Very few things have been certain during a topsy-turvy Eastern Maine Indoor Track League season that has featured dramatics and subplots.
One thing that’s certain, as Saturday’s league championship meet draws closer, is that Ben Sinclair has become not only one of the top sprinters in Eastern Maine but statewide.
The Brewer High School junior, who annexed a conference record in the 200-meter dash earlier this winter, will be among many schoolboy athletes seeking their best outputs of the season at the University of Maine field house.
Action starts at 3:40 p.m. with the 4×880-yard relay and preliminary heats.
Sinclair, the reigning EMITL champion in the 400 meters, really started building his resume last spring, when he won the same race in the Class A outdoor championships.
“From last year to this year I’m much more focused on what I need to do, and I’m going to get it done,” said Sinclair, the EMITL’s top seed in the 55 dash, 400 and 200 and a legitimate contender for the Top Performer award.
Sinclair, who set his league 200 mark of 22.84 seconds on Jan. 9, has aspirations of not only breaking 50 seconds in the 400 but also eclipsing Cam Cormier’s league standard of 49.94.
“For my first 200 I usually go out in 24, I will come back in 25 hopefully,” said Sinclair, who added he has learned to pace himself better in what is arguably the toughest of all the sprinting events.
“It’s showing up a lot, I use it, I go out hard and I do it,” he said.
Sinclair’s main competition in the 55 will come from Justin Cullens of Hermon and Chris Fogler of John Bapst, while Lonnie Hackett of Bangor and Vincent Tymoczko of Bucksport are tough in the 400 and 200.
“I’m looking forward to any competition I have,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair’s Witches will likely go in as underdogs to a tough Hampden Academy team, but the sprinter believes that anything is possible.
“I’m positive we can get it done, [that] we can win this,” he said.
Hampden’s Broncos have had a dynamite season, and they’ve received sound production in the distance events and jumps.
Michael Bommarito and Darik Frye are a legit 1-2 distance-running punch for coach Danielle (Donovan) Johnson’s Broncos. Bommarito is seeded first in the mile and second in the 2-mile, while Frye is first in the 2-mile and second in the mile. Frye also holds the league’s top time in the 800 (2 minutes, 0.5 seconds).
The Broncos’ jumping tandem, Matt Toothaker and Jadrien Cousens, have had sound seasons as well, earning top seeds as a result.
Cousens and Austin Michaud are among the top seeds in the hurdles, while Cousens and Toothaker are seeded 1-2 in the high jump and 2-3 in the triple jump.
Cousens has cleared 6 feet, 4 inches in the high jump this winter.
Other key athletes for Brewer include Steven Rice in the hurdles and 400, Chase Daniels in the high and long jumps and pole vault and Josh Stone and Brian Kearns in the hurdles.
Sean Seekins of Bangor and Mount Desert Island’s Tucker Smith are two of the conference’s top vaulters, as both have cleared 13 feet.
In addition to that, Seekins is the top man in the triple jump at 42-5 while Fogler is the top seed in the hurdles and the long jump.
Dan Hales of MDI is the top seed in the shot put, with a throw of 45-6.75 to his credit.
A Wild run in the County
One of Aroostook County’s most popular road races will celebrate its 25th birthday this weekend.
Houlton will host the 25th annual Wild Katahdin Trust Snow 5K Run on Saturday morning at Millar Civic Center.
Registration will take place from 9:35-10:35 a.m. in the function room at the Civic Center with the 5K walk going off at 10:45 and the run at 11. The fee is $9.
This event features a fast, runner-friendly course, with the start and finish lines located adjacent to the Civic Center.
Special awards include “Mean Runner” and “Guts” honors in addition to various age-group and team categories.
Runners should be wary of slick areas along the course, and the first 50 to sign up will receive a T-shirt.
Any questions, call Larry Tonzi at 532-7548 or Brent Bailey at 532-9059.