Conner Robertson of Wiscasset finishes his first lap during the 4×800 relay during Monday’s meet at Wiscasset High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

WISCASSET — Gwen Webber had no idea what to expect leading up to her senior outdoor track season. After the pandemic shuttered high school sports last spring, Webber said she was nervous that her track and field career could be done at Wiscasset High School.  

“I was nervous we weren’t going to have any meets, so I think I speak for the team as a whole when I say we are happy to just have the opportunity,” said Webber.

Monday marked the first meet of the season for the Wolverines, who hosted Boothbay Harbor, Mountain Valley and Winthrop on Monday at their home track behind Wiscasset Middle/High School. Originally scheduled for April 29, the meet was moved to Monday because of wet weather.

It was the first athletic event held at Wiscasset High School since it hosted a basketball game in February 2020.

“It’s awesome to bring sports back here to Wiscasset,” said Webber. “For one reason or another, it’s been too long, and it’s awesome that we are able to host an event like this.”

With Wiscasset High School’s declining student population, most sports teams compete as intramural teams only. The outdoor track team, which has 23 athletes on the team this season, is the exception.

“We have a lot of young talent of kids who want to be here and get better,” said Wiscasset head coach Josiah Winchenbach. “With a school of only 100 kids or so, our numbers are greater than we could’ve asked for this season.”

Johnny Spies of Wiscasset launches a discus during Monday’s track meet at Wiscasset High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The Wolverines have had trouble in recent years finding enough athletes to field a team. When only a handful of kids showed up for baseball and softball tryouts, the move to intramural sports for the season was the only logical option. 

With just four seniors on this years’ team, it leaves a door of opportunity open for many athletes like sophomore Conner Robertson, who got his first taste of varsity competition on Monday. 

“I knew it would be competitive out here, but this is more competitive than I may have anticipated,” he said. 

With track being the only varsity sport offered at Wiscasset this spring, the student-athletes say they are making sure to make the most of the experience. 

“It definitely gives me a sense of pride,” said Robertson. “It’s a great feeling to represent your school, and it just puts more emphasis on that knowing you are the lone team that has the opportunity to do so.”

Added Webber: “It sucks to see my friends not competing like we are, so we make sure we aren’t taking it for granted.”

Kyle Dionne of Winthrop goes head over heals in the high jump during a track meet on Monday at Wiscasset High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

While 2019 was a successful season for Wiscasset in Class C, Winchenbach said he expects the team to be competitive while building from the ground up with several underclassmen. 

“I wouldn’t call it a rebuilding year, but we have a lot of new athletes here,” said Winchenbach. “While we hope to be competitive, we also just want to have fun and partake in competition. If we do that, it’ll come to us from there.”

The Wolverines are hoping for big things to come in May and June.

“We know we are young but we are also competitive, and should have a good shot come the conference meets,” said Robertson. “Everyone is committed, which is all you can ask for after having almost two years off.”

Notes: It was the second meet of the season for Winthrop, which had its first meet on April 22 at Hall-Dale High School in Hallowell.

“It’s been a little touch and go here and there, but overall we’ve had a smooth process this season thus far,” said Winthrop head coach Ed Van Tassel, who has two seniors this spring. “Our numbers are down, but we have a really young team which will bode well in the future.”

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