PITTSFIELD — The Maine Central Institute girls track and field team is looking to ride a wave of momentum into the Class C state championship meet.

The Huskies are a week removed from edging Leavitt 169-166 for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Small School championship at Lewiston High School. It was the second straight year MCI slipped past the Hornets for the KVAC Small title — MCI beat Leavitt 138-136 last year — and in the same fashion, coming right down to the final event. This year, it was junior Heather Nelson who sealed the win for the Huskies, clearing 8 feet in the pole vault to finish second to Maranacook’s Olympia Farrell, giving the Huskies enough points to nab the win.

“It was crazy,” Nelson said. “I’m still so very proud of my team to pull it together for the second year in a row. I’m really happy that everything worked out the way it did.”

“(KVACs) was very eventful, stressful, extremely exciting. I was so proud of the girls, every single one of them, all day, across the board,” MCI head coach Jessica Libby said. “They knew what they needed to do to get themselves in that position. We talked about it a lot going into it. We were not expected, on paper, to win. But the pieces were there that if we showed up, we could have a day, and they all had a day. They outperformed, across the board, the expectations that I even set for them.”

It woll be a tougher road for the Huskies to get the Class C title on Saturday at Cony High School in Augusta — Class C has the most teams, 48, of any in the state — but the Huskies have plenty of confidence in the possibility of state champions in multiple events.

Nelson won the discus (89-08) and shot put (32-03.50) events at the KVAC Small meet and is considered one of the top throwers entering the Class C meet.


“I’m feeling good, I was able to pull it together for KVACs,” Nelson said. “I’m seeded second in discus, so I’m right there. It’s given a little fire in me to win that (state) title.”

Senior Emma Burr is a threat in four different events. Burr owned the KVAC Small meet, winning the 100-meter dash (12.53 seconds), the 400 (1 minute, 00.32 seconds), 100 hurdles (15.36 seconds) and 300 hurdles (45.83).

“I’m not that nervous, I’m used to going to states,” Burr said. “I do better when I’m more relaxed. I’m just taking it in, with it being senior year, I’m just relaxing through it and having a good time.”

Of those events, Burr — who will continue her track career at Thomas College in Waterville — is feeling most confident in the 300 hurdles.

“I’ve got a 2.5-3 second lead (in the event),” Burr said. “I haven’t pushed myself over the limit yet. I’m excited to go for states and go full-out.”

The Huskies also have state contenders in senior Shalomi Goeway, who won the KVAC Small title in the race walk (9:45.96), and junior Addie Verrill, who was fourth in the 1,600 (5:50.71) and third in the 3,200 (12:55.88).

“Our team is really athletic, we’re really dedicated,” Verrill said. “We’re good at what we do. … I think we’re going to have a really good time (at states) and we’ve had a really good season.”

Added Libby: “We’re in contention, we’re still in it. We have some pieces. If they have another day, we could be anywhere from first to fourth, and it’s all there. We’re trying to be a little lighter (in practice) this week, let them be relaxed, knowing what they can do now, and trust themselves.”

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