Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Most high school winter sports are in a groove of regular game schedules. Indoor track is significantly different this winter. Even though the first day of practice was Nov. 18, Cony has not yet had a regular season meet this season.
Even stranger is that, for athletes at Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference schools who haven’t qualified for the KVAC meet, their competitive season ends in mid-January. Local coaches say it’s an issue of only so many facilities in the area that can host an indoor meet.
Cony has its first meet Friday at Bowdoin. The Rams also have meets On Dec. 30 and Jan. 3.
“Within seven days, we have three meets,” Cony coach Peter Marsh said. “I really wanted to attend the USM relays, but those are on the 28th, and that would have given us four meets in seven days.”
One good thing about all that practice time is that Cony often has the services of Bethany Dumas, a former Cony and USM standout who volunteers as an assistant coach with the Rams.
“She is an incredible athlete, a great coach,” Marsh said. “She’s talked about going to grad school, which I’m disappointed about. The more she’s around, the more she works with the kids, the better for the kids. I really enjoy having her around to help.”
To keep everyone loose, some of those practices have been unusual.
“I try to be as creative as I can,” Marsh said. “Some practices, we might play dodge ball. There’s been days we set up obstacle courses and had teams. Sometimes being an educator helps with creativity, especially being in elementary school myself.”
Lawrence has had one meet so far — and the last regular season meet for the Bulldogs is Jan. 18.
“Normally our schedule is better than that,” Lawrence coach Tim Alberts said. “We always have a bye week in January — the second or third week — and we’re going to be done by then.”
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, they had several athletes qualify for at least the KVACs in their meet Dec. 7 at Colby College, including Alexis Chamberlain (400, long jump), Briannah Bickford (hurdles, long jump), Crystal Crowell (shot put), Jordyn Poulin (shot put), and Sierra Thibodeau (hurdles). Marissa Paquette, who was slowed by a back injury during indoor season last winter, provisionally qualified in the 800, and Thibodeau tied a school record with a pole vault of 7 feet, 6 inches.
“She could possibly go over 8, and that would be very helpful to us,” Alberts said.
With Poulin, Crowell, Thibodeau, and Sydney Emery, Lawrence is deep in the shot put. Alberts thinks Poulin has a chance to win the KVACs based on her practice throws, and he adds that Crowell could finished in the top three or four at KVACs.
For Chamberlain, that meet on Dec. 7 was the first indoor meet of her high school career. She plays field hockey in the fall, and last winter played regular minutes on the successful Lawrence girls basketball team before starring as an outdoor track athlete in the spring.
“Once outdoor track came around, she just flourished, becoming the school’s all-time record holder in the long and the triple jump,” Alberts said. “When she got done, I was convinced that she would come out for indoor track.”
At Colby, Chamberlain finished second in both the long jump and the 400-meter dash.
“We’re just looking for good things from her,” Alberts said. “Based on what we’ve seen, she’ll be one of our top scorers, meet in and meet out.”
One of the best individual performances in that Dec. 7 meet at Colby was by Jade Canak of Erskine. Canak competed in the 55 hurdles, the long jump, and the triple jump, and won all three events.
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