GORHAM — Fast times, good throws, big jumps.

The Western Maine Conference indoor track championships had all of those things Friday night at the University of Southern Maine.

York senior shot putter Matt Charpentier set a meet record and was just a half-inch off his season-best throw of 57 feet, 9 inches – which is in the top 20 nationally, second-best in New England, and more than a foot beyond what he threw last season when he set a record at the Class B state championships.

“Today was a good effort. But I’m not satisfied with it. I’m trying to break 60 feet,” Charpentier said.

Similarly, Greely junior Abigail Jacobson ran a season-best time of 27.6 seconds to win the 200 meters, her best event. With the Class B state meet coming up on Feb. 20 at Bates College, followed by the New England championships and national-level competition for some athletes, the WMC meet is just the start of the postseason.

“Last season, I didn’t break 28 seconds until the state meet when I ran 27.4, so hopefully this year I can go sub-27 next week at states,” Jacobson said.


Charpentier set the tone for York to win the boys’ championship. York, which has won three straight and seven of the last 10 Class B indoor state titles, scored 131 points, with Freeport second at 71 and Poland putting in a strong showing on the track to place third with 70 points.

The girls’ meet was won by Freeport with 145 points, beating out perennial contenders Greely (120) and York (112). The Falcons had depth, scoring in many events in both the junior and senior divisions and on the track and in field events.

A sweep of the pole vault was key, with Kessa Benner winning at 9 feet, followed by Lucy Bradford (8-6) and senior captain Avery Baker-Schlendering. Baker-Schlendering also won her specialty, the high jump, at 5-2, but was competing in the pole vault for the first time.

“We were all trying new events so we could gain more points, and we felt we were strong enough to pull through,” Baker-Schlendering said.

Nolan Garey of Poland is another defending state champion, and he was thinking Friday might be a night to lower his Maine-best time of 7.64 seconds in the 55 hurdles. He got out of the blocks well and dominated the field but was left shaking his head after running his slowest time of the season – 7.87.

“I was feeling really good, and then halfway through the race, I landed wrong,” Garey said. “I didn’t twist an ankle or anything, but I could see I had the win, so it was time to conserve.”


Garey got a measure of redemption when he anchored the Knights’ winning 800 relay team that included 200 champ Nick Garey, Cohen Demuth and long jump winner Cadyn Langlois.

Yarmouth swept the 55 dashes, with season-best efforts from freshman Abby Noble – who opted to compete up in the senior division – and senior Harry Dougherty.

Noble edged Greely senior Abigail Jacobson by five-thousandths of a second with a time of 7.672.

“I’m trying to constantly improve,” said Noble, who came in with a No. 1 seed time of 7.73. “Oh my gosh, Abigail Jacobson, she’s so good. She’s definitely my biggest competition, and it’s always so fun racing against her.”

Noble set a school record, accomplishing a personal goal “to see my name on the (Yarmouth) record board. That would be an incredible experience.”

Moments later, Dougherty posted a personal-best time of 6.70 seconds.


Freeport’s Reece Perry, a junior, has established himself as one of the top pole vaulters in the state – and No. 1 in Class B – with a season-best 14-3, which is 3 feet higher than he cleared as a sophomore.

On Friday, he won the event at 13-0, missing on his final attempt to set a meet record at 13-7.

“I’ve just been working super hard and training way more than last year,” Perry said, explaining his improvement. “Tonight, I was feeling a little under the weather and just not feeling that great. You just have to scrape something together.”

York junior distance star Cary Drake easily won the girls’ mile in 5:25.28 and the 2-mile in 11:54.91. She also was on York’s winning 3,200 relay team. Like Perry, Drake said she was not feeling her best and was still a bit sore after becoming just the fourth high school girl from Maine to break the indoor 5-minute barrier at last weekend’s Scarlet and White Invitational at Boston University. The other three sub-5 indoor milers are Bethanie Brown of Waterville, Tia Tardy of Orono and Wendy Delan of Bonny Eagle.

“This meet is a good test for us as a team,” Drake said. “If we do well here, it’s a good telltale of how we’ll place at states and what we can do to get those few extra points.”

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