Members of the Lisbon/St. Dominic Academy indoor track team pose for a photo prior to Monday’s practice at Bates College in Lewiston. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Lisbon High School and St. Dominic Academy practiced together last indoor season, but were scored separately in meets. This season, the two class B-size schools are combining athletes to make one team full of Saints and Greyhounds.

Dean Hall, who just finished his 40th year as outdoor track head coach this past spring, will be the head coach alongside Dan Sylvester, who also coaches during outdoor season.

“I coached basketball for 20 years, but Dean and I were approached and we wanted to do it together and then tie it in with outdoor because it sounds like for outdoor we are going to be a team, too,” Sylvester said.

While many of the kids on the team ran indoor track last winter, the adjustment has been much bigger for the coaches, who haven’t had much experience at all coaching indoors.

“It’s a cultural shift, for me, in terms of going from outdoors to indoors and into hallways instead of endless 300s,” Hall said. “It’s an adjustment for me more than them. We have a lot of experienced kids.”

Running sprints in hallways and bundled up long runs in the cold is a far cry from easier runs on athletes’ legs around a track. Lisbon/St. Dom’s will be practicing twice a week at the indoor track at Bates College, and while the coaches are thankful for the time, it’s not what they’re used to.

“How you train is different,” Sylvester said. “Training in hallways, doing more circuit stuff. We are also running on tar more because we don’t have the track, so it’s a different way to train as opposed to outdoor because the weather limits you to what you can do sometimes and then space availability. We come to Bates twice a week and it’s great, but we have a smaller block of time to train.”

While training is altered to fit the sport and the available facilities on any given day, many of the athletes on the team this season return for a second year, so the curveballs that indoor usually throws will be seen better a second time around.

Lisbon/St. Dom’s returns a couple of impressive shot putters in Isaiah Thompson and Alan Lavoie, both 40-foot-plus throwers in outdoor. Senior Nick Welsh returns for his second indoor season from St. Dom’s after growing up a hockey player. Excelling in the sprints and hurdles, track and field became his favorite sport, and last spring he finished in seventh in the 110-meter hurdles at the Class C state meet.

“Last year I transitioned from hockey, which is a really big transition, but I wanted to perfect my 110 and 300 in outdoor, so indoor was a great way to start,” Welsh said. “Right now I’m focusing on my arms a lot and definitely making sure I don’t spray them out to be able to be more efficient in my hurdling. Also just perfecting my form.”

Where the new co-op team might be most effective is the middle-to-long distance runners that have come back this year.

David Schlotterbeck of Lisbon returns for his second indoor season after finishing sixth in the Class C cross country state championship. This season, the senior will be focusing more on the mile and shorter as he gears up for what he hopes to be a huge outdoor spring.

“The race I probably like the most is the mile, so I am really trying to break my school’s record for the mile, which I think is 4:24,” Schlotterbeck said. “I’m really hoping to beat that in outdoor track, so I want to prepare myself this indoor season. My coach is talking to me about running the 400 and the 800.”

The boys’ team lost St. Dom’s runner Mark D’Alessandro, the Class C cross country state runner-up, this winter to Nordic skiing. Liam Levasseur of St. Dom’s does return, however, fresh off a 14th-place finish at Class C cross country states.

The girls’ team also lost a top-runner, Bugsy Hammerton, to hockey. The team is now led by sophomore Sarah Brown, St. Dom’s best middle-distance runner and the fifth-place finisher in the Class B state meet last winter.

“This indoor season I want to break 2:30 in the 800 and be competitive in states,” Brown said. “It’s really nice, it’s a bigger team and obviously I don’t have any girls to train with, but they’re very knowledgeable, the coaches.”

The girls’ team also brings back sprinters Abbie Zanoni and Mikayla Jackson.

The excitement, and talent level, is high for the Lisbon/St. Dom’s co-op team.

“We want to go into meets being competitive,” Sylvester said. “The boys, with the numbers we have, we have some more depth that should be a little easier to achieve. The girls’ numbers are lower but they’ll still be competitive.”