It didn’t take long for the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House to start making a difference for the Black Bears’ track and field teams.
Coach Mark Lech’s teams held their first meet Saturday in the newly renovated facility on the Orono campus, and it resulted in a school record.
Wilson Adams broke a 50-year-old UMaine record in the hammer when he uncorked a throw of 62 feet, 7 1/4 inches.
The senior from Barrington, R.I., eclipsed the previous mark of 61-0.05 established by Richard Nason in 1964. The record came on Adams’ second attempt during finals, his fifth throw of the competition.
Adams performance helped the Black Bear men register a 106-71 victory against Holy Cross.
In the women’s meet, Holy Cross defeated UMaine 100.50-79.50.
Adams already was the No. 2 man on the Black Bears’ career hammer list after throwing 60-6 at the America East championships in February 2012.
He also has the fifth-best outdoor hammer throw in UMaine annals, with a 180-4 effort in 2012. Nason maintains a hold on that record, which is 187-7 1/2, also established in 1964.
The men turned in 14 first-place finishes, including two by senior sprinter Jimmy Reed. He won the 60-meter dash in 7.06 seconds and claimed the 60-meter hurdles in 8.09 seconds.
Daniel Roukey won the 200 meters in 22.86, and he also ran on UMaine’s victorious 4×400 relay squad (3:25.41) along with Andrew Toothaker, Joe Viola and Michael Lucas.
UMaine athletes will compete Saturday at either the Valentine Invitational at Boston University or a dual meet at New Hampshire.
Competitors in the Penobscot Valley Conference-Eastern Maine Indoor Track League also demonstrated that they are making progress this winter despite having only a few meets thus far.
Abby Reynolds of Bangor High School appears to like the surroundings in the New Balance Field House as she set a league record Saturday in the pole vault.
The junior cleared the bar at 10 feet, 2 1/2 inches to surpass the mark of 10-2 set by Shelby Wheeler of Orono in 2010. Reynolds’ performance is the best in Maine so far this season, according to the Maine TrackXC website.
Reynolds was the runner-up at the 2013 Class A indoor and outdoor competitions.
In the boys’ pole vault, Alex Wortman of Brewer claimed the top spot in Maine at 13-6.
Synclaire Tasker of Brewer continued to establish herself as one of the top performers in Class A as she took first place in three different disciplines on Saturday.
Tasker claimed a victory in the 55m hurdles with an 8.75 clocking, but her 8.74 effort in the trials ranks No. 1 Maine this season, regardless of class.
She also solidified her top spot among Class A competitors by turning in a personal record of 35-10 ½ in the triple jump and running a 26.82 to win the 200.
Meanwhile, Bangor’s Tiffany Gray showed that she has recovered well from knee surgery. The senior went 35-7 in the triple jump, which ranks No. 2 thus far in Class A.
Georgetown-bound Aleta Looker of Ellsworth had strong performances in winning the mile (5:08.60), which is tops in the state, and logging a Class B-leading 1:00.03 in the 400.
Eagles teammate Dan Curts, who is headed for Iowa State in the fall, shaved nearly six seconds off the state’s best two-mile time with a 9:28.71 effort.
The PVC-EMITL Championships are scheduled for Saturday at UMaine’s New Balance Field House. The meet begins at 2 p.m.