Cony senior Emma Brown finished runs during Class B North cross country championship race on Oct. 22 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

After losing several athletes to graduation, Winslow indoor track and field coach Ken Nadeau had to think outside the box — or in this case, the gym — for new talent. 

Thus, the Black Raiders brought in several girls soccer players to boost the roster as they look to overtake Cony as Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B champs. The boys, who won the KVAC title season, also have been hit by graduation. 

“We’re now in the rebuilding phase,” Nadeau said. “We graduated 18 seniors in outdoor (track), so I  basically graduated almost half my team. So we’re trying to get some new faces. We’re pretty young overall, but the outlook is bright. We always seem to draw a few good kids to score some points. I’d say we’re not as strong as we’ve been in the past; the major reason is just graduation.”

The girls return some talented athletes, including senior Allie Kimball, who was part of the KVAC champion 4×200-meter team and likely will figure in sprints. Nadeau also credited her with recruiting many of the newcomers from the soccer team.

Addison Pellerin, who placed second in the 800 meters at the KVAC meet, will be counted on to provide points in the distance events.

Emily Daigneault (sprints), Kyri Meak (sprints) and Grece Melvin (throws) are among the soccer players who hope to contribute.


The boys are led by juniors Joey Richards, who won the 800 meters at the KVAC meet and was part of the championship 4×200 team, and Braden Rioux, who will handle the heavy distance events. 

“Even when I’m driving through town after football practice, Braden and Joey are already out running, so they’ve been training way ahead of me even asking,” Nadeau said.

Senior Dom Daigneault (throws) and junior Justin Rogers (middle distance), a pair of outdoor track veterans, join the indoor squad for the first time. 

After winning the KVAC B title last season with nearly three times as many points as second-place Winslow (114 to 42), the Cony girls had a bit of what coach Kevin Russell called a “letdown” at the state meet, where the Rams placed third. But Russell is confident his team can overcome the loss of star runners Grace Kirk and Bri Harriman to graduation. 

The Rams return Lorelli Grady, who won the KVAC title in the mile; Emma Brown, who won the 200 and long jump at the KVAC meet; and sprinters Caroline Hendrickson and Elise Cunningham.

“Our girl numbers have doubled; I think we have around 14 girls this year, so that’s pretty exciting,” Russell said. “We look pretty good and it’s just a matter of getting them up to speed. I think we’ll be able to be in the mix again.”


The boys graduated Jacob Pelletier, who won the KVAC 1- and 2-mile titles, to graduation, but bring back jumping specialist Conor Morin, who did not compete last season. Sam Goldey (distance), Luca Hardy (distance), Cole Hamner (jumps), Cohen Parker (sprints), Sundaniel Phan (sprints) and James Mooney also return. 

The boys boast 24 athletes, all underclassmen, Russell said.

The Waterville girls will rely on a pair of jumpers as they look to take a leap from their fourth-place finish at the KVAC meet. Junior Maddie Yakimchick (long and triple jumps) won the Class B outdoor long jump title last spring, while classmate Kara Anderson (long, triple, high jumps) was sixth in the high jump at the Class B outdoor meet. 

Erskine ‘s Nick Choate runs during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference cross country championships on Oct. 15 in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The duo also competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships last July in Sacramento, Calif.

The Purple Panther boys, who placed fifth at the KVAC indoor meet, return senior Theo Ruehsen (horizontal jumps, 400), junior Sam Wechsler (long, triple, high jump) and junior Dawson Harrison (sprints and long jump). Ruehsen placed third in the triple jump at last year’s KVAC championships and won the KVAC outdoor triple jump title.

“We’re looking to improve on our team finishes at the KVAC Championships,” coach Katie Souviney said. “We have a solid group of returners with championship experience that will lead our team to more success this upcoming season.”


Messalonskee’s roster is dominated by underclassmen, but the Eagles return a couple veteran sprinters in junior Sam Fegel and sophomore Austin Jones, who both posted strong results in the KVAC outdoor large school championships last spring. Junior Ben Ireland is slated to be the boys’ top thrower. 

The girls return a core of sophomores who specialize in mid-distance and multiple events, including Adriana Katz, Brynne Barron, and Katie Hargrove.

While Erskine’s roster has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the Eagles boast nearly twice as many athletes as last season, coach Scott Rollins said.

On the boys side, senior Gage Moody (sprints, long jump), finished third in last season’s KVAC meet in the long jump, while classmate Nick Choate (middle distance), a newcomer to indoor track, won the KVAC 3,200-meter outdoor title last spring. For the girls, junior Brielle Crommett, also new to the indoor scene, placed third in the high jump at the KVAC spring meet. Sophomore Sadie Pierce was second in the long jump, third in the triple jump and seventh in the 55 meters at last season’s KVAC indoor meet.

With a roster comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores, the Lawrence girls will focus more on individual performances over wins and losses, coach Tim Alberts said. Paige Goodwin (triple jump, middle/distance), Zoe Hutchins (shot put, hurdles), Mykenna Martin (sprints) and Alexis Willams (shot put, pole vault, hurdles) all participated in last season’s KVAC meet and will look to build on those performances, Alberts said.

Brayden Roy (shot put, middle/distance running) and Troy Bubar (short sprints, long jump) are the only boys on the team for now, but Alberts hopes for greater turnout in the coming weeks.

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