Saturday’s Mount Desert Island Relays represent the highlight of the weekend for many Eastern Maine track and field athletes as the season reaches its third week.
The MDI Relays kick off at 11 a.m. in Bar Harbor.
There also is a full slate of action in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and competitors are undoubtedly excited about the likelihood of enjoying some warmer temperatures in the 50s and 60s after what has been a gray, chilly start to the outdoor season.
The performance leader board compiled by Derek Veilleux at his MaineTrackXC website (me.milesplit.com) shows Penobscot Valley Conference and KVAC athletes are setting some high standards early this spring.
Not unexpectedly, the list contains some of the same athletes who had already been dominating the track and field scene.
Among the girls, Teal Jackson of Brewer and Bethanie Brown of Waterville are off to strong starts. Jackson is the early state leader in both the 200 meters (25.70 seconds) and the 400 (1:00.43). She also ranks second in the 100 at 12.67, trailing Lake Region phenom Kate Hall (12.52).
The senior sprinter also has expanded her efforts to include the long jump and uncorked a leap of 17 feet, 5 1/4 inches during the April 15 meet on her home track at the Brewer Community School. Only Hall (17-10) has a better jump outdoors in 2013.
Brown continues to be the pace-setter in the distance runs. On April 11 at Winslow, the senior set a personal record in the 3,200 meters with a time of 10:22.41.
Brown also has run season bests of 4:58.53 in the 1,600 and 2:19.73 in the 800.
Bangor’s Grace MacLean owns the fastest 100-meter hurdles time thus far in 16.49, while Abby Weigang of Orono is the season leader in the pole vault at 8 feet, 6 inches. Other season leaders include Rachel Bergeron of Waterville in the shot put (35 feet, 5 inches) and Bridget Humphrey of Erskine Academy in South China (discus 106-6).
On the boys’ side of the ledger, Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet of Medomak Valley High in Thomaston has been going fast and far. The senior is the state’s leader in the 100 meters after running a PR of 11.46 in an April 11 competition at Belfast.
Hendrickson-Belloguet, a senior who spent his winter as a key contributor on Medomak Valley’s Eastern Maine Class B champion basketball team, ranks second in the triple jump at 43-0 3/4.
Jeremy Bissell of Brewer continued his improvement as a short-time long jumper last Saturday when he achieved a personal best with a jump of 21-2 3/4. He also reached a PR in the triple jump (42-6 1/4) and ranks third in the state.
Other PVC standouts who are out in front in their events include Foxcroft Academy senior Don Boyer in the 110 hurdles (15.39), senior Andrew Toothaker of Hampden Academy in the 300 hurdles (42.19) and Orono senior David Frederick in the pole vault (14-0).
KVAC representative Nick Danner of Waterville owns a state No. 1 throw of 180-9 in the javelin.
At least three competitors from the University of Maine have descended on Philadelphia for the annual Penn Relays.
Corey Conner and Kelton Cullenberg are scheduled to compete in their events Thursday night, while James Reed is gearing up for a Friday event.
Conner, a senior from West Townsend, Mass., goes into the 5,000 meters as the No. 1 seed. Her best time of the outdoor season was a 17:13.10 registered on March 29 in Orono.
Cullenberg, a junior from Chesterville, is entered in the 5,000 field on the men’s side. This season, he ran a PR of 14:25.72 at the Duke Invitational on April 5.
Reed, a junior from Garmisch, Germany, will again demonstrate his speed and skill in the 110-meter hurdles. His season best was a wind-aided 14.19 at the Texas Relays in late March.