Page 2: Fereshetian creating a buzz

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TURNER — It didn’t matter that her father, Al, is a track and field coach at Bates College or that her older siblings left their own large footprints at Leavitt Area High School.

Not many years before it was time to blaze her own athletic trails, Allison Fereshetian didn’t look the part at all. At least that‘s her version.

“When I was 10 I started to be more serious about it, because I was really horrible at track,” Fereshetian said. “Then I thought I might as well try the hurdles, because it wasn’t like I was good at any particular event in running. So I said maybe I should stick with the hurdles, and then I just kind of morphed into a sprinter.”

Seven springs later, nobody is laughing at Fereshetian’s form, questioning her passion for the sport or wondering when she’s going to live up to the family name.

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Fereshetian, a senior bound for the University of Maine on an athletic scholarship, has been a winner for Leavitt in sprints, middle distances, hurdles and jumps during a brilliant career.

She is a four-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference champion, twice taking gold in the 300-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash. She owns 55 of Leavitt’s 66 team points in the Class B state meet the last three years and could be the top seed in four events at that showcase next month.

“I want to meet their expectations,“ Fereshetian said of her future coaching staff at Maine, “which is why I’m trying to push. But where it’s my senior year, I also just want to go out with a big bang.”

Doubtless the Class B competition is thankful that the rules limit Fereshetian to four events per meet.

You can count on seeing her in both hurdle events and the 200, due to preference and past glories.

Fereshetian was fourth in long jump at last year’s states. With teammate Hailee Mulherin blossoming in that event this season, Leavitt coach Kris Wright has Fereshetian focused on the 100 and 400 and the corresponding relay races.

In her last meet at Lewiston, Fereshetian beat MacKenzie Dufour of Cony to the wire in the 400, setting the fastest Class B time in the state this year at a fraction over a minute.

“I generally tend to hate the 400, but for some reason I loved that one,” Fereshetian said. “(Dufour) was really good competition, and I was glad because I’m used to going to meets and being the only one there. She totally pushed me.”

Wright has the happy problem of weighing times and distances and figuring out how the Hornets may maximize Fereshetian’s star power.

“She’s the top returning person in all four of her events from last year. But I’ve thought about putting her in the 100, just because I don’t think there’s anybody in Class B who can beat her,” Wright said. “Or we could put her in a relay. We sent her out first in the 4×400 at Lewiston, and there wasn’t anybody close at the end of her leg.”

Whatever her itinerary June 5 at Windham High School, Fereshetian will have one shred of unfinished business: Her initial individual state title.

She was runner-up in the 200 as a freshman and junior and second in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore. True to her free spirit, though, Fereshetian doesn’t look or sound consumed by the thought of leaving high school without one of those medals around her neck.

“If I get (personal records), I’m a pretty happy camper,” Fereshetian said. “As long as I get a PR, I can finish sixth and be really happy. I’d rather do that than win with a horrible time.

“But if I can get both,“ she added with a smile, “I would like to.”

Wright wouldn’t bet against his athlete.

“She is running times this early in the season that are almost as good as her state meet times last year,” he said. “I can only imagine what we’ll see from her at the end.”

koakes@sunjournal.com

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