Stephen Pierre is only 5-foot-5, but the freshman is putting up big marks for the Leavitt indoor track and field team.

Pierre leads KVAC Class B in the 55-meter hurdles (8.88 seconds) and the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), and he ranks second in the long jump (19-10.75).

Stephen Pierre, left, of the Turner Hornets track club and Joe LeBlanc of the Auburn Recreation Track and Field program compete during the 100-meter hurdles in Poland in July 2021. Pierre is now a rising star as a freshman for the Leavitt indoor track team. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Pierre said he didn’t know what to expect heading into the season.

“If I’m honest, I was nervous because I have never gone against high schoolers,” Pierre said. “I was expecting to do the best I could within my age, freshmen and sophomores, and do the best I could between those.”

Pierre’s first track meet of the season was a strong debut showing. He tallied measurements of 18-5 in the long jump, 5-6 in high jump and ran the 55-meter hurdles in 9.23 seconds.

Then, in the second meet, Pierre broke through, earning his personal records in the long jump (19-10.75) and the high jump (5-10).


“It was startling. I don’t know how to explain it,” Pierre said. “I remember I was going for it, I was thinking about the scores for getting into states. I still want to see the best I can get. Before that, my highest (long jump) was 18-something. I was feeling joy, really excited. Now I know I am getting way higher than I expected and maybe I can be with the juniors and seniors.”

Hornets head coach Jamie Juntura said he has already coached Pierre for a few years through the Leavitt summer track program. Juntura said Pierre has improved a lot this season.

“He’s gotten, from last summer, which is the last time I saw him work, he’s gotten significantly stronger,” Juntura said. “You can see that he’s gotten stronger. Over the season, he’s matured in the sport a bunch. The summer track program is great, but it’s introductory. It’s one meet a week, and for us it’s really just one practice a week. You can see that he’s grown in the sport, he understands what it means to be a part of a track program that is trying to win together. And that’s been the best part, is seeing him being part of a program and not just an individual star because he’s been that all year.”

Pierre said he has always loved the high and long jumps. Hurdles, meanwhile, have sometimes been good and sometimes been a struggle for him. 

“Very back and forth,” Pierre said of the hurdles. “There have been times, I don’t know why, I get these feelings where I get my rhythm and sometimes I don’t, and I can’t do good.”

Juntura said he knew Pierre would be fast in the hurdles, but that his times have been better than expected. Juntura said the freshman is heading in the right direction. 


“He can be hard on himself, but after his last race he came to me and said, ‘I went too high, it threw off my steps and how do I fix it?’ We worked on a plan, and we are going to work on some technique things this week, and hopefully it polishes that up,” Juntura said. “Coming from a freshman, it’s cool because you just don’t get that.”


Jack Boutaugh competed with his strong arm — his right — for the first time this season after he dislocated his right elbow while playing for the Leavitt football team this past fall.

The senior thrower finished in second place in a meet on Jan. 27, with a throw of 44-01 — a personal record. 

“His first throw was 42 feet, his second was 44, which is his career PR, and if you ask him, he thought it was yucky,” Juntura said. “He knew what he did, he didn’t like his rotations, and he said he would be better at KVACs. He was nervous to come back, and for a guy who has seen a bunch of competition, he was nervous, and I was surprised, but it’s good.”

Boutaugh had been competing, and even qualified for the KVAC championships, with his left arm earlier this season.


For the Leavitt girls, jumpers Serae Fish and Emma Couturier have improved a lot this season.

“The big standout moments are from Serae and Emma,” Juntura said. “They are high jumpers and long jumpers. They just hit 4-10 in the high at the last meet, which broke our school indoor record, and they’re kind of the dynamic jumping duo and they seem to PR together. They both came centimeters away from hitting 5 feet. That would’ve been a big moment.”


Nathan “Dru” Hyndman has been excelling in the jumps for Edward Little.

Hyndman jumped 20 feet in the long jump and 40-07.5 in the triple jump, winning both events, at the Red Eddies’ final regular season meet on Jan. 22. He also jumped 5-06 and finished third in the high jump.

After learning from Jake Jackson, a star jumper for Edward Little who graduated last spring, Hyndman has come into his own this year. 


“He’s had a great season,” Edward Little coach Angie Jalbert said. “He’s very close in the long jump to the school record. Jake was his mentor. If you watch him, it’s very similar, his form is similar, and so it was kind of a neat thing to watch him get mentored there.”

Hyndman’s best long jump is 20-8.75, which ranks third in Class A. His triple jump best of 40-11 ranks sixth.

Jalbert said that at Edward Little’s most recent meet, Hyndman had a long jump longer than 21 feet, but it was measured incorrectly.

“My thing to him is that proves that he can do it,” Jalbert said. “It would have been 21-something. They measured a good 15 inches behind.”

A couple of other jumpers have made waves for the Red Eddies throughout the season, including Gavin Therriault and Weston Hartley. 

“Weston has jumped up; I think he was a 36-foot jumper coming in, but the last two meets he’s gotten into the 38s,” Jalbert said. “The first time, you wonder if it’s a fluke, but at the first meet he did it two of three jumps, and then this last meet he had a 37- and a 38-foot jump. Gavin, he had a 38 and he had never had a 38, either.”

Breya Whitman, meanwhile, has been improving. 

“Breya has improved the most of the girls in all three of her events, as well,” Jalbert said. “She does all three jumps and is so close to 5-2 in the high jump, and I know she will get it. If not this year, then next year, for sure. Lilly Watkins had never done triple, but we taught her and she’s now our best triple jumper.”

Watkins jumped 30-08.5 last meet for the Red Eddies.

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