Lewiston’s Makenna Drouin wins the 100-meter dash during a KVAC track meet against Oxford Hills, Edward Little, Mt. Ararat and Erskine Academy at the Gouin Complex in South Paris in May. Brewster Burns photo

Soon after the 300-meter hurdles were run in a late April meet at Skowhegan, it was discovered that the first hurdle was not set up.

The decision was made to not count the times but allow the competitors the opportunity to run the event again.

The 300 hurdles is a grueling race, and some chose to not run it again. Lewiston junior Makenna Drouin was not among them.

“As this is my favorite event, I just decided to run it again and wanted a time for it,” Drouin said, “and (it) was very much worth it.”

Blue Devils coach Craig John was impressed: “You could see she was just utterly exhausted at the end of it, but she just gave it 110%.”

Drouin won the race, as she did every time she ran the 300 hurdles — and the 100 hurdles —in a Maine Principals’ Association meet during the outdoor season.


This spring, Drouin won the Class A state title in the 300 hurdles for the third consecutive year and the 100 hurdles for the second year in row. She also placed second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the state meet.

She set school records in all four events and personal records in three of them.

Her excellence in the speed arts has earned Drouin the Sun Journal All-Region Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the second straight year.

Drouin, who also received the 2022-23 Sun Journal Girls Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year this winter, said she was initially reluctant to try 300 hurdles.

“I actually did not like the idea of this event one bit,” she said in an email earlier this week.

Early in Drouin’s freshman year, her coach at Edward Little — Drouin transferred from Edward Little to Lewiston in between the indoor and outdoor seasons this year — told Drouin she was going to run the 300 hurdles.


Drouin, who was new to track that year, wasn’t thrilled, but the first time she ran the 300 hurdles, she placed second.

Drouin said that first race “brought a passion out of me toward this event and track.”

That April 2021 meet was the only time in her career that Drouin didn’t win a 300 hurdles race held in Maine until this year’s New England championships in Bangor, in which Drouin placed second (she won the New England title in 2022).

“Since that first meet I ran that event, I’ll always look back and remember to be thankful for being pushed by that coach to do that event,” Drouin said. “These last three seasons I’ve done track, I’ve accomplished a lot with this event.”

The 300 hurdles is Drouin’s favorite and most dominant event, but she is nearly as good in the 100 hurdles and the 100 and 200 dashes. In fact, she beat Bangor’s Anna Connors — a three-time 200 state champion and two-time champ in the 100 and 400 — in the 100-meter dash at the River City Rivals meet in May. Drouin finished the 100 in 11.89 seconds, which is better than Connors’ personal record (11.95) in the event.

Drouin said the River City Rivals meet, which was hosted by Lewiston, stands out the most out of any meet this outdoor season. She won three events, taking second to Connors in the 200, set PRs in three events (100, 200, and 100 hurdles) and set Lewiston records in all four of her events. (She also holds three Edward Little school records.)


Making her success even more impressive is the amount of energy it takes to run all four of those events in the same day. Especially since there isn’t always a lot of time in between races.

“She’s a tough cookie,” John said. “She’s just, she’s really strong and, you know, it’s not many people that can run four events and win them all, like she can.”


John said that Bates College assistant Art Feeley once told him that athletes of Drouin’s caliber “come along, if you’re lucky, once in a coaching career.” John said he’s been fortunate to have two: He recently coached Greyson Duane as a fifth, sixth and seventh grader in Massachusetts. Duane is about to be a high school freshman, but he already competes and excels at national meets.

“I’ve been lucky to have two people like that, but it’s very rare to have somebody with her just natural ability and natural speed,” John said. “So those people don’t come along all that often.”

John, in his first season as Drouin’s coach, also found Drouin to be coachable and a good teammate.


Drouin joined the Blue Devils, he said, with “a great attitude of, you know, just really ready to be part of the team and be supportive of the other athletes on the team.” He said she was especially supportive of some of Lewiston’s female race walkers who were new to track this season.

“She made friends very quickly and was really a good, supportive teammate. And I think that’s probably the number one thing that stuck out for me,” John said of Drouin’s season.

Drouin said that the bonds she developed with her teammates and coaches made track and field a different experience.

“This sport, to me, has always been a serious thing … and meant no messing around and (I) couldn’t get distracted or anything. My new team and coaches made that hard to just go and do that,” she said. “They brought out a side out of me, that I could enjoy and have fun during our practices and meets and loosen up a bit in between.”

She added, “I think with this new side they brought out of me helped me toward my accomplishments I had this season.”

Despite her success, John said that Drouin isn’t content to rely on her natural speed. This spring, her speed out of the blocks got even faster. She also has worked a lot on improving her hurdling form.

“I’ve appreciated that about her, in terms of her diligence and her openness to receiving helpful hints about what she can do better to improve,” John said. “And she’s very open to it and she works really hard on it.”

Drouin is about to begin her senior year, and college track and field will almost certainly be in her future. But before she goes to the next level, Drouin wants to have strong finishes to her indoor and outdoor careers.

“My goals for these two last seasons,” she said, “are to leave some big bangs behind before I go, and (to) enjoy my two last seasons of high school track.”

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