LISBON — Nine Mountain Valley Conference track and field teams gathered at Lisbon High School on Friday to officially open the 2022 season with a throwers and jumpers meet.

The sunny and breezy afternoon was filled with athletes establishing starting-point distances and heights in their events — and some were competing in jump pits and throwing areas for the first time.

Dirigo High School doesn’t have a track to practice on, so the Cougars have set up makeshift throwing areas. Coach David Buck said that they used to have a makeshift jump pit in the parking lot but it was covered by storage containers a couple years ago.

Dirigo took nine athletes — many others were missing due to vacations — to Friday’s meet, and some were being introduced to real facilities for the first time.

“It’s a great event and I am really glad they are doing it,” Buck said. “When there are running events going on, the younger kids can get seriously shell-shocked. Just field events are a nice way to get their feet wet.”

Lisbon/Oak Hill coach Nicole Sautter said that the idea for a jumpers and throwers meet came from Lisbon athletic director Eric Hall.

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“He felt an early season meet would give kids an opportunity to try events they weren’t necessarily accustomed to, and an opportunity for the returning athletes to show us where they’re at, at this point in the season,” said Sautter, who is in her first season as

Lisbon/Oak Hill jumpers Gabby Chessie and Sarah Moore finally were able to attempt triple, long and high jumps with full running approaches, something they hadn’t yet worked all the way up to during preseason practices at the Lisbon track.

Chessie finished in second place in the triple jump last year at the Class C state meet (34 feet, 9 inches) and Moore took third (33-00.50).

 

On Friday, Moore jumped 34-01 and Chessie topped out at 34-00. 

“Having this be my first jump, it showed we have a lot of potential,” Chessie said. “Both of us do. Having 34, it feels good. We aren’t really compared to anyone else at this meet except each other. We work together all the time, and then it’s basically us just competing at practice, then us going to meets and competing again. It’s a friendly competition. We don’t get (feelings) hurt, we move positions all the time and that’s how it goes.

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“Not having full approaches, then coming out and doing that is pretty good.”

Moore, a sophomore, said Friday’s meet allows athletes to set baseline marks, or starting points, in their events.

“I was just going there and trying to go as far as I could and do my best,” Moore said. “Having no run-throughs was obviously hard, but I am happy with what we all accomplished today. Seeing how good we could go into a meet while not having many practices.”

In the high jump, Moore topped her runner-up Class C state meet mark of 5-00 with a 5-02 jump. 

“I was just going as much as I could and as high as I could,” Moore said. “I’ve only practiced it once this year so getting that high was obviously a big accomplishment.”

Moore added a 16-06 and Chessie a 15-0 in the long jump.

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Sautter, in her first season as Lisbon/Oak Hill’s head coach after years serving as an assistant, was happy with how the Greyhounds performed without the benefit of a lot of practice time. 

“We focused a lot on keeping things simple as we start working on technique,” Sautter said. “I’ve mainly been a throwing coach in the past, so I am working a lot with discus and javelin, which are so technical. It’s looking at those little pieces, and while, yes, this is a meet, it’s a practice with a jersey on. Relax, keep your head clear and pound the technique part of things.”

Sautter — who replaced Dean Hall following his resignation after 43 years of leading the Lisbon boys and girls teams — said that Thursday was the first time the Lisbon javelin throwers practiced on the throwing runway, and they only did three-step runs. On Friday, Owen Booker threw beyond 127 feet and qualified for the state meet. 

“Today’s meet just gives us a baseline and tells us, ‘OK, where do we need to take them from here,’” Sautter said. “I’ve had some in jav, too. Owen Booker blew his PR from last year out of the water and threw a 127 and change. I looked at him and said, ‘You haven’t even done a full throw yet this season,’ then he hauled off the big throw.”

Winthrop junior Jakob Barrows surpassed 130 feet in the javelin Friday. That mark is a new personal record. He also has his sights set on the school record.

“Today we were throwing into the wind, so it is a little tougher,” Barrows said. “This year I want to maybe break my school’s javelin record. It’s a big record, over 169, and it’s a lofty goal, but I have another year after this.”

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