ORONO — The opening weekend of the high school track and field season generally showcases top returning talent and promising newcomers, and the first meets of the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League season played out that way Saturday night at the University of Maine.

Veterans such as Grace Maclean of Bangor, Kayla Brooks and Jake Leithiser of Old Town and Shelby Wheeler of Orono excelled in their individual events, while Coyotes’ freshman Tia Jackson had a solid high school debut.

Jackson, who entered Old Town with a lengthy youth track resume, claimed firs-t and third-place individual finishes while Kayla Brooks posted three wins to help lead the Coyotes to a win in the team competition in the “A” meet.

The competitions featured seven schools in the “A” meet and the league’s other seven teams in the “B” meet, with the Old Town boys making it a sweep in the “A” meet, while the Hampden boys and Bangor girls won the “B’”meets.

The Old Town girls finished with 146 points, followed by Brewer (121), Bucksport (66), Ellsworth (24) and Central of Corinth (23) in Meet A, while the Rams collected 156 to claim Meet B, with John Bapst of Bangor (115), Hermon (58), Hampden (55) and Orono (29) rounding out the top five.

For the boys, Old Town finished with 176 points, while Brewer (100), Central (52), Ellsworth (31) and MDI (25) rounded out the top five in Meet A, while in Meet B, Hampden prevailed with 134 points, and Bangor registered 119.50, followed by Mattanawcook of Lincoln (37.50), Orono (34) and Hermon (32).

In the “A’” meet, Brooks wound up sweeping the 55 dash and hurdles, taking the hurdles in 9.58 seconds while winning the dash in 7.85 and capping her night with a winning mark of 31 feet, 9.50 inches in the triple jump.

Tia Jackson started her night by winning the long jump with a mark of 15 feet, 2 inches, while later taking third in the 200 in 28.42, which was won by her half-sister Teal Jackson of Brewer in 27.47.

Tia Jackson also helped lead Old Town’s 4×220 relay to a win.

Old Town’s other individual champs included Riley Marquis, who won the 800 in 2 minutes, 39.08 seconds, Katie DeShane’s 4-8 effort in the high jump and Haley Progrocki’s 7 feet in the pole vault.

Other individual winners included Aleta Looker of Ellsworth (mile, 5:42.22), Brewer’s Jackson (400, 1:03.27), and Kate McLeod of Brewer (shot put, 29-2.50)

In the “B” meet, Bangor’s Maclean, a sophomore who was second in Class A in the hurdles as a freshman,

won that race in 9.01 seconds while the state-record holder in the high jump also won that event, clearing 5 feet.

The Rams also got individual victories from Chevaughn Kacer in the 400, McKenna Unobskey in the shot put and Tiffany Gray in the 200 while Maclean was also third in the 200.

Orono’s Wheeler cleared 8-6 in winning the pole vault.

Other individual champs included: John Bapst’s Maggie Bryan (mile, 5:52.54), Amanda Lalime of John Bapst (800, 2:35.59 and 2 mile, 12:57.04), Hermon’s Maddie Page (55, 7.78 and Gabby Bryant of Hermon (long jump, 14-1.25), Sina Fehr of Bucksport (2 mile, 14:13.92), and Chelsea Kuzio of Hampden (triple jump, 30-3.75).

In the boys’ “A” meet, Old Town’s Leithiser got his season going in resounding fashion, clearing 6-3 to win the high jump, and went on to take the 55 hurdles in 8.09.

The Coyotes’ other individual winners included Matt Richard’s 18-3 effort in the long jump and Jacob St. Peter’s 24.16 finish in the 200.

Other individual winners included: Dan Curts of Ellsworth (mile, 4:45.52 and 400, 56.13), MDI’s James Magnani (55 dash, 6.95) and Cody Osborne of Brewer (shot put, 36-4).

In the “B” meet, Hampden dominated the sprinting events en route to opening its season with a win.

Coach Dave King’s team got triumphs from Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 55 hurdles in 8.32 while Roy Donnelly claimed the 55 dash in 6.92.

Other individual winners: Jon Stanhope of Bangor (mile, 5:01.45 and 2 mile, 11:10.30), Josiah Harris of Bangor (pole vault, 9-6), Nick Byers of Hermon (800, 2:06.12 and 200, 24.39), Orono’s Nick Peterson (shot put, 42-11), and Bangor’s Andy Prusaitis (long jump, 18-1.25),


Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...