Edward Little’s Makenna Drouin wins the 100-meter hurdles race during a track meet April 21, 2022, at Maranacook Community School in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Some of the area’s fastest high school track athletes are going a longer distance to try and put themselves on the map.

On July 25, the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships will take place in Sacramento, California, and a slew of area athletes are making the cross-country trek to compete in the meet. 

Makenna Drouin, coming off of a standout high school outdoor track season with Edward Little High School that included a win and a Maine state record in the 300-meter hurdles at the New England Championships (43.74), is one of the athletes heading to California. 

“I’m pretty excited,” Drouin said.

Drouin will compete in the 100-meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles in the 17-18 age division. 

At the USATF Region 1 Championships held July 7-10, Drouin won the 100 dash in 12.42 seconds, the 100 hurdles in 15.68 and the 400 hurdles in 1 minute, 9.21 seconds. It was a clean sweep for the rising junior who is used to winning with the Red Eddies. 


Drouin has been practicing with Edward Little assistant coach Ethan Tardiff to prepare for the championship meet. 

Edward Little teammate Dru Hyndman is also traveling to Sacramento to compete in the 17-18 long jump. 

Hyndman won the long jump at the Region 1 Championships at Bowdoin College with a top leap of 6.12 meters, or 20 feet, eight inches. 

Hyndman has also been working out with Tardiff, while also running with the Edward Little cross country team. 

“I’d say I am ready,” Hyndman said of the Junior Olympic Championships. “I’ve learned a lot over the summer. I am definitely nervous for this meet. I would say I am ready. … I’ve learned new ways to start my long jump, the run up, new drills, new techniques. The drive phase, the first half of the run up, stuff like that.”

Hyndman said his goal is to reach 22 feet in the long jump. 


Leavitt rising sophomore Stephen Pierre had a stellar Region 1 meet, with a win in the 15-16 division 110-meter hurdles (16.17), a win in the triple jump (11.93 meters) and a runner-up finish in the 100-meter dash (11.88). 

Pierre has never been on a plane before, so the trip has brought on nerves, as has the meet. However, Pierre is mentally prepared to compete. 

“I can’t lie, of course I am a little nervous,” Pierre said. “I have never flown before, especially that far. And my mom isn’t going, just me and my friend Mason (Henderson). It’s something so big and it’s a new experience. I have to do this so that I am ready for the future. That’s how I am thinking of it.”

Leavitt’s Stephen Pierre wins the 110-meter hurdles in 16.84 during the KVAC meet May 27, 2022, on Cony High School’s Taylor Harmon Track in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

After a spring season with Leavitt that featured a runner-up finish in the 110-meter hurdles, a third place in the 300-meter hurdles and a 13th-place finish in the long jump at the Class B state championship, Pierre is ready for more. 

“Our coach (Leavitt track and field coach Jamie Juntura) started telling us about (the national meet), and at first I started to doubt myself,” Pierre said. “I didn’t know if I could do that because the Junior Olympics is a big thing. But then I started thinking that this is something I have to try. Especially if I want to go further with this. We went to the (regional) meet, I did well and made it. I felt good. I wanted to do more and keep competing, but the season is so long. I felt good and I did what I needed to do. I want to keep improving, that’s my main goal.”

Henderson, a soon-to-be freshman at Leavitt, is traveling across the country with Pierre to compete in the 12-13-year-old 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. 

“I’m really excited,” Henderson said. “It’s going to be fun.”

Henderson, 13, has been working out with Juntura on occasion to prepare for the meet. 

“He’s helped me out quite a bit,” Henderson said. “He has helped me one-on-one a few times. I am excited because it’s the first big track meet I’ve ever really done. I am listed pretty well for my age group. I am hoping that I can get top five or top six for my events.”

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