For Cayden Spencer-Thompson, being on one of the premier high school track and field stages in March not only provided experience but confidence and plenty of life and athletic lessons.

The Mattanawcook Academy sophomore was the lone representative of his class in the triple jump at the New Balance indoor national championships in New York City, and he saw the meet as an opportunity not only to compete against the best jumpers in the country but to learn from them.

“Traveling to New York and competing in nationals, it was really nice to see other athletes at that are up to my level and see how they warm up and see how they stay focused,” he said. “Being a sophomore it really taught me a lot.”

Spencer-Thompson has taken those lessons to heart so far this spring. With the outdoor track and field season only a few weeks old, he already owns the best triple jump ever by a Maine high school athlete.

His leap of 47 feet 6.75 inches came during a meet at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor on March 29.

Usually, performances like that are reserved for the stretch point in the season, when track athletes are at the peak of fitness. So Spencer-Thompson was surprised when he looked at the tape and saw his incredible result.

“I wasn’t really expecting the all-time record in my second meet, and I’m very excited about it,” he said.

Spencer-Thompson’s mark is the best recorded in state history, but it does not go into the official books as a state record, as those must be accomplished in state championship competition.

Before Spencer-Thompson’s mark, Scott Sawyer of South Portland held the best triple jump in state history at 46-5. It came in 1991.

The Class C state record, which Spencer-Thompson will have a chance to rewrite in June, is 45-9½, set in 2015 by Drew Gamage of Oak Hill in Sabattus.

Spencer-Thompson was introduced to the sport at the age of 5, participating in the Lincoln recreation department’s summer program. Coach Bernie Stockley recognized his talent almost immediately.

“He’s been working more between seasons than he did before,” Stockley said.

If the triple jump record isn’t enough, Spencer-Thompson has yet to lose in competition this spring. He has swept the high jump, long jump and triple jump in Mattanawcook’s first two meets.

He added to that by winning the long jump in a rainy meet at Bucksport on Friday.

Spencer-Thompson owns personal marks of 22-8¼ in the long jump and 6-5 in the high jump. He’ll be taking some time off from the latter to focus on the triple and long jumps.

“I strained my hip a little bit doing high jump,” Spencer-Thompson, who jumps just one day per week in practice, said.

While Mattanawcook has a dirt track, Spencer-Thompson and his teammates are able to train on a single long jump pit that is dug into the ground.

He believes that scaling back a bit on the high jump will allow him to shift his focus to his best two events, in particular the triple jump, which is usually one of the last field events held in a meet.

“I want to have some energy for triple jump,” Spencer-Thompson, who also competes on MA’s 4×100-meter relay team, said.

Spencer-Thompson also plays basketball and football at Mattanawcook and is a cousin of MDI distance runner Tia Tardy, who grew up in Lincoln and spent her freshman and sophomore years at MA.

Tardy, one of the best schoolgirl distance runners Maine has produced, will run at Bucknell University this fall. She has been an excellent role model for Spencer-Thompson as well.

“We grew up in the same town and she’s getting a full ride to Bucknell. It motivates me that I can do it, too,” Spencer-Thompson said.

As for the rest of this season, Spencer-Thompson has hopes of breaking 48 feet in the triple jump, and he’s already exceeded his expectations of going 21-5 in the long jump.

Follow Ryan McLaughlin on Twitter at rmclaughlin23

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...