Tolton finishes strong

Posted March 12, 2009, at 12:11 a.m.

Even though she barely missed out on earning a spot in this weekend’s NCAA track and field championships, University of Maine senior Vicki Tolton certainly has a lot to be happy with when she looks back on this indoor season.

Tolton, a native of British Columbia, went 3-for-3 in the 400 meters in postseason meets for the Black Bears, winning her signature race in the America East championships, New England championships and most recently the ECAC championships.

Tolton’s win in 54.31 seconds at the America East meet was good for a conference record while she posted a 54.02 at New Englands and 54.49 at the ECACs.

Tolton just missed qualifying for this weekend’s NCAA championship meet at the University of Arkansas, as she stood 23rd among runners entered with only 17 making the field.

By no means does that take away from what she has accomplished this winter.

“It definitely doesn’t, I qualified provisionally, which is a huge accomplishment for me,” Tolton said.

“It’s been awesome, it [was] a huge accomplishment, that’s for sure. Even though I slightly missed making nationals being able to win the conference, New England’s and ECAC’s is a pretty great feeling.”

Tolton has no time to rest on her laurels, as she and nine teammates will kick off the outdoor track season this weekend at the Cal State-Northridge Invitational.

Tolton is in excellent shape.

“We’re in peak condition right now. We’re going to come out here and jump right into outdoor,” she said. “It’s huge, especially being here in California.”

Also for the Black Bears, freshman Riley Masters of Bangor has continued his fine rookie campaign of late, including a dramatic victory at the Feb. 28 New England Championships in the mile.

Masters came in as the second seed in the mile, had to weather a restart as a runner got tripped shortly after the gun was fired, got slightly boxed in at the start but came on strong late in the race to win in 4 minutes, 7.41 seconds.

Connecticut’s Will Sanders wound up taking that race out hard, opening up a big lead through 800 meters, but he came back to Masters and the rest of the field. It then came down to Masters, New Hampshire’s Josh Kearns and Craig MacPherson of Keene State (N.H.).

Masters wound up outleaning Kearns at the line. Meanwhile, in the IC4A championship meet last weekend, Masters put together a solid performance in the 3,000 meters, finishing 12th in 8:20.92.

B2B registration starts Sunday

It may be only the third week of March, and some runners may still have winter gear out, but if you’re thinking about running the Beach to Beacon 10K this summer, the time to act is now.

Online registration for the Aug. 1 race in Cape Elizabeth will commence Sunday at noon, with the field expanding to 6,000 runners this year after last year’s 5,500 slots filled up in a record 26 hours.

Runners can only register online at www.beach2beacon.org, with the entry fee being $35. Race president Dave Weatherbie is urging potential participants to register as soon as possible on or after Sunday.

Also this year, the Kids Fun Run (1K), normally held after the main 10K event, has been moved to July 31, the day before the 10K. A time and location for this event has yet to be determined.

USATF hosting clinic

The Maine Association of USA Track & Field will hold its annual officials clinic for anyone interested in becoming a USATF-certified official or becoming recertified.

The clinic, set for April 5 in Orono, applies to all interested in officiating at the youth, high school or college levels.

The Orono Municipal Building on Main Street will host the clinic, which runs from 1-4:30 p.m. with registration at 12:30. Don Berry will lead the proceedings. He is a master track official and certification chair for Maine USATF.

There is no cost to attend, and track rulebooks will be provided, along with refreshments. Any questions, contact Mary Cady at 866-5674.

State meet sites set

The Maine Principals’ Association has revealed the host sites for this spring’s high school track and field championships, which are June 6.

Thornton Academy in Saco will host the Class A championship meet, while the Class B meet will be at Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor and Class C at McMann Field in Bath (Morse).

Thornton hosted the New England interscholastic championships last summer and last hosted a state meet in 2006, when torrential rains forced the meet to be stopped and finished a week later at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

MDI and Morse also hosted state meets that year, with the Class B affair in Bar Harbor the only one that was completed on the regularly scheduled date. The Class C competition was concluded two weeks later at Foxcroft Academy.

Morse hosted the Class B state meet last spring and the Class A meet in 2007. The New England meet is in Burlington, Vt., this year.

rmclaughlin@bangordailynews.net

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