ORONO, Maine — Sometimes, success in one sport can pave the way to greatness in another.
Central of Corinth junior Rebekah Campbell is putting that mentality to good use this spring.
One of the top basketball players in Eastern Maine, Campbell has experienced success in the throwing events for the Red Devils’ track and field team this spring, and she put herself in solid position for success at the championship meets in a 10-way meet at Orono High School Saturday afternoon.
“I feel like my strength is incredible, it feels so different,” said Campbell, who won the discus and was second in the shot put and fourth in the javelin. “I feel way, way, way stronger than I did at the beginning of the season. And I’m really interested to start summer ball and see the difference.”
Campbell’s winning throw in the discus was 82 feet, 1 inch, while she threw 28-3.25 in the shot and 74 feet in the javelin.
The Old Town girls and Elan School of Poland Spring boys went on to win the team competitions.
Coach Rod White’s Coyotes compiled 160.5 points, just ahead of Orono’s 136. Hermon finished third with 98.5 points, Central fourth with 93 and Dexter’s 32 was good for fifth.
Elan’s boys wound up with 152 points while Old Town had 133 to come in second. Hermon took third with 85, followed by Orono (76) and Dexter (57).
The girls’ meet was also highlighted by Orono junior Shelby Wheeler, who continues to soar to new heights in the pole vault.
Wheeler, who cleared 10 feet, 2 inches over the winter to set an Eastern Maine Indoor Track League record, snapped Orono’s outdoor school record with a vault of 10-3, which would’ve also been good for a Class C state record had this been a state championship meet.
After she soared over 10-3, there was no wild celebration, just mere focus as Wheeler attempted 10-9.
“I really want the PVC record next week which is 10-6 and a quarter, it would’ve been really nice to go 10-6 or 10-9 this week,” said Wheeler.
Hermon’s Chantelle Haggerty has held the conference record since 2002.
“It was really cool to get the school record but it’s the PVC record that I really want,” Wheeler said.
Ellen Volmers, a former Orono vaulter, holds the Class C state mark of 10-feet even.
Central’s Campbell is finding a niche for the discus, and she’s hoping that plus a great deal of weight training will aid her basketball success.
“That’s definitely the one reason why I decided to do track, because I needed the weight training, and all the physical things of it would help me to be a better rebounder, better shooter,” Campbell said.
Improving on marks and distances were goals set by some coaches because the conference championship meets are set this weekend.
“To put kids in events where they’re on the bubble or where they could use a faster seed time or faster seed distance, that’s exactly what we were trying to do today,” said Orono coach Chris Libby, whose boys and girls should contend for PVC Class C supremacy.
Old Town, which should contend in the big-school meet, got multiple victories from top athletes such as Kayla Brooks, Katie DeShane and Haley Prygrocki.
Brooks claimed both the 100 hurdles (17.30 seconds) and 100 dash (13.17) while leading off the Coyotes’ winning 400-meter relay team.
DeShane took both the 200 dash, running 28.03 while teammate Kelsey Maxim, who won the 800, was second. DeShane also cleared 5-2 to win the high jump.
DeShane and Maxim also teamed up with Brooks and Alexa Dufour on the winning 400 relay squad.
Prygrocki uncorked a throw of 103 feet even to claim the javelin while taking the shot put, throwing 29-2.
Other individual winners in the girls’ competition were Analies Dyjak of Orono in the race walk, Hermon’s Caitlin Barrows in the 1600 and 3200, Old Town’s Dufour in the 300 hurdles and Holli Kenison of Orono in the long and triple jumps.
In the boys’ competition, Old Town’s Jake Leithiser and Nick Peterson of Orono were among the multiple-event winners.
Leithiser was victorious in both hurdle races, taking the 110s in 16.81 seconds and the 300s in 41.85 while Peterson won both the shot put (40-6) and javelin (148-5).
Leithiser was also second in the long jump, which was won by Hermon’s Ryan Feeney with a mark of 20-1.
Other winners included Hermon’s Justin Cullens in the 100, Andrew Breitel of Elan in the race walk and 3200, Elan’s Sumner Queen in the 1600, Gabe Schwartz of Elan in the 400 and discus, Nathan Wyman of Dexter in the 800, Elan’s Jack Peters in the 200 and triple jump and Mackenzie Bowen of Old Town in the pole vault.