With a little help from their friends, Eastern Maine high school track and field athletes will be able to compete in three meets over the next three weeks while renovations are completed at the University of Maine field house in Orono.
The Penobscot Valley Conference-Eastern Maine Indoor Track League had hoped to begin holding meets in the field house on Jan. 3, but renovations are behind schedule at the field house due to the discovery of additional hazardous materials and construction issues that arose once work began last spring on the 90-year-old structure.
Through cooperation with Colby and Bates Colleges, the University of Southern Maine, as well as the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, PVC-EMITL athletes will be able to compete Saturday, Jan. 11, at Colby College in Waterville; Saturday, Jan. 18, at USM in Gorham, and Monday, Jan. 20, at Bates College in Lewiston.
This Saturday’s meet is for all teams and begins at 3:45 p.m., but PVC-EMITL director Mary Cady is strongly discouraging fans and parents from attending because there is no spectator space in the track area and limited viewing from the glassed-in area above the track.
On Jan. 18, Class A schools Bangor, Brewer and Hampden Academy each will attend one of the three SMAA meets at USM, starting at 8 a.m.
On Jan. 20, the rest of the EMITL teams, the Class B teams, will have a meet at Bates College where there is also plenty of spectator space.
Cady is hopeful the UMaine field house will be ready for the PVC-EMITL meets Saturday, Jan. 25. The league’s championship meet is Saturday, Feb. 8, in Orono, followed by the state meets on Monday, Feb. 17, with Class A at USM and Class B at Bates.