Individual and team confrontations alike will take center stage at Foxcroft Academy’s Oakes Field Saturday afternoon, when the Penobscot Valley Conference Small School (Class C) track and field championships will be held.
Preliminary heats get under way at 11 a.m., and the John Bapst of Bangor boys and girls come in as defending champions.
The Crusader girls have dominated this meet, winning the last eight conference championships.
Coach Bruce Pratt’s club appears well-suited to continue its dominance into the new decade, as many of the Crusaders’ points may very well come in the distance events.
John Bapst is seeded for a whopping 59 points in the 4×800 relay, 1600, 800 and 3200, led by junior Maggie Bryan, who will run the 4×800 and should be right there in the 1600 and 800.
Fort Kent’s Gabby Naranja has been enjoying an outstanding spring in the distance events, with personal-bests of 5 minutes, 36.24 seconds in the 1600, 2:31.04 in the 800 and 12:30.84 in the 3200.
She’ll run all three Saturday, and will be challenged by Bapst’s Bryan and Mary and Adrienne Carmack in the 1600, Bryan and Faith Mackey of Searsport in the 800 and the Crusaders’ Carmack sisters in the 3200.
John Bapst’s other leading athletes include Jen Daley and Stesha Rudnicki, seeded 1-2 in the high jump; top triple jumper Caroline Benner and Sarah Wardell in the hurdles and triple jump.
Orono is John Bapst’s chief challenger, and the Red Riots have enjoyed postseason success on the track this year with a runner-up finish in the EMITL championships.
Coach Chris Libby’s nucleus is led by Holli Kenison in the jumps and hurdles, pole vaulter Shelby Wheeler, who will be gunning for Chantelle Haggerty’s PVC record of 10 feet, 6.25 inches, top race walker Analies Dyjak and sprinter Alex Crocker.
The boys’ meet is spread out in terms of the team competition, with a number of different schools posing as threats.
Bucksport is a legitimate contender with its top athletes, including sprinting star Vinny Tymoczko, who could easily contribute 40 points for the Golden Bucks.
Tymozcko owns personal-bests of 11.40 in the 100 dash, 50.70 in the 400 and 23.40 in the 200. He’ll also run on Bucksport’s 1,600-meter relay team.
The 100 dash appears to be one of the most wide-open events on the slate, with Tymoczko, Schenck of East Millinocket’s Jared Waite, Stuart Lenz of John Bapst and Colin Whalen of Bucksport all contenders.
Lenz leads John Bapst’s contingent, and he’s also entered in the 400 and 200 dashes, along with the triple jump.
Other team contenders include Foxcroft Academy and Orono.
Coach Chris Libby’s Red Riots feature one of the league’s top throwers in Nick Peterson, who is the top seed in the javelin while he’s also a threat for gold medals in the discus and shot put. Teammate Conor O’Donnell is also strong in the javelin.
The Riots also go four-deep in the pole vault with Justin Brooks, Kody Stockley, Tyler Higgins and Chris Guillaume.
The Riots also have the top-seeded 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams, and those top seeds make Orono a threat to bring home the title.