Saint Dominic Academy track and field coach Tyler Shennett, middle, gives instructions on proper form for a drill he had the team do in one of the Auburn school’s hallways Monday after school on the first day of practice. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

AUBURN — St. Dom’s, after competing as a co-op with Lisbon and Oak Hill in indoor track, is ready to take on the outdoor track and field season on its own with its largest roster in the program’s history. 

First-year head coach Tyler Shennett said the Saints have 35 athletes on the roster, with just one senior, Sydney Dick, who will split time between the St. Dom’s track and softball teams. 

“We get to go back to basics with our kids, which is really exciting,” Shennett said. “This is the biggest group the school has ever had, and they’re all excited. Last year we had between 24 and 27 kids, so we have around 10 more kids this year.”

The indoor season gave many athletes a base for outdoor track, but there were challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as a lack of practice locations.

The Saints had to practice at the school all winter, and their only track time came during track meets because Bates College didn’t allow high schoolers to practice at its indoor facility. 

That particularly hampered the jumpers and throwers on the team. 


“When you look at events like throwing, we threw into snow banks,” Shennett, who also coached the indoor track squad, said. “Jumping, we could only work on the approach because there’s not much else you can do. … One girl in indoor did high jump and she was never able to improve because she could only do it at the meets.”

This spring, Edward Little High School has allowed the St. Dom’s athletes to come practice on its track on Mondays and Wednesdays and has granted the Saints access to its track and field equipment. 

St. Dominic Academy juniors Chloe Whited, front, and Abby Mitchell, right behind her, will be the leaders on the track and field team this season. They led the way around the school’s hallways Monday afternoon after school during the first practice of the year. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Saints are excited about the possibilities. 

“Getting to practice on the track and be able to practice handoffs not in a hallway will be great,” junior sprinter Chloe Whited said. “I want to actually place at states in the 4×100 (relay) because last year we got disqualified because of a handoff.”

“We are super thankful for the community of Auburn and EL for allowing us to have that opportunity twice a week to be able to improve in all these events,” Shennett added. “All in all, that’s going to make us a better team, being able to use the track. We didn’t have that in indoor track and some kids weren’t able to improve past a certain point.”



Shennett said he anticipates the Saints will be led by a group of juniors this season.

That includes Abbie Mitchell and Whited, both sprinters who are on the 4×100-meter relay team. Shennett said the pair are hard workers, and Mitchell said she appreciates that Shennett helps them improve.

“He tries to push us to do our best, and it’s good for us,” Mitchell said of Shennett. “It’s not a lot of fun sometimes, but it’s good to get better. We do have fun.”

St. Dominic Academy juniors Chloe Whited, left, and Abby Mitchell, right, lead the track and field team through a drill in one of the Auburn school’s hallways Monday on the first day of practice. Whited and Mitchell will be looked to as leaders on a team that has only one senior this spring. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The boys team has juniors Matthew Homan, Colby Levasseur and Mateus Campos to help the younger athletes.

Levasseur just got done playing on a hockey team that had only one senior, and in the fall played for the Lisbon football team that had only three seniors. He said those experiences will help him this spring. 

“I need to step up and lead the team,” Levasseur said. “In hockey we had one senior and in football just three, so I feel like I’ve done a good job in a leadership role. I feel like I need to continue it.”


The three juniors are also the three remaining legs of last year’s 4×100 team. Nick Homan, Matthew’s brother, graduated at the end of last year and was the final leg of the relay team.

“I am really excited for the 4×100 team,” Campos said. “We have three of them here, but we lost our fourth last year, so we are hoping to fill the spot with a freshman. There are definitely some really good freshmen coming in and they’re looking pretty good. I have played with a lot of them in different sports.”

The 10-person freshman is viewed by coaches and athletes as a promising group. 

“We have a lot of new, young runners that should be good,” Homan said. “We have a lot of promising people. I am excited for that, especially for relays.”

Shennett adds that along with the first-year athletes, St. Dom’s also has been building a strong middle school program.

“I have a big group and a promising group of freshmen coming up,” Shennett said. “I have three boys that are really promising. Jack Gilpatric, he did indoor, and basketball players Jonathan Tangilamesu and John Brocke, all three of them did track with me in middle school and I was looking forward to this year with them. We are creating a really big middle school program, as well, and between the two teams I have about 60 kids. That middle school team was new last year and so we are building that program, as well. That gives us that feeder program that we haven’t had.”

Helping build the Saints’ distance team is St. Dom’s cross country coach, Tracy Guerrette. Guerrette coached cross country with Dan Campbell, who is not with the team presently as he battles cancer

“She started at St. Dom’s this year and I am super excited to work with her,” Shennett said. “We’ve been planning for this all year. We are sending our prayers to Dan right now but we are super thankful that Tracy is with us this year to do this. She’s a good person to have in our arsenal because she knows what she’s doing and is a great motivator for this team. She’s going to bring a fire and spark to the team that we’ve been missing.”

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