Joining a new team after moving from another state sometimes requires adjustments.
When Darik Frye moved from Ludlow, Mass., to Maine prior to this school year and joined Hampden Academy’s indoor track and field team this winter, no such adjustments were needed.
When Frye, a junior, moved, he immediately started doing his homework on the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League.
Frye, who ran cross country his sophomore year and has competed in outdoor track all through high school, made quite an indoor debut this winter, winning the EMITL title at 800 meters in 2-minutes flat and helping lead the Broncos to their first league championship since 2003.
“I did my research looking at times in everything, it’s definitely a lot different than down in Mass. It’s a lot more intense,” said Frye, whose old high school didn’t field an indoor track team.
Frye and his standout running partner in the distance events, senior Michael Bommarito, have flourished as they went 1-2 in the 2-mile run, 1-4 in the 800 and 2-3 in the mile in Saturday’s EMITL championships, with Bommarito winning the 2 mile.
“In the mile [Frye] was pushing me the whole way, right on my shoulder. [It’s the] same thing in speed workouts,” said Bommarito.
As it turns out, Frye and his new teammate formed a quick bond as training partners and friends.
“We definitely push each other in practices, push each other in races staying right behind each other,” said Frye, who is enjoying the camaraderie the EMITL has to offer.
“It’s also [a] very different, friendly atmosphere, everyone’s saying ‘Hey good luck, good job’,” he said. “It’s a great privilege to be on a team like this.”
The two runners will certainly be in the mix in Monday’s Class B state championships at Bates College, with Frye a contender in the 800.
Eaton has eye on Bangor
You could say Deer Isle-Stonington senior Audra Eaton is a jack-of-all-trades type of basketball player.
Not only does she excel on the basketball court, but she also has a background in dance (ballet, modern and jazz) and has done some modeling.
And oh by the way, she’s a 1,000-point scorer, hoping to lead the Mariners to their first trip to the Bangor Auditorium in 20 seasons.
Coach Darren Eaton’s club has a great chance to achieve that milestone, as DI-S, the No. 7 seed in Eastern Maine Class D, will host 10th-ranked Bangor Christian in a preliminary-round game tonight.
“Having her around has been a great plus for me. I’ve been blessed, she’s one of the better ones I’ve been able to inherit and diversify my kids around,” said second-year coach Darren Eaton, who is Audra Eaton’s uncle.
Eaton eclipsed the exclusive 1,000-point plateau on her first field goal in a regular season ending victory over Jonesport-Beals on Thursday.
Eaton, along with Anika Powers, Erica Hutchins and twins Heidi and Holly Brewer, have spearheaded the Mariners’ run to a 13-5 record.
Eaton has certainly worked hard to reach this milestone, as her father, Dean, rents out a gym in Stonington in the offseason so Audra can shoot around and do some running.
“My brother Dean has done a lot of this with her throughout her junior high and high school career. She’s been a gym rat, played a lot of basketball, been a very hard worker,” said coach Eaton.
Now, all that’s left for Audra, who according to coach Eaton may look to pursue dance after high school, is to get a chance to play on the coveted Bangor Auditorium floor.
“That would justify a great career in my opinion, that would be a nice icing on the cake,” said Eaton. “That’s every player’s dream. We’re a big basketball town down here. This would be a nice turnaround for my program, for her and for the school, I think.”
A dream for a dozen seniors
Winning Saturday’s EMITL girls championship certainly left a sweet taste in the mouths of Brewer High School’s 12 seniors.
After all, it had been a decade since the tradition-laden program had won back-to-back league championships (1996-99), and the 2009 edition of the Witches wanted to leave their own legacy.
“It’s just exciting to go out with a bang, to be part of the Orange Wave tradition,” said Kaitlin Noyes, who along with classmate Alison Keane finished 1-2 in the pole vault in addition to winning the 800.
Many of this year’s seniors played key roles as juniors on last year’s title team, but this time around, there’s something a little more special about it, especially considering where this long journey started four years ago.
“It means so, so, so much because if you look at our progression from freshman year, I don’t even know how many points we got, I don’t even remember what place we got, and I think we’ve just come together,” said sprinter and 4×220 relay anchor Erika Cote.
Brewer finished eighth in Easterns and scored 19-plus points in 2006, when the current seniors were freshmen.
“This whole meet is bittersweet because you’re so excited to be here but you don’t want to leave,” Noyes said after Saturday’s competition.
Classmates Mackenzie DeGraff and Kira Giroux rose up in their events as well, and even though the Witches entered the 4×220 relay up by 12 points over Bangor, Giroux tried to keep Brewer’s relay team of Aline Michaud, Noyes, Brooke Madden and Cote fired up.
“Kira tried to psyche us out and tell us we were down by two [points],” Cote said.
Now, the Witches head to the University of Southern Maine for Monday’s state championships, one of three to four teams hoping to end Scarborough’s four-year state-title run.