OAKLAND — Even a day when he wasn’t at full strength yielded multiple championships for Billy Albertson.

The Skowhegan senior admitted he’s still recovering from a pulled calf muscle he suffered two weeks ago at Nokomis. It limited him Saturday, but Albertson still won three Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Large School titles and even set a meet record in one.

“This is really my first day since then going full speed,” Albertson said. “It wasn’t the best, but I’m hard on myself. I think when I look at it, winning three events when it’s my first really back at 100 percent, I am happy with my performance for sure.”

Albertson’s efforts were part of a day that saw central Maine athletes claim a number of championships at Messalonskee High School. Eight local performers garnered first-place medals across as many events ahead of next week’s Class A and Class B state championship meets at Thornton Academy and Old Town High School, respectively. 

Mt. Ararat won the boys championship, racking up 172 points to Lewiston’s 152 to dethrone Brunswick as conference champ and win its third conference title in the past four years. Brunswick repeated on the girls side, earning 148 points to Mt. Ararat’s 124 to notch back-to-back titles.

Albertson set a KVAC Large School meet record in the long jump, recording a distance of 22 feet, 9 inches to break the old mark — which he set himself last year — by an inch. He also won the triple jump with a distance of 43-10 and the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.55 seconds.


“Yes and no,” Albertson said when asked if he was happy with his long jump. “Like I said, I’m hard on myself, especially because I previously held (the meet record). I just had bad steps, so I’m thinking, ‘Now I’ve got to work on that,’ but I am very pleased with my performance, don’t get me wrong.”

Central Maine got another boys champion in Messalonskee’s Beckett Cote, who won the 800-meter run in 2:06.56. The junior, who had the 10th seed in the event, did it in impressive fashion as he won out of the first heat, beating out all six runners in the second.

“I was in the slower heat, so my goal was really to run my race and hope the second heat was slower than me,” Cote said. “That second had all run the mile, so they came by in a 65(-second) first lap, so I was just hoping, ‘OK, I hope they don’t pick it up from here,’ and I got the win.”

On the girls side, Mt. Blue’s Cassidy Hardy enjoyed a remarkable day of throwing. The junior won the shot put for the Cougars with a throw of 35-4 1/2 and later added a win in the discus throw with a distance of 110-11.

Gardiner’s Natalie Grant smiles after she won the 1,600 meter race walk during the KVAC large school track and field championships Saturday in Oakland. Grant set a personal record that was good enough to qualify her for Nationals. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Mt. Blue also got a win in the girls 4×800 relay as the quartet of Nora McCourt, Lucinda Carroll, Eliza Stinson and Natalee Orr combined for a time of 10:37.19. Gardiner, meanwhile, got a victory from Natalie Grant, who won the 1,600-meter race walk in 8:14.08.

A meet record also fell in the girls javelin as Brunswick’s Lexi Morin recorded a throw of 124-3 to break the old record of 122-1 set by Oxford Hills’ Jadah Adams in 2018. That throw also broke the Dragons’ program record of 121-10 previously held by Morin’s older sister, Sophia.


“She was here coaching me up on the sidelines, so I was really happy about it,” Morin said. “I try to go into every meet thinking, ‘Oh, this is the one,’ but this is KVACs, so I think I was really feeling it a bit extra today. The fact that she was here just made it more special.”

Lisi Palmer (400, 1:02.64; high jump, 5-2) and Maeve Woodruff (800, 2:22.77; 1,600, 5:26.57) added two event wins each for champion Brunswick. Lewiston’s Makenna Drouin won the 100 meters (12.67 seconds), 200 meters (25.90), 100-meter hurdles (15.70) and 300-meter hurdles (47.68). 

Mt. Ararat’s Aidan Greenleaf enjoyed a remarkable day on the boys side. The senior won the 200 (23.36) and 400 (50.26) for the champs before running the first leg of the Eagles’ first-place 4×400 team (3:37.29), which also included Benjamin Chonko, Eli Burt and Randall LaGrange.

Greenleaf had to put in extra work just to win the 200-meter dash as a camera malfunction forced him to run that event twice. He was unsure if he could run the 4×400 after running the 200 twice, but he ultimately gave head coach Justin Laverriere the assurance that he was good to.

“He’s just professional like that; he does everything I ask,” Laverriere said. “When he ran his second 200, he said, ‘Coach, I’m not sure I can run a 4×4,’ but then, before the 4×4, he went up to me and went, ‘Put me in; I’m ready to go.’ Whatever he can do to help the team, he does it.”

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