June 24, 2018
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Local athletes chasing down state track championships

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff


Grace Maclean, Teal Jackson and Michelle Haluska certainly had a memorable EMITL championship meet, with each athlete winning three events.

Bangor sophomore Maclean, Brewer sophomore Jackson and Witches’ senior Haluska will be three athletes from Eastern Maine to watch out for in Monday’s Class A state championship meet at the University of Southern Maine.

The Class B teams will compete at Bates College in Lewiston, and both meets get under way at 10 a.m.

Maclean, who helped lead coach Jaime Cooke’s Bangor girls to their second consecutive conference championship last weekend, is the defending state champion in the high jump, in which she holds the state record (5 feet, 6.25 inches).

She has cleared 5-2 so far this winter, and top seed Caroline Summa of Cheverus holds a seasonal best of 5-4.

Maclean will also be a threat in the long jump, in which she’s seeded third, and the 55 hurdles, in which she and Brunswick’s Allison Hill have both run 8.81.

Jackson wound up sweeping the sprinting events at the EMITL championships, and broke the 1-minute barrier in the 400 in the process, posting a 59.49.

That helped land her the top seed in that event, and she also owns state-best marks in the 55 dash (7.40) and 200 (26.60).

Haluska won’t be running the distance triple at states, as she’s seeded in both the 800 and the 2 mile.

She’ll have solid chances to place high in each race as the No. 4 seed in the 800 and No. 7 runner in the 2 mile.

Bonny Eagle of Buxton, the SMAA champion, and KVAC winner Brunswick are among the team favorites, but if Bangor and Brewer can utilize their top seeds, they’ll have chances to be in the mix.

The Rams also feature solid depth, with Anna Hayden, Courtney Lizotte and Leanne Violette among the top seven in the pole vault, while Tiffany Gray is a threat to place high in the 200 and triple jump.

For the boys in Class A, one of the East’s best bets for points will come from Tristan Wortman of Brewer, the top seed in the 55 hurdles and the No. 2 man in the pole vault.

Some of Bangor’s lead horses include Andy Prusaitis in the triple jump and Jonathan Stanhope in the mile.

SMAA champ Scarborough is looming as the team favorite.

In Class B, the Old Town boys and girls feature the top-notch talent to pose a threat in what should be a low-scoring meet.

Waterville is a favorite in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions, while the York girls and Greely and Falmouth boys look strong as well.

Leading the way for the Old Town boys will be senior Jake Leithiser, who is the top seed in the hurdles and high jump and No. 2 man in the 400.

The Coyotes will also need big points from Jacob St. Peter and Dan Gastia to have a shot at a top-three finish.

Evan Piccirillo of Hampden, Dan Curts of Ellsworth and Nick Byers of Hermon are Eastern Mainers to watch out for in the distance races, while Miguel Caballero of Orono is a threat to place high in the 200.

For the girls, Old Town is led by Kayla Brooks, Katie DeShane and Tia Jackson.

Jackson boasts Class B’s top time in the 400 at 1:01.01, and the freshman will also run the 200 and compete on the Coyotes’ 4×200 relay.

John Bapst’s Jen Daley and DeShane are the top two seeds in the high jump, while Brooks will compete for gold in the triple jump.

Elsewhere, Shelby Wheeler of Orono will be gunning for her second consecutive state title in the pole vault, and she’s cleared 10 feet this season.

The 800 meters is loaded with top Eastern Maine athletes, headlined by top seed Katie Feeney of Hermon, along with Aleta Looker of Ellsworth, John Bapst’s Maggie Bryan and Chelsie Oldfield of Foxcroft Academy.

Bapst will also be a threat to win the 4×800, as the foursome of Casey McGuire, Amanda Lalime, Bryan and Laura Donovan claimed gold at Easterns in 10:31.85.

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