Three individuals and one team will be inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame at its 16th ceremony this fall. Selected are Bob Booker, Joel Croteau, Jim Wescott, and the 1957 Waterville Panthers High School boys’ cross-country team.
Two races will also be honored: the Bridgton 4 on the Fourth and Bucksport Tour du Lac 10-miler.
Bob Booker, now living in Pennsylvania, is a Brewer High School and University of Maine graduate. A veteran of 23 marathons and numerous races in the 1970s and 1980s, he published Maine Running Magazine from 1980-87 and founded Maine Running Camps. Booker directed Bangor’s Labor Day 5-miler, Walter Hunt 3K and several other races, and co-owned Phidippides Running Centers in Maine. He was also a coach and official, and certified numerous race courses.
Joel Croteau, a Biddeford resident and Biddeford High School teacher, has sustained four decades of running, with seven overall race wins and 162 age-group wins. He has established several premier Maine road races and running events that have raised thousands of dollars for charities. While mentoring hundreds of runners as a coach and teacher, Croteau’s running career surpassed 80,000 miles in 2010.
Jim Wescott of Belfast retired in 2003, coaching 25 years at Colby College in Waterville and at North Carolina State University. He led Colby to cross-country championships in 1992 and 1993, NESCAC championships in ’81, ’87, ’90 and ’93, and was 1990 the New England Division III Cross Country Coach of the Year. He was a president of NESCAC and the New England Division III Track & Field Coaches Associations. Wescott’s son, Seth, is a two-time Winter Olympics gold medalist.
The undefeated 1957-58 Waterville Panthers High School boys’ cross-country team swept 12 meets by large margins: the Eastern Maine Regional, Kennebec Valley Championships, Maine state meet and New England Championships. Their 19-point total is believed to still be the KVAC Conference record. Led by KVAC and state champion Bert Hawkins, team members were captain Ted Sack, Al Veilleux, Wayne Fotter, Wayne Cochrane, Roger Jeans and Carl Cliché. They were coached by school rincipal Clair Wood.
The Bridgton 4 on the Fourth, Maine’s largest 4-miler, was founded in 1977 by Phoebe and Jerry Levine and benefits Bridgton Public Library. Longtime directors Jay and Loraine Spenciner were succeeded by David Fadden, Fletcher Carr, and in 2006 by Jim Cossey.
The Bucksport Tour du Lac 10-miler was founded in 1976 by the late Anne Norton and her husband, Steve Norton of Bucksport, and succeeded by late Hall-of-Famer Fred Merriam and his wife, Joan Merriam of Bucksport. Chris Jones is now the race director.
The induction banquet begins with a social hour at noon, Nov. 14, at Killarney’s Restaurant at the Holiday Inn, Main Street in Waterville. It will be open to the public, but reservations are requested. Tickets are $25.
For reservations and information, contact Skip Howard, chairman, Maine Running Hall of Fame, 30 Richards Road, Glenburn, ME 04401-1239, (207) 947-4836, or firstname.lastname@example.org.