HAMPDEN, Maine — Sometimes, things can be a little uncertain early in the high school track and field season.
But a couple things were definitely clear after Friday’s Penobscot Valley Conference opener at Hampden Academy.
Fort Kent senior sprinter Jamie Pelletier will be blazing up the tracks this spring, and the Bucksport boys will make a serious run at conference and state championship hardware in Class C.
The Golden Bucks proved that theory by threatening to win the 10-team meet at Hampden Academy’s Weatherbee Complex until the very last event, scoring 131 points to finish second to Bangor, which compiled 136.
“That was probably the best thing about this early-season meet, to go against some [Class] A and B schools and have that competition,” Bucksport coach Adrian Stone said.
Hampden finished third in the boys field with 97 points, while John Bapst of Bangor was fourth with 72 and Dexter fifth with 47.
Penquis of Milo, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Piscataquis of Guilford, Fort Kent and Narraguagus of Harrington rounded out the competing teams.
The Bangor girls made it a sweep, piling up 236 points while John Bapst finished second with 122, Hampden third with 103, Fort Kent fourth with 50 and Bucksport fifth with 22.
The Warriors’ Pelletier, the defending Class C state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, had yet to set foot on a track or jumping runway this season, and she took advantage of the opportunity.
Pelletier went on to win the 100 in 13.21 seconds, the 200 in 27.33 in a good battle with Bangor junior Brittney Chapman, and Pelletier also took the long jump with a mark of 15 feet, 2.25 inches.
Pelletier and her teammates train on a dirt track, that is, when its not covered in snow, which it still is.
“We haven’t been on any track at all this year. We haven’t even long jumped at all because our pit was still under snow,” said Pelletier, who also finished third in the 400 meters.
In other words, Pelletier’s technique work this spring has been few and far between, forcing her to rely on her experience, which paved the way to her sound mark.
“This is her senior year, she’s done a really good job using her past knowledge and all of her skills,” said Fort Kent coach Kate Fecinta.
The Warriors, who have 26 athletes on the team this season, were in heaven on a beautiful, sunny day,
“It actually is, because none of us have been on [a track yet], and our freshmen have never seen something like this. This is something different for them to see, so I think they’re having fun with it,” Pelletier explained.
Pelletier and Bangor senior Dee Wilbur were the lone multiple individual winners in the girls meet.
Wilbur went on to capture both hurdle races, taking the 100 in 16.28 seconds and the 300 in 51.33.
Other individual winners included Casey Pray of Bangor in the 1600 race walk, Bangor’s Chapman in the 400, Maggie Bryan of John Bapst in the 800, Rachel Huber of Bangor in the 3200, Maria Ullo of John Bapst in the triple jump, Melanie Lawyerson of PCHS in the javelin, Julia Snyder of Hampden in the discus, Megan Hogan of Bangor in the high jump, Bangor’s Ericka Francis in the shot put and Katie Porter of Bangor in the pole vault.
The Bucksport Golden Bucks were certainly impressive in the boys meet, as they had two double-winners in Dominic Kone, who captured the 100 dash (11.57) and long jump (21-5.50), and Vincent Tymoczko, who took the 400 (52.03) and 200 (23.25).
“I expected [us] to start out strong, so we just went out and did it,” said Tymoczko, who teamed up with Kone, reigning 100-meter state champ Nate Warren and Jon Goodin on the Bucks’ winning 4×100-meter relay team (45.97).
Warren was third in the 100 dash while Tymoczko was second with Colin Whalen taking sixth, so a lot of the Bucks’ points could come from their sprinters this season.
“We’re really deep in sprinters, we’ve got state-caliber sprinters,” said Tymoczko. “We all excel in our own events and come together for the 4×1.”
With its second-place finish, Bucksport defeated Bangor, Brewer or Hampden for the first time since the 2005 season. The Bucks won the Class C state championship in 2004, which is high on their list this season.
“They’ve set their goals high, they’ve been working to mean it,” said Stone, who has about 30 boys on the team.
“Great turnout this year. We had a lot more kids than usually turn out,” Tymoczko said.
The Bucks will also have solid depth in the throws, as C.J. Breidt, Robert McGuire and Zach Ivers finished 2-3-4 in the shot put, Ivers third in the javelin and Sam Sheehan and River Robertson 4-5 in the discus.
Other top performances included a second-place finish from Mitchell Marks in the pole vault and Jonathan Grindle placing third in the 400 and 200.
John Bapst senior Chris Fogler jumpstarted his outdoor campaign on a speedy note, picking up three individual wins.
Fogler captured the 110 hurdles in 15.31 seconds, came back to win the 300 in 40.10 while clearing 5-10 to win the high jump.
Other individual winners included Cameron Doncet-Hall of Dexter in the race walk, Hampden’s Michael Bommarito in the 1600, Nate Wyman of Dexter in the 800, John Bapst’s Gabe Stewart in the 3200, Joe Leland of Penquis in the triple jump, Mitchell Herrick of Piscataquis in the javelin, Joey Quinn of Bangor in the discus, Chris Desmond of John Bapst in the shot put and Tim Smith of Bangor in the pole vault.