TURNER — Athletes on Edward Little and Leavitt’s track and field teams were excited, nervous and everything in between heading into Wednesday morning’s track meet at Leavitt Area High School, but no two athletes symbolized the different emotions of athletes more than Edward Little’s Makenna Druin and Jacob Jackson. 

Druin, a freshman, decided this spring she didn’t want to play softball anymore and chose to compete for the Red Eddies in outdoor track. Head coach Rebecca Hefty is glad she did, as Druin won the 100-meter hurdles (in 19.27 seconds), then a few minutes later took first in the 100-meter dash (14.24). Later in the meet, she helped the Eddies take first in the 4×100-meter relay (56.55) and then finished first in the 200-meter dash (28.76). 

“Hurdles was first and my plan was just to get to the end,” Druin said. “(I was) a little nervous. I had never done it. We have practiced hurdles about four times. I thought I did pretty good for a first time. 

“I did the 100-meter dash. I wasn’t supposed to do it, but I did. It was a little tiring, but not bad. I didn’t think I’d win the second race because there were a lot of fast people.”

The nonchalant, naïve attitude was in contrast to Jackson, who entered his senior season knowing how valuable each meet is. 

“I feel great after today, this was a good way to start off,” Jackson said. “It feels really good to have a season for my senior year and I’m just really glad to be here.”

Jackson took first in all three jumping events, including a personal record of 6-2 in high jump. He also had wins in the long jump (20-09.25) and triple jump (42-07.25). In addition, he helped the Eddies finish first in the 4×100 relay (47.12). 

“This is one of my favorite teams in 20 years of coaching,” Hefty said. “This is like no other season and these kids want to be here and want to compete and it was proof today. … The greatest thing is they get disappointed if they don’t do something, and we have no expectations this season. We had outstanding results today.”

The Red Eddies took the girls title with 95 points to Leavitt’s 50, while the Hornets eked out a 82-79 win on the boys side.

Leavitt’s Margo Kenyon was a winner in the 800-meter run (2:33.01), the 1,600-meter run (5:35.24) and the 4×400-meter relay (4:44.26). The senior will run at Colby College next year and is thankful for one more season of high school competition. 

“It’s incredible. We got to have cross country and the season was cut short and didn’t have states, so I think it’s awesome that we can all get out here safely and get the opportunity one more time and try to break some more PRs,” Kenyon said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t seen these runners in almost two years.”

Kenyon ran her two individual races without a lot of close competition, so she used her own pace-markers and the cheering of the crowd to help her get through the races.

“The plan was just to hit my own time goals and see where everyone else wound up in place… I don’t look behind me, I just go forward,” she said. “You can kind of hear people cheering for the people behind you, so you kind of gauge it off of that.”

After losing last spring to the coronavirus pandemic, seniors across the state are excited to get to competing. Hornets senior Blaine Clark won the 300-meter hurdles (45.37) and earned runner-up finishes in the 110-meter hurdles and the pole vault. Even with not much practice time, Clark was excited to compete. 

“It’s really nice to be back,” Clark said. “Just try and pace myself. I haven’t even done a full 300 in practice yet, so I was trying to just keep the pace and then in the last two or three hurdles I just gave it everything I had. It happened pretty quick because I was at pole vault and then I had to run over really quick and run.”

Impressive performances happened all over the facility on Wednesday, and on both teams. Owen Vincent, a sophomore at EL, ran a 5:11.48 in the mile run 0.18 seconds faster than Leavitt’s Gabe Durazo. 

“I was just going to try to tag along with the first runner and so the first lap I was drafting off of him and the fourth lap I just took off,” Vincent said. “I was feeling great. I had no clue, if he was slower than I then I would have taken it earlier.”

Smiles and enthusiasm were had throughout the meet on both teams.

“The morale has been great, the kids have been really excited,” Leavitt head coach Jamie Juntura said. “How hungry both teams really were, the sportsmanship and camaraderie, both teams were supporting each other every time someone did great.”

Juntura was reminding his athletes that it’s a long season and that his team is ahead of schedule after meet one. 

“We were all very nervous,” Juntura said. “If you look at our ages it looks like we have a young team, but we have a first-to-track team. We came in nervous and right now they’re a little underwhelmed with themselves but they shouldn’t be, they just don’t get it.

“As far as our athletes go, I am very excited where the marks are and we are hitting better than expected. My team, I think, is a little disappointed by looking for end of the season gains but they are ahead of where they should be.”

The Leavitt boys finished one-two in the javelin, one-through-five in the discus and had the top seven finishes in the shot put.

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