Nokomis’ Adam Allen, left, Skowhegan’s Billy Alberston and Cony’s Danny Phan compete in the 55-meter dash during a Jan. 6, 2023 indoor track and field meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

If high school campuses during darkness-filled after-school hours are home to kids running the halls or throwing objects onto mats in cafeterias or gymnasiums, it must be indoor track season in Maine.

It’s set to be an interesting one again. Numbers are down in some places and up in others, but there’s no shortage of potent teams and athletes this winter.

The list of standout central Maine indoor track athletes in 2023-24 starts with Skowhegan’s Billy Albertson. As a junior last year, Albertson won state and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A titles in the long and triple jumps, even finishing as New England runner-up in the former.

“Every year, he’s improved, and the thing is that he really didn’t start triple-jumping until his sophomore year,” said Skowhegan head coach Dave Evans. “I expect him to break the school records this year and be right up there on the podium for his events, and I see another trip to New Englands for him.”

For the Skowhegan girls, Grace Greenlaw returns as KVAC Class A’s top shot-putter and No. 2 high-jumper. The River Hawks also have a talented sophomore in Grace Mayo, who is new to indoor track but competed in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and long jump in the state outdoor championships last June.

Central Maine’s other Class A team, Messalonskee, will have some good options on the track this winter. Austin Jones took fourth in the KVAC A 55-meter dash last year with a time of 7.01 seconds, and Brynne Barron returns as a sophomore after claiming a fourth-place finish of her own in the 55-meter hurdles.


In Class B, reigning KVAC girls champ Maine Central Institute must replace an all-time central Maine sprint great in Emma Burr. Yet the Huskies do have a top shot-putter in Amya Braley, another good shot-putter and a solid pole-vaulter in Heather Nelson and a solid distance runner in Addie Verrill.

“Those three I think are going to really help my girls team a lot this season,” said MCI head coach Brandon Stevens. “I’m hoping that some sophomores will also be able to pick up some of the slack with last year’s seniors gone. … A lot of our kids are just very good athletes, and that translates very well to track.”

At 24 athletes, MCI’s boys team has doubled in size from a year ago. With two reigning conference champions (Isaac Keresey, 800-meter run; Owen Moore, shot put) returning, the Huskies have the talent and depth to compete in KVAC B after placing third in the conference a season ago.

“I’m feeling pretty confident about (our boys) because we have a lot of new additions this year,” Stevens said. “I think we have some kids on the team who are really strong athletes and should do very well. You look at someone like Isaac Keresey or Owen Moore, and I think they’re going to do very well for us again.”

Waterville’s Kara Anderson lands in the pit after completing her last long jump attempt during a Jan. 6, 2023 indoor track and field meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Joey Richards, defending KVAC B champ in the 400-meter dash and runner-up in the 200, is back to lead Winslow. He’ll also run for the Black Raiders’ reigning champion 4×800 relay team, which also returns Ethan Rancourt, Braden Rioux and Justin Rogers (finished second to Keresey in 800).

Across the river, the Waterville girls have two top jumpers in Kara Anderson and Maddie Yakimchick. Anderson won the 2022-23 KVAC B long jump title while taking second in the triple jump, while Yakimchick won the conference crown in the triple jump while taking second in the long jump at states.


Cony always seems to be in the mix in KVAC Class B, coming in second in the boys meet last year and winning the girls title two years ago. A Rams team loaded with newcomers will face some early challenges this year, but head coach Kevin Russell likes how his squad is coming together.

“The most important thing is to look and say, ‘OK, what are their capabilities, and where can you put them in terms of events based on that?’” Russell said. “For example, since we lost Anna Reny, we haven’t really had a girl hurdler, and that’s something we need to develop. It’s a lot of things like that.”

On the boys side, Cony returns Eben Buck, Martin Ferrusca, Luca Hardy and Brandon Mastrianno from a runner-up 4×800 relay team, while Sam Goldey joins the fray after winning the KVAC Class B cross country title in the fall. Loralie Grady and Emily Sirois should be top sprinters for the Cony girls.

“We’ll be OK, and I think we’ll be competitive at the end,” Russell said. “Having the numbers we do is huge for us. We’re at about 36, which is pretty good. It’s great because when I started in 2010, we had four kids. It’s grown, and that growth is a testament to the strength of the program.”

Waterville’s Madison Yakimchick placed second in the long jump at the Class B indoor track and field championships last season at Bates College in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Lawrence girls bring back Paige Goodwin, who took third place in the KVAC B 800-meter run and fifth in the triple jump last year, and Zoe Hutchins, who took fourth in the shot put. Sadie Pierce, who claimed fourth place in the triple jump, is back to lead Erskine Academy.

Although the Nokomis boys have lost one of the area’s top sprinters in Adam Allen and a solid 800-meter runner in J.J. Jakubisn, the Warriors still have Elijah Jakubisn, who placed third in the 1-mile run. The Nokomis girls have a potent distance runner in Orla Murphy (fourth place in last year’s 800).

Local title contenders will be challenged by foes elsewhere in the KVAC. Loaded with depth, Leavitt will compete for championships in both the boys and girls competitions. On the girls side, Lincoln Academy and Morse have some of the conference’s best athletes and will be bushing for Class B titles.

“For the boys and girls, and especially for the boys, I think it would be a shock if Leavitt was not near the top this year,” Stevens said. “For the girls, I think Lincoln Academy is one that I’m really looking at, and Morse is one as well. I think Waterville and Belfast also have some potential there.”

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