MCI’s Owen Moore tosses the shot put during the Husky Throwdown on Saturday in Pittsfield. Dave Dyer/Kennebec Journal

PITTSFIELD — The Husky Throwdown may be an early-season event during the outdoor track and field season, but for competitors in the yearly event — now in its eighth season — it’s not treated as such.

Instead, it’s an opportunity to crush personal records and compare notes with fellow throwers.

The Throwdown, hosted at Maine Central Institute, is a throws-only meet. It hit a new peak of popularity among teams on Saturday, as 26 programs — as far south as York and as far north as Corinth — and 370 throwers were registered to compete.

“It’s awesome to have a big home meet like this, it’s the only (home meet) we have,” said MCI’s Owen Moore, who finished third in the discus at the Class C state championship last season and was the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B champion in the shot put during the indoor season. “It’s nice to represent our school and to host so many schools and show what we can do. It’s fun.”

Among the competitors was York senior Matt Charpentier, the defending Class B boys champion in the shot put (59 feet, 1 inch) and discus (162-11).

“I absolutely love it, the energy is fantastic,” Charpentier said. “We have hundreds of people surrounding us and watching us today and that’s just great for motivational purposes. It pushes you a little bit. It’s just such a great environment and I love it. It’s my first year doing it, sadly my last. But I’ve already had a great experience so far.”


Charpentier managed to break a meet record — nailing a throw of 59-3.25 — early in the meet.

“My thought process coming in was to (set a personal record) in almost every event,” Charpentier said. “Just going for it, as (the event) is strictly for throwers. Going to try and take this opportunity and throw my best. I had a 62-foot warmup that I’m trying to replicate. I’m just going to try to expand on that and make sure (the record) is not touched for a long time.”

It’s not uncommon for track athletes to build on numbers throughout the season, as the ultimate goal is to perform their best when it matters most during conference and state meets. But with the opportunity to throw against some of the state’s best, postseason prepping goes out the window for the sake of pure competition.

“I’m a little different in my events; I do better not thinking about what I do,” Moore said. “In practice, that’s when I get the reps in and think about every little thing. In a meet, it’s my plan to just throw hard. That’s all I think about.”

“Usually, the mindset for outdoor (season) starts during indoor (season),” said Skowhegan’s Emma Corson, the defending KVAC Large School indoor and outdoor champion in the shot put. “Getting my mindset in the right spot, getting in the right competitive spot after six months off. Just making sure that I’m prepared for events like this and ones to come.”

Gardiner’s Yana Montell, who finished third in Class B in the javelin with a throw of 115-0 last spring, takes a different approach.


“There is that pressure, knowing that everybody is trying to beat each other and such,” Montell said. “But I’m just trying to think of my PR, my season PR, just thinking about beating that. Also, the girls (that competed) last year were super hardcore. Especially at this meet, people are super good at helping each other out. I’m super excited to talk to the girls in my flight and help me a little bit.”

As is the case with most track and cross-country events, the Throwdown is also an opportunity for athletes to mingle, either with familiar competitors from neighboring schools, or meet new friends from schools in a different class.

“(The Throwdown) has come a long way,” Corson said. “I remember coming in here my sophomore year — I didn’t get to do it freshman year because of COVID — but to see it go from eight flights to 14 flights and having 190 throwers for just one event is just incredible. Looking at all the new kids getting into it is just putting more light on the sport in general.”

“Everyone is here for the same reason, everyone here has such energy,” Montell said. “The majority of the season, you don’t see these schools, so you don’t have the same competition. This is absolutely my favorite meet of the year, it’s so much fun.”

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