantee they’ll be raring to go. I guess the message to our kids is, ‘Don’t let the fact that it’s a state championship take you out of the mindset that we’ve had had all year long.’ You take it one practice at a time. Don’t take it too far ahead. Control the things you can control and not the things you can’t control. I know that sounds like coach speak, but it really is true. We’re not really changing anything this week, we’re keeping the same routine. We really feel like these kids are peaking at the right time, so why change what’s working as far as their performance and their attitude? It’s just trying to keep them feeling good.”


Gardiner race walkers Ashlyn Poulin and Jackson Boudreau, who won individual KVAC titles, are top seeds in the event Saturday.

Emma Burr — who won the 100 (13.32), 200 (27.58), 100 hurdles (16.69) and 300 hurdles (49.04) at the KVAC Small School meet — leads the Huskies.

“She’s pretty easy to motivate, because she’s so self-motivating,” Allen said. “She drives her self internally more than anything. I don’t think she’s lost a race all year.”

The Huskies also had victories from Samantha Martin in the pole vault (8-00) and Jillian Michaud in the shot put (34-03.50).

Allen said he expects strong performances at the Class C championships from Orono, which swept the Penobscot Valley Conference Small School championship, as well as Lisbon/Oak Hill.

Gardiner’s Jackson Boudreau wins the 1,600-meter race walk at the Capital City Classic on May 20 in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Winslow High School boys team could be among the mix in Class C. The Black Raiders finished second to Leavitt for the KVAC small school title. Winslow got wins at the KVAC meet from Evan Watts in the 200 (23.78), Levi Olin in the 400 (52.45) and Antoine Akoa in the high jump (5-08). The Black Raiders also won the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.

“We played it kind of conservative last week, knowing our goal was to be competitive at states,” Winslow head coach Ken Nadeau said. “Leavitt has 86 kids compared to our 36. They just filled the field. Putting my boys in a predicament that might get them hurt, I just told them ‘Come off this week, be ready for next week.’ The boys showed up, they had a great day, I think they still scored 120-some odd points. That’s a really solid effort, there’s not many teams that put up 120 points and lose.

“I always do the numbers, I have us at a six point deficit to Orono right now,” Nadeau said. “They’re a lot like us in the aspect of having a lot of strong kids that are asked to do quite a bit. They have a kid that’s a good hurdler, a good race walker as well. They have some pieces and obviously, if they score well, they have a lot of potential to win it…At the end of the day, our kids just need to have a good day. I did a couple things (with sorting events) that will hopefully shake things up a little bit, put our kids in position to steal a point here, a point there. My hope is that it comes down to single digits to make it a race.”

Messalonskee, Mt. Blue and Skowhegan all have title contenders at the Class A state meet. Mt. Blue’s Cyrus Evans (51.21) won a KVAC Large School title in the 400. Messalonskee has contenders for both boys and girls pole vault in Caden Cote (12-06) and Rylee Spadea (7-06), who each won conference titles in the event. Emmah Corson (93-02) won the conference large school title in the shot put.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.