LEWISTON — It was a winter of much discontent for many.

For the track teams at Lewiston High School, the indoor season wasn’t so miserable. Both teams won KVAC titles and contended in the Class A state championship meet.

With that season complete, the track teams began anew Monday with the official start of the spring sports season. After a few stretches in the hallways, the Blue Devils took to the outdoors, dodging snowflakes, snow banks and some chilly temperatures.

In case his athletes didn’t relish the glory in the 30-degree temperatures and sizable snow flakes cascading from the skies during warm-ups, Lewiston coach Paul Soracco would often shout, “It’s a beautiful day.”

“It’s great to be outside,” said Soracco, whose teams spent many a practice running the halls of the high school during the indoor season. “It’s hard to teach kids effectively in a hallway. You have the space and you try to get accurate times. We know the track is 440. We do time trials and really see where we stand.”

A little sunlight started to break through as practice got underway Monday, and the Blue Devils are still glowing from the success of the winter season. That indoor campaign now fuels the excitement as the teams take to the outdoors.

“The kids are geared up and ready to go,” Soracco said. “The girls are coming off their best season ever this past winter. So they’re all riled up and ready to go. So it’s exciting.”

The girls’ team not only won its first-ever KVAC title but also finished a close second in the states. Lewiston finished just four points behind Thornton Academy in the state meet.

“We definitely have more energy and know what to strive for,” senior Heather Kendall said. “So we’re just pumped for what’s going to happen. We definitely know what we’re worth and we’re going to push for it.”

Kendall won the 55 and the 200 in the indoor state meet as Lewiston finished with 49 points. Kendall was also part of the 4-x-200 relay team that won.  She took third in the 100 and fourth in the 200 in outdoor states last spring.

“There’s a lot more pressure,” Kendall said. “I really know what I have to practice for. It’s going to be different and there’s more competition for outdoors. So I know what I have to work for.”

The Lewiston girls finished sixth overall in the outdoor states last year with 43 points. Thornton was the top team with 65. After a great indoor season, the team returns talent that should make some noise on the outdoor tracks this spring. Sophomore Jenny Martin was second in the 300 hurdles last year in outdoor, while junior Adela Kalilwa and sophomore Isha Kasai were the other top performers for the girls’ squad in the state meet.

“It’s cold,” said Kendall of Monday’s outside conditions. “I wish I had a little more of a break, but it’s great to be back. I missed the people and the events. I’m really looking forward to the season and what I’m going to be able to do.”

Junior Osman Doorow wasn’t running Monday. He left his paperwork at home and was a bystander during the first practice.

“I’ve been working for two weeks and I’ve been running in the hallways,” Doorow said. “I’ve just been trying to get ready for outdoor.”

The boys’ team finished fifth at the indoor state track meet in February. The Blue Devils finished with 32 points, 27 behind the winners from Falmouth. Doorow finished second in the mile and sixth in the two-mile.

Lewiston’s outdoor team finished second in the Class A meet last June. Cheverus won the meet with 90 points. The Blue Devils had 70. Doorow was second in the 1,600 and first in the 800. Hassan Mohamed was first in the 100 and third in the 200. Isaiah Harris was another of Lewiston’s top performers with a first in the 200 and fourth in the 3,200.

“We’re trying to win a state championship and the KVAC’s,” Doorow said. “We just have to work hard for it.”

Athletes were still signing up and joining the team as practice began Monday afternoon. Though some kids that were on the indoor teams couldn’t participate this spring, both teams will have tremendous numbers and experience.

“Between the boys team and the girls teams, once we get going, we’re going to have anywhere from 130 to 160, we think, in numbers,” Soracco said. “That’s a little overwhelming, but it’s a good problem to have.”

While Soracco was stressing to  start slow on the first day, he was emphasizing that the bar has been raised because of the indoor success. The hope of the coaching staff was to provide a greater challenge for the teams this spring to help push them even further. Besides, the first meet is just weeks away, Friday, April 17.

“We don’t have a lot of time to waste to get ready,” Soracco said. “The tough part is that a lot of our events, things like the long jump and triple jump, aren’t ready because the pits aren’t clear. We’ll be going right into the season without a lot of practice on certain things. That’s going to be really tough, but it’s the same for everybody.”

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