SCARBOROUGH — Emerson Flaker could be the fastest, most versatile athlete in her family.

Considering her older brothers have won multiple state high school titles in track and field, that’s saying something.

Flaker, who will be a freshman at Scarborough High, is coming off eye-opening performances this summer. She won the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships pentathlon in the 13-14 age group on July 26, in Jacksonville, Florida. Then Flaker demonstrated her pure speed by sweeping the 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes in state record times for the 13-14 age group — along with winning the long jump —  at the Maine USATF Youth Championship meet held at Massabesic High on Aug. 7.

Her 100-meter time of 12.47 seconds broke the age-group record of 12.80 seconds set by NCAA long-jump champion Kate Hall in 2011. Her times in the 200 (25.74 seconds) and 400 (58.03) eclipsed records set in 1994 (26.6 and 58.7 seconds) by future Hebron Academy Hall of Famer and UMaine athlete Margaret “Meg” Muller.

“I was hoping to break the 400 and 200 record. I really wasn’t expecting to break the 100 record,” said Flaker, who will turn 14 in September.

For context, had Flaker run those times at this spring’s Class A state championship high school meet, she would have finished third in each event. The only two girls who ran faster were Cheverus senior Victoria Bossong and Bangor sophomore Anna Connors. Bossong set meet records in the 100 and 400 and Connors broke Bossong’s record in the 200.

Flaker’s brothers, Jarett and Jayden, say their sister’s combination of speed and the ability to compete well across multiple events already put her atop the family track and field podium.

“She’s better than me,” said Jarett Flaker, who is on a track scholarship at George Mason University after setting all-time Maine high school best times in the 100 (outdoors), 200 (indoor) and 400 (indoor) meters.

“She’s the best. The baby goat,” said Jayden Flaker, a senior at Scarborough who won a national AAU 110 hurdles championship last summer and has state indoor and outdoor hurdle titles.

Jayden pointed to his sister’s strive for perfection and “that she has us to push her every single day,” as reasons for Emerson’s early success. Jarett said he believes his sister’s mental toughness sets her apart.

“It’s her competitiveness, her ability to always win,” he said. “She always finds the extra gear.”

Still, Emerson Flaker’s win in the national pentathlon was a bit of surprise to herself and her parents (though Jarett said he was not surprised). After all, she had never done the five-event, single-day challenge. She’d hoped to do it in 2019 but broke her hand and couldn’t throw the shot put. Last summer, while meets were held, the coronavirus pandemic caused organizers to cancel multievent disciplines.

“I wasn’t too nervous because I wasn’t expected to do super well and I think that helped,” said Emerson, who is stands 5-foot-6 with a slender, athletic build.

But after finishing fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.20 seconds) and a better-than-expected fifth in the shot put (30 feet, 7 3/8 inches), she was in third place in the pentathlon. Her high jump of 4 feet 7 1/8 inches tied for fourth and put her in fourth place overall.

Jay Flaker said he began to suspect his daughter might be able to win at that point, knowing she was strong in the long jump and the 800 meters, with a personal-best of 2 minutes, 24 seconds.

Emerson Flaker said she first realized she might win after climbing to second following her long jump of just over 15-10, which tied for first in the event. That moved her to second place overall and within range of leader Kaera Copeland of Georgia, who had won the shot and high jump and tied Flaker’s long jump distance.

“We were in this room where we had to stay in between events and they gave us a piece of paper that told us the results and the girl in first came up to me and asked me what my 800 time is, and I told her and she was like ‘Uh-oh.’ I looked at the piece of paper and saw I was like 64 points behind her going into my best event,” Flaker said.

Flaker’s 800 time of 2:27.15 was second-fastest overall and worth 729 points, giving her a total of 2,931 points to easily beat runner-up Copleand, who ran the 800 in 3:02.48 and gained 2,604 total points.

For now, Flaker will take a break from track and field. She’s playing soccer at Scarborough High this fall and is debating about whether to run indoor track or play basketball in the winter. But track and field is definitely in her future.

“I know that I think I’d like to run in college and I’m hoping to break some records and do well in high school.”


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