KVAC girls track and field: Red Eddies maroon competition

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BATH — Edward Little’s Ashten Hackett stepped to the top of the awards podium for the girls’ triple jump at the KVAC track and field championships Saturday and saw nothing but maroon and white to her left and right.

Edward Little coach Rebecca Hefty soaked in the scene, too, as her Red Eddies had just pulled off one of the rarest of feats in track and field, a clean sweep.

“It’s very exciting,” Hefty said. “When you see all maroon up there and you’re at a conference meet, you’re at a loss for words. You really don’t understand what that means.”

Hefty’s seniors understand nothing but winning their conference. The Red Eddies picked up their fourth straight KVAC title and fifth overall at McMann Field, dominating from the outset to tally 211 points, well ahead of second place Mt. Ararat (137). Brunswick, Cony and Mt. Blue rounded out the top five.

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Hackett won the triple jump with a distance of 35-7.50. Teammates Katherine Harmon, Chyla Hiott, Danielle Demers, Jess Nyholm and Emily Ranucci joined her on the podium. Were there more room, a seventh Eddie would have joined them, Lexis Clavet.

“We’ve really worked so hard this year, so it’s so good to have it really pay off,” Hackett said. “Last week (at the first annual River City Rivals meet) gave us a lot of confidence, so we came in knowing we can do it. It’s all about having the right mindset.”

Hackett added a first-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, where Hiott, Marie Dufresne-Dixon and Emily Hartnett contributed top five finishes. Hiott, Nyholm and Harmon finished two, three, four and Sam Lamson sixth behind winner Hanna Mogensen (16-07.75) in the long jump.

Harmon also won the discus (115-08) and placed second in the shot put.

“I was just hoping to be consistent  in all of my events and I did that today,” said Harmon, who set new personal records in the long jump and shot put.

The Eddies also got gold medal performances from Abby Dunn (7:37.71 in the 1,600 race walk), Christine Bilodeau (4-08 in the high jump and Jaclyn Masters (9-06 in the pole vault). Mogensen (second in the 400-meter dash), Kelly Philbrook (second in javelin) and Dufresne-Dixon (second in pole vault) helped pack on the points, as did the 4×400-meter and 4×100 relay teams, which finished second.

“The only meets we didn’t score, I think, were the two-mile and the 100,” Hefty said. “We excelled in a lot of event, but we also have to go back to the drawing board on a few others.”

“The running joke on this team is that you can’t provisional on our team to get to the KVAC meet and they state meet,” she added. “If you want to go, you’ve got to compete with your teammates.”

Despite EL’s dominance, other locals were able to elbow their way into next Saturday’s state meet at Cony. Mt. Blue’s Melody Lam placed second in the 300 hurdles. Lewiston’s Nicole Court-Menendez was third in the race walk, followed by Abby Lochala and Emily Reed of Mt. Blue.

Waterville was even more dominant in Class B, winning with 211.5 points, followed by Winslow (66), Belfast, Leavitt and Maranacook. Allison Fereshetian led the Hornets with one of the outstanding individual performances of the day, winning the 100 hurdles (15.04) and 200-meter dash (26.35) and setting a new KVAC record with her third straight conference title in the 300 hurdles (44.93).

“I looked at the (qualifying) results and it didn’t look like I was going to have many people right next to me to inspire me, so I had to find something else,” she said. “I looked at the record and was, like, well, I could try to go for it, and I did.”

“I’d like to get 44 seconds at states,” added Fereshetian, who also finished second in the long jump. “and I was real close to 14 in the 100. That’s what I want to get in states, so I’m really excited.”

The Class B state meet is at Windham High School next Saturday.

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