ORONO, Maine — Corey Conner spent much of the cross country season contending with a foot injury.
The University of Maine distance standout has returned for the indoor track and field season.
The senior from Townsend, Mass., won two events last Saturday at the Bates Invitational in Lewiston. Conner claimed the mile in 4 minutes, 51.63 seconds, which is the third-fastest time posted by a Black Bear runner.
The effort qualifies her for the ECAC Championships later this winter. Conner also was victorious in the 1,000 meters with a time of 3:00.05.
She returned to competition on Dec. 8 in a dual meet against the University of New Hampshire at Durham, N.H. Conner won the 3,000 meters with a 9:33.53 performance.
Bates defeated the UMaine women by a score of 201.5 to 192.5.
Sophomore thrower Robyn McFetters of Barrington, R.I., uncorked the fifth-best weight throw in UMaine history at Bates. Her heave of 52 feet, 6 inches, also qualified her for the ECACs.
The Black Bears competed Friday in the Joe Donaghue Collegiate Indoor Games and on Saturday are to join the men’s squad in the Reebok Boston Indoor Games at Northeastern University in Boston.
Some of the UMaine men also are slated to compete Saturday in the Terrier Classic.
James Reed is riding high for the men’s team after a record-setting effort at Bates.
The senior from Garmisch, Germany, sped through the 60-meter hurdles in 8.10 seconds to eclipse his own UMaine record by one-tenth of a second. That earned him a spot in the IC4A Championships.
Kelton Cullenberg of Chesterville, Frank Del Duca of Bethel and Alexander Moser of York Harbor each won two events.
Cullenberg captured the 5,000 (15:26.85) and the 3,000 (8:35.80), while Del Duca posted a 7.01 in the 60 meters and a leap of 22-5.75 in the long jump.
Moser ran to wins in the mile (4:20.04) and the 1,000 (2:34.00) as the Black Bears claimed the team victory with 239.50 points.
Old Town’s Jake Leithiser demonstrated his versatility and talent by winning the heptathlon with 4,782 points.
The sophomore won the high jump (6 feet, 5 inches), the 1,000 (2:45.42) and the long jump (21-8).
Dan Curts of Ellsworth High School has been named the Gatorade Maine Boys’ Cross Country Runner of the Year for 2012.
The junior enjoyed a successful fall, winning the Class B individual state championship with a time of 15:47.42. Curts helped Ellsworth finish fourth in the meet.
He then turned in a 17th-place finish at the New England Championships in 16:49.88 and followed up that performance by taking 25th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional, where he was clocked in 16:20.8.
Strong performances continue in the most recent Penobscot Valley Conference/Eastern Maine Indoor Track League “mini” meet at the UMaine field house.
Teal Jackson of Brewer trimmed more time off her Class A-best time in the 55 meters, running a 7.37. Only Kate Hall of Lake Region, in Class B, has gone faster (7.30).
Jackson also took the 200 in 26.14 seconds.
The teams return to action with two regular meets on Saturday. Bangor and Brewer headline the 10 a.m. action, while Old Town, Ellsworth and Orono are among the top squads in the 2:30 p.m. event.
Aleta Looker of Ellsworth is coming off double victories in the 800 and the two-mile (11:36.95). Her 2:20.27 in the 800 ranks second in Class B this winter.
Tia Jackson of Old Town covered the 400 in 1:02.70, the top Class B time of the season in Maine.
Bangor’s Casey Modery went 33-9.75 in the triple jump to move into the No. 2 spot in the state Class A rankings.
Among the boys, Jonathan Stanhope of Bangor posted a pair of victories, claiming the 400 (54.62) and the 800 (2:06.83). Don Boyer of Foxcroft Academy also was a double winner, taking the high jump (5-10) and the triple jump (41-0.75).
Two pole vaulters also excelled. David Frederick of Orono went over the bar at 13-8, which is the No. 2 vault of the winter statewide.
Joe Hayden of Brewer went up and over at 12-6, which is the second-best Class A vault this season.