GORHAM — It’s the last big meet before the really big meet.

Top track and field athletes from southern Maine’s smaller schools competed in the Western Maine Conference indoor track championship Friday night at the University of Southern Maine.

“This is the time to try get your best times before the state meet,” said Yarmouth sophomore Abby Noble, who won the girls’ senior division 55-and 200-meter dashes and anchored the Clippers’ winning 800 relay team.

The meet included both junior and senior divisions in the shot put, high jump, sprints, hurdles and the sprint relay, with team points generated in both.

York High won both the overall boys’ and girls’ team titles.

The York boys scored 168 points, led by senior/open winners Sam Hunter (800) and Gavin Davis (high jump). Greely was second with 144 points and Fryeburg Academy was third with 76.


“We’re always looking for the win,” said Hunter, who also claimed his first individual WMC title. “We’re trying to get every single point we can.”

In the girls’ meet, York scored 134 points to edge Freeport (122) and Yarmouth (112).

As the final tune-up before the Class B state meet on Feb. 19 at Bates College in Lewiston, the WMC championship was also the final time at USM for seniors like York’s Cary Drake.

Drake ran a fast split of 2 minutes, 16 seconds in the 3,200-meter relay – the evening’s first event – to help the Wildcats take the win. Then she came back to win the mile with a modest time, for her, of 5:15:93. She had gone under 5 minutes in her last two attempts, including an indoor PR of 4:57.61 on Feb. 3 at Boston University – the fastest time by a Maine runner this year. Drake also won the 2-mile by a minute.

“I was just kind of pacing it in the mile tonight,” Drake said. “This is my last meet at USM and I was just trying to soak it in.”

York teammates Molly Kenealy and Madelyn Hutchins were second and third in the mile.


Noble defended her 55 dash victory in the senior division – which she had also chosen to compete in as a freshmen. She matched her personal-best time of 7.63 seconds. Noble said she has tried to focus on having fun this season because she realized she was feeling stress, worried she wouldn’t be able to match her freshman year success.

“And, my times are better. I PR’d in the 55 and I’ve cut about a half-second off my 200 time,” Noble said. She won the 200 in 27.72 seconds – a full second faster than anyone else.

In the boys’ 55, Logan Walton of Fryeburg Academy nipped York’s Nick Hoy by a hundredth of a second with a time of 6.68 seconds. Cooper Bourque of Wells was right there, too, placing third in 6.71. Each of the top three runners set personal-best times.

“I was not really sure if I’d won. I thought I was first, but if it had been (Hoy), I wouldn’t have been surprised,” said Walton, a Varsity Maine All-State football selection who is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

“This is my first year in track. I’ve always been just a football guy,” Walton said. “Some of my best friends from football run track, so I decided to try, and I want to get faster for football.”

Walton also won the 200, with Hoy again placing second, both with personal-best times of 23.30 and 23.63.


Another close finish came in the boys’ 400, as Greely’s Bez Mendelsohn, a junior in his first season of track, used a final surge to overtake senior teammate Charlie Palmlund. Mendelsohn (53.52) and Palmlund (53.58) both ran personal-record times.

“(Palmlund) was definitely smoking me at the beginning of the season,” Mendelsohn said. “I’ve been running since I’ve been young, but being track fast is just different.”

The boys’ pole vault featured four athletes clearing 12 feet or more, including a meet record 14-0 by Class B record-holder Reece Perry of Freeport. Perry set the Class B indoor meet record of 14-1 a year ago and has cleared 14-4 this season. He came close on his second of three misses at 14-5. Perry felt like if the standards that hold the bar had been set back a bit, he would have gotten over.

Perry said the efforts of Greely’s Sam Anania (13-0) and Liam Magoon (12-6) and Yarmouth’s Colby Ting (12-0) made the event even more fun.

“It’s awesome. Everyone is just getting better and better,” Perry said. “Everyone feeds off their skill level. I’ve seen people improve this year by a foot, foot and a half, even 2 feet.”

Several other athletes won two or more events in the senior or open divisions. Lake Region’s Sam Laverdiere won the boys’ mile and 2-mile. Arkie Baptist of Fryeburg won the boys’ long jump and triple jump. Campbell Johnson won the girls’ high jump and triple jump.


Victoria Zandan, a freshman at Greely, won the open long jump, was second in the triple jump, and won the junior division 55 hurdles.

After the meet ended around 10:30 p.m., the WMC’s athletes of the year were announced.

The girls’ junior division winners were Noble (track) and Zandan (field). Drake (track) and Johnson (field) were the senior division winners.

The boys’ junior division winners were Jack Estes of York (track) and Dietrich Schulz of Freeport (field). The senior winners were Laverdiere (track) and Perry (field).

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