ORONO — With an influx of returning talent and a freshman with an impressive youth track resume, all signs could be pointing toward a storybook season for the Old Town High School girls.
The Coyotes certainly looked good in their Eastern Maine Indoor Track League opener Saturday night, as Kayla Brooks claimed three individual wins while Tia Jackson and Katie DeShane each added another and contributed to a winning relay as coach Rod White’s club piled up 146 points to win the “A” meet at the UMaine field house.
Brewer finished second with 121 points, followed by Bucksport (66), Ellsworth (24), Central of Corinth (23), Mount Desert Island (22) and Foxcroft Academy (14).
Defending league champion Bangor took the “B” meet, scoring 156 points while John Bapst took second with 115.
Rounding out the scoring were Hermon (58), Hampden (55), Orono (29) and Mattanawcook of Lincoln (10).
Brooks, who missed her senior soccer campaign with an ankle injury, completed a tough 55 hurdles/55 dash double by winning both in 9.58 and 7.85 seconds, respectively, while later winning the triple jump with a mark of 31 feet, 9.50 inches.
“I never usually do both of those, (the) 55 dash just got my adrenaline going,” said Brooks.
Jackson won the long jump in her varsity debut, jumping 15-2 while she was third in the 200 and teamed up with DeShane, Micayla Hussey, and Alexa Dufor on Old Town’s winning 4×220 relay.
“(Jackson’s) going to help the team a lot. She just acts like she’s been doing it for so long,” said Brooks.
Even though Old Town was impressive Saturday, White knows that the season is still young and his Coyotes have a long ways to go.
“We thought we had a decent team coming in, Bangor, Brewer, Hampden they’re always good (so) we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “It’s a good start but its very early.”
The return of the speedy Hussey, who missed last season with a broken leg, should contribute to Old Town’s relay, while the versatility of Brooks and Jackson supplies even more depth.
Brooks, however, feels the short sprints will be where she’s most affective.
“I think my strongest event will probably be the 55 dash,” she said. “I started doing (hurdles) last year but I stopped doing them in the middle of the season.”
DeShane, who won the high jump by clearing 4-8, was also second in the 200 while Old Town’s other individual winner was Haley Prygrocki, who cleared 7 feet in the pole vault.
The “A” meet’s other double-winner was Teal Jackson of Brewer, Tia Jackson’s half-sister, who won the 200 in 27.47 and the 400 in 1:03.27.
In the “B” meet, Grace Maclean highlighted Bangor’s team victory with two individual first-place finishes and a third-place effort.
The sophomore, who was second in Class A in the hurdles last winter, took that event in 9.01 seconds while Jade Baumrind and Courtney Lizotte finished 2-3. Maclean also cleared 5 feet to take the high jump while she was third in the 200, which was won by teammate Tiffany Gray in 28.14 seconds.
Chevaughn Kacer’s 1:08.10 finish in the 400 and McKenna Unobskey’s 28-8 effort in the shot put accounted for the Rams’ other individual wins.
John Bapst’s Amanda Lalime was a double-winner, taking the 800 in 2:35.59 while covering the 2 mile in 12:57.04. Orono’s Shelby Wheeler, one of the state’s top pole vaulters, cleared 8-6 to win that event.