The boys’ outdoor track and field team from Edward Little High School has long been a classic example of why crunching numbers based on seeding and past performances is a slippery slope.

Two years ago, the Red Eddies walked into the Class A state meet theoretically needing to make up more than 20 points on Bonny Eagle. Several EL athletes had the meet of their year or of their lives, though, and the competition went down to the final relay race before the Scots snuck away with the title.

EL entered this spring with that same 20-point advantage over Bonny Eagle, at least on paper and in everybody’s mind. But when two 2010 state-meet scorers moved out of state and another elected to play lacrosse, that advantage went out the window.

Now the Eddies and Scots are staring down Saturday’s Class A championship at Windham High School, and lo and behold, it’s Bonny Eagle again in front by a surprisingly spacious gap.

But if you’re looking to apply a positive spin on the Eddies’ behalf, it isn’t a giant stretch.

In a spring season dominated by driving rain and cold temperatures, arguably no team in the state took a harder slap from Mother Nature than EL. The Eddies got in only three of their scheduled regular-season meets — which double as opportunities to post state-qualifying times, heights and distances — prior to last week’s KVAC championship.

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“We pretty much trained through the crappy weather,” said EL coach Ryan LaRoche. “In some ways it showed good, but in other ways, we’ve had a few kids really sick. It’s a catch-22. Do you take the time off, or work hard through the bad weather? Clearly we did the right thing for KVACs. We’ll see how it turns out for this week.”

EL dominated its conference meet, scoring more than double the points of second-place Lewiston. By contrast, Bonny Eagle (99) had to fight off Cheverus (86) and Gorham (81.5) for the SMAA crown.

The KVAC 1,600- and 3,200-meter races demonstrated the work-in-progress that is EL’s season.

Armed with high hopes in the late-morning mile, Faisal Noor faded down the stretch and lost out to Harlow Ladd of Messalonskee.

Two miles didn’t seem to offer much chance of a reprieve, considering that Noor was seeded only fifth and struggled to get underneath 10:10 all season. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Noor cleared the 10-minute mark altogether and beat Ladd with his finishing kick in the afternoon rematch.

“It’s been a tough time. We had four meets canceled. It’s crazy,” Noor said. “The workouts have changed. Say you have a meet tomorrow so you slow down the workout, then find out there’s no meet.”

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EL had two other runners peak in that same event. Hussein Mohamed and Justin Leclair enter the state 3,200 seeded fifth and sixth, respectively.

Connor Harris (high jump) and Michael Lucas (110 hurdles) are seeded No. 1 for EL in their events.

And the Eddies may target numerous events as opportunities to steal points from the Scots. In the racewalk, where Bonny Eagle’s Christian Malarsie is top seed, EL’s Keith Tremblay ranks second.

Points also sit on the table in discus, where the Bonny Eagle tandem of Shane Corbett and Nate Martel is one-two and Tremblay is fourth, and triple jump, in which the Scots’ Tyson Goodale is a preliminary favorite but the Eddies’ Ricardo Hairston (third and defending state champion), Harris (fifth) and Bryan Ring (11th) are lurking.

“States has been our goal all along,“ Harris said. “Through all our practices, we said let’s get pumped up for states, but KVAC is going to be something to push us toward states.”

Other events that will furnish EL the opportunity to gain points include javelin, with Tremblay seeded fourth behind Jamie Rosenberg of Mt. Ararat; the 1,600, with Hussein Mohamed fourth and Noor sixth behind Jeremy Terwilliger of Cheverus; high jump, where Darnell Hairston enters in a tie for eighth, and long jump, with Harris fourth and Ricardo Hairston also seeded.

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No matter the outcome, a statistical quirk in Maine’s most competitive track division is likely to end. Including EL (2003) and Bonny Eagle (2009), nine different schools have won the last nine Class A outdoor championships.

Cheverus has an outside shot to keep that streak alive. The Stags last won the title in 1997.

Scarborough owns four of the last five girls’ championships and is a slight favorite over Bonny Eagle and Cheverus. EL, the 2009 champ, needs to pull multiple surprises in order to challenge for an upset.

EL athletes are preliminary favorites in two events, with Frankie Lally the regular-season leader in javelin and Abby Dunn the defending champ in racewalk. Like their counterparts on the boys’ side, however, the Eddies see ample opportunities for advancement.

“It’s going to take some big performances, and that’s what we were trying to build at KVACs,” EL coach Rebecca Hefty said.

Other EL girls’ seeds include Lally in discus; Kelly Philbrook in javelin; Marie Dufresne-Dixon (second), Lexi Clavet, Emily Ranucci and Lauren Bennett in pole vault; Mary Kate Masters in the 100 and 200 meters; Clavet, Ranucci and Danielle Demers in triple jump; and Clavet, Demers and Philbrook in long jump.

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Knights, ‘Hounds in mix

Poland and Lisbon’s girls harbor the highest hopes among regional schools at Saturday’s Class B (Cony High School, Augusta) and Class C (McMann Field, Bath) state meets.

The Knights finished third among larger schools in the WMC championships and could actually climb higher on the state ladder. Waterville is a runaway favorite to win its fifth straight title, but Poland figures to be in a four-team scrap for second with York, Greely and Old Town.

Three athletes lead the Poland push.

Kendra Lobley is part of the top-seeded 4×800 relay squad and ranks second in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. She won all three events in the conference competition.

Emma Turton also runs the 4×800 and is second in 300 hurdles, fifth in 200 and third in the 4×400 relay. Morgan Copp is top seed in the javelin.

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Gray-New Gloucester’s Amanda Peterson is No. 1 in the 100 and 200.

Jack Peters, formerly of Elan School and now at G-NG, is seeded first or second in four events: 100, 200, 300 hurdles and triple jump. The Patriots’ Will Shafer will challenge in both the 1,600 and 3,200.

Poland boys could score points with Eli Murphy (hurdles), Cam Woodford and Frank Benedict (throws) and Josh Christy and Tony Whalen (jumps).

Falmouth is a slight favorite to capture its third straight boys’ crown.

Lisbon, Traip and Orono all enter the Class C girls’ meet with realistic hopes of upsetting Josh Bapst. The Crusaders hope to win their ninth title in 10 years.

Briana Moore of Lisbon is top seed in the shot put and also a contender in discus. Lindsey Whitney (racewalk), Tara Metzger (jumps), Angie Bulgin and Kayla Angelico (javelin), Gabby Ouellette (high jump) and Justice Fraser-Gagnon (shot put) lead the Greyhounds.

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Danielle Bumann of Monmouth is ranked No. 1 in 300 hurdles.

Monmouth, Lisbon and Livermore Falls have the best shot to crack the top five in the boys‘ meet. Kevin Desmond of Monmouth (800), Travis Hutchins of Winthrop (discus) and Morgan Reeves of Lisbon (pole vault) head the field in their events. Jacob Freeman of Livermore Falls has hopes in the high jump.

Defending champion Sacopee Valley and Maranacook enter the finals in a virtual dead heat for the team title, according to regular-season and conference results.

koakes@sunjournal.com

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