KVAC track: EL boys win, girls second

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BRUNSWICK — With practice schedules limited by school vacation and a pesky virus depleting their rosters, coaches had to do some serious tinkering to their lineups for Friday night’s six-team KVAC indoor track meet at Bowdoin College.

It mattered little to the Edward Little boys and girls, which showed their depth in finishing first and second, respectively, in the final standings.

The EL boys, now unbeaten in three conference meets, topped Brunswick by a comfortable 28 points, 121-93. Lewiston just missed overtaking Brunswick by two points. Brunswick’s girls posted a 31-point win over Edward Little (133-102), with Lewiston (62) finishing third.

“Overall, it was I think a very good meet,” EL coach Calvin Hunter said. “We had some young kids in some events they haven’t done all year and they did very well. It was good to see them in some different events and excel.”

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Senior Connor Harris swept the jumping events to lead the Red Eddies, who were also bolstered by their relay teams (first in the 4×200, second in 4×800) and strong showings by Roger Charest, Aswan Duncan and Lucas Bourget on the track.

Harris, the defending state champion in the high jump and triple jump, set a new school record in the high jump with a leap of 6-feet, 6-inches, two inches above his personal best.

“I didn’t expect that at all tonight,” he said. “I came out and did my best and I’m glad everyone else in the high jump did, too. (Brett Gilbert of Skowhegan) definitely gave me a run for my money (reaching six feet).”

Harris gave a good run at the state record (6.08.75, set in 1983 by Lawrence’s Kevin Sawyer), grazing the bar on all three attempts at 6-feet-7.

“I came in at 5-6, and by the time I got to 6-6, I was just really, really tired,” he said. “You wouldn’t think of it, because you’re running up and just jumping, but you’ve got a lot of technique that you have to do, too, so you’re using your whole body.”

Bradley Morrissette (new PR of 39-feet 1-inch in the triple jump) Branden Binette and Brady Pleau (second and third in the pole vault) also picked up valuable points for the Eddies.

Lewiston’s Hassan Mohamed continued his emergence as one of the top sprinters in the state, winning the 55 meter dash in 6.78 and the 200-meter dash in 23.71.

Mohamed, a sophomore who has the best 55 time in the state so far this season (6.75), got off to a slow start but exploded in the final 30 meters to beat Charest (24.75) by over a second.

“I didn’t push hard out of the blocks, but in the middle I tried to push it,” Mohamed said. “I made up for it (in the 200). I learned by lesson in the 55. (The 200) was perfect. I was proud of myself and my coaches, too. My blocks are a problem, so I’m working hard at it.”

Lewiston’s 4×800 relay edged EL by half-a-second. Abdinassir Abdirahman (55, long jump) Mohamed Barre (mile and 200) and Mohamed Awil (mile) contributed to the Blue Devils’ final tally.

“It’s basically a work in progress, just taking guys and trying them in different events,” Lewiston coach Jackson Nadeau said. “Abdinassir hasn’t done the long jump all year, so we threw him in there and he finished second.”

Farhiyo Aden (mile), Mana Abdi (800), Audrey Jumper (high jump) and Olivia Norton (long jump) had good nights for the Lewiston girls.

“We get our points where we can get them,” Nadeau said, “and a smaller meet like today is a good opportunity to try to experiment a little bit.”

Edward Little senior Crystal Labonte experimented with the 800 meter run, even though it immediately followed her best event, the 400. Labonte finished second in the latter and won her heat (eighth overall) in the 800, even though it was her first time running the open 800.

“I feel so great. I was tired at first,” she said. “I had the 400 and 800 back-to-back and I was really nervous but I held strong and I feel really good.”

“Crystal is an athlete that every coach wants,” Hunter said. “She gets excited, works hard, loves it, loves her team.”

Lexi Clavet won the long and triple jumps easily, and the 4×200 relay team beat Brunswick by nearly two seconds for first. Ayumi Ranucci (55 meter dash), Morgan Knowlton (800), Ashley Joyner (200, triple jump), Avery Chisholm (200) and Kailey Norcross (high jump, long jump) also contributed significantly to the Eddies’ point total.

“I’m proud of them. It’s a hard week coming in when you only have two practices and then you have to get on the track,” Hunter said. “Back to a normal schedule next week, so hopefully next week’s even better.”

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