This time, the meeting won’t be head-to-head, but it won’t likely matter much as the Lewiston and Edward Little boys’ track teams head into today’s KVAC track meet as the top two teams by pre-meet seeds.
“If the seeds hold true, it really is a two-team meet,” said EL coach Ryan Laroche. “It’s very tight with us and Lewiston, and one or two athletes could certainly make a difference.”
Mt. Ararat, with a top sprinter in Will Perry and a top-flight distance team, will provide as much of a challenge as any other team can provide, but with top seeds in all but five of the 19 events, Edward Little and Lewiston appear destined for a showdown less than a week after a six-point EL victory in the teams’ only head-to-head meeting this season.
“It was more fun when we were seeded to win by 56 in indoor season,” conceded Lewiston coach Ray Putnam.
“I was stressed out when we had a 56-point lead, so being seeded to be behind is even more stressful.”
Colby Brooks will likely provide the most splash in the speed events, and he goes into the meet with the No. 1 seed in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes.
“With Colby the No. 1 seed in all three sprints, if that holds true that’s tough to make up,” said Laroche.
Likewise, Edward Little achieved domination in two of the three throwing events Monday, going 1-2 in the shot put and discus. Lewiston will hold its hopes in the throws on the shoulders of Eric Spaulding, who has qualified with a throw that split the two Edward Little boys. The key, though, will be getting Spaulding to equal that today.
“We can make up points in the racewalk and in the 400,” said Putnam. “We’re ranked second and fourth in the discus, but we have to get both of our guys better than their second thrower. That has to happen.”
Lewiston holds advantages elsewhere, though. In the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, Lewiston holds better seed times – and more of them – than the Eddies.
But all of that, as both teams will attest, gets thrown out the window as other teams enter the equation. Mt. Ararat, Brunswick, which could steal a few points from Lewiston in the pole vault, and Mt. Blue are all seeded in such a way where a stellar (or poor) individual performance could alter the results in either direction.
“There’s definitely individuals who could hurt and help both teams,” said Laroche. “You look at the vault, you look at the triple jump, the long jump. The possibility is there.”
The girls, meanwhile, are in a much different situation. Edward Little is stacked with depth, but is younger than ever with only five seniors. Mt. Blue, while a smaller team and also young, has a ton of top-end talent spread out across the meet that may provide fits to some larger teams in a larger setting like the conference meet.
“It’s one of those things where I hope that I have kept them relaxed and prepared to compete,” said EL coach Rebecca Hefty. “I’m only bringing back a handful of kids from last year’s team. It’s going to be really exciting because it is the unknown.”
Tess Perry leads the Cougars’ charge in the sprints, while Lisa Hartung will earn her points in the middle distances.
Brunswick will challenge in the same events, though, and likely split points with the Cougars while bleeding some away from the Eddies, making it a tough, three-team race for the title.
“All of them carry some awesome talent, and it will be exciting to see the girls compete against these others. There’s healthy competition there.”
Oxford Hills will also provide some solid top-end talent, but will likely be out of contention for the overall title in both the boys’ and girls’ meets.
In Class B, newcomer Waterville, which moved down from Class A this year, will be as strong as ever with some new competition. Leavitt High School of Turner will have some strong individual performers who could help the Hornets climb into contention in the larger meet. Maranacook will send a strong distance team as usual.