Maine has enjoyed excellent representation in the New England track and field championships and this year should be no different.
The Pine Tree State’s finest athletes will measure themselves against their New England brethren on March 6 at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center.
Eastern Maine will be well-represented.
On the girls side, Bangor will send three individual qualifiers in four different events.
Senior Dee Wilbur was the Rams’ lone double-qualifier, in the 55 hurdles and 400. She was second in the hurdles in the state Class A championships, clocking 8.76 seconds, right behind Edward Little of Auburn’s Emily Dodge.
Wilbur and Brittney Chapman each qualified in the 400, and will run the 600 meters in New Englands, while Megan Hogan will compete in the high jump.
Brewer senior Kaitlin Noyes, who was fourth in Class A in the 800, will compete in the 1,000 while the Witches’ third-place 4×800 relay team of Brooke Madden, Michelle Haluska, Lily Sund and Sara Chavarie will compete as well.
Mount Desert Island record-breaking sprinter Danielle Hutchins qualified in all three of her signature events, and will compete in two of them.
Hutchins, who owns Eastern Maine Indoor Track League records in the 55 dash, 200 and 400 and the state record in the 400, will run the 55 and 300 in New Englands with teammate Destiny Kanu joining her in the 300.
Another Trojan, Heather Spurling, will run in the 2-mile while MDI will also send its 4×800 team of Catie Smith, Kymry Brooks, Spurling and Kailyn Russell.
Other notable qualifiers include Danielle Fossa of Waterville in the shot put and Shelby Tuttle of Waterville in the long jump and 55 hurdles.
On the boys side, the East will have great representation in the high jump, with Jadrien Cousens of Hampden Academy, Sean Seekins of Bangor and John Bapst of Bangor’s Chris Fogler all seeded in the event.
Fogler will also compete in the 55 hurdles.
Brewer junior sprinter Ben Sinclair, the Class A state champion in the 55 and 200, will compete in the 55 and 300 while Hermon’s Justin Cullens is also slated to run the 55.
EMITL 800 champ Darik Frye, a Hampden junior, will compete in the 1,000 while Orono’s Matt Claar will run the 600.
Hermon will also send a 4×200 relay contingent consisting of Nick Byers, Ryan Feeney, Jesse Graffam and Justin Cullens while Bangor’s 4×800 relay of John Moore, David Gamble, Sam Nisbett and Shea Patterson also qualified.
Hermon’s Byers is also seeded in the 1,000.
Witches take pentathlon title
Brewer High senior Mackenzie DeGraff proved she’s one of the best all-around track and field athletes in the state, winning the individual girls crown at the Maine State Pentathlon Championships on Feb. 19 at the University of Southern Maine.
DeGraff accumulated 2,568 points to outdistance Mount Ararat of Topsham’s Colby Gail by just under 400 points.
Not to be outdone, Brewer’s three-person team of DeGraff, Kaitlin Noyes and Caitlyn Wilson combined for 6,332 points to give the Witches the overall title.
DeGraff captured the 55-meter hurdles in 9.45 seconds while finishing second in the high jump and shot put and winning the long jump.
Noyes won the 800 meters going away in 2:28.98 seconds while Wilson took second in 2:36.81.
On the boys’ side, Bonny Eagle of Buxton’s Jamie Ruginski narrowly defeated Fogler of John Bapst to annex the individual crown.
Ruginski scored 3,450 points and Fogler 3,387.
Hampden Academy’s Cousens (2,978) and Matt Toothaker (2,952) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Ruginski won both the 55 hurdles (7.94 seconds) and long jump while Cousens earned first in the high jump.
Hampden’s Frye won the 1,000-meter race in 2:39.73.