Around the Track with Sam Bonsey

Rain last Friday and Saturday delayed most meets around the state, but there were several meet earlier in the week that led to more state-leading performances. Let's take a look at the highlights from last week.

Sprinting Highlights

Scarborough freshman Jarett Flaker continues to tear up the track in 2017. Competing in his first 100-meters as a high schooler, Flaker sprinted to a time of 11.10 seconds to set the all-time freshmen state record. He led the Red Storm to an impressive 1-2-3 finish. Senior Ben Batoosingh was second in 11.30 with freshmen Ben Hatch third in 11.41. Amidst all the attention and accolades Flaker and All-American Sam Rusak Scarborough have received, Hatch is quietly having a tremendous freshman season. While Flaker has had a season for the ages, Hatch finished third in the 55-meters at the Class A State Championships this February, and has already broken 24 seconds in the 200m three times in his career. Having Flaker and Hatch for the next three seasons will help keep Scarborough in the Class A state title hunt for years to come. The Red Storm still have three of the top five fastest 100-meters in the state regardless of class. If all continues to go well for Flaker, it wouldn't be a shock to see him dip under 11 seconds later this season. Pretty remarkable. Flaker is running times a senior would dream of running in Maine and is posting these times as a freshmen.

Staying in the SMAA, Thornton Academy senior Johnny Rosario won the 100m and 200m at Marshwood High School on May 3. Rosario, who transferred to Thornton from Cambridge, Massachusetts in the fall, won the 100m in 11.11 seconds and the 200m in 23.20. Rosario won the 300-meters at the MIAA Division One Championships last February running 35.47 seconds, and has become one of the top sprinters in the state regardless of class. He ranks second in the state in both the 100m and the 200m.

Messalonskee distance standout Zachariah Hoyle showed impressive range at Lawrence High School, as he competed in the 200m, 400m and 800m. He won the 400m and the 800m running 52.87 and 2:05.70, and finished second in the 200 to Tanner Burton running 23.95 seconds. Burton won in 23.56. Hoyle's times in the 400m and 800m are no surprise (he has PB of 51.79 and 1:56.79), but his 200m really stands out. The time ranks 15th in Class A, which is impressive when you consider how deep the event is in the class and the fact that Hoyle isn't a sprinter in the traditional sense. His times in the 200m and the 400m appear to indicate that he's ready to run well under 2:00 in the 800m this spring.

Hoyle's teammate, the aforementioned Tanner Burton, won the 200m as previously state, and also won the 110-meter hurdles, running 15.13 seconds which set a personal-best in the event. Burton has shown good form early in the season -- he ran 15.49 earlier in the season -- and is expected to challenge All-American Sam Rusak of Scarborough for the Class A title in the event. Burton was second to Rusak last June.

Hoyle and Burton weren't the only ones setting fire to the track at Lawrence. Lawrence senior Kiana Letourneau blew away the fields in both the 100m and 200m. Burton became the third athlete in the state this spring to dip under 13 seconds in the 100m, running 12.80 to win by nearly a second. She followed up with a win in the 200m, running 26.72 seconds, which is the second-fastest time in Class A. The Class A girls' 200m is setting up to be one of the most compelling events of the State Championship season with Letourneau, Cheverus' Emma Gallant and Emily Turner all vying for an individual title.

Gray-New Gloucester sophomore Madison Post won the 100m and 200m at York High School on May 4. Post took the 100 in 13.64 seconds, then won the 200 in 27.22. Which is just off her PB of 27.21. Post is one of three girls in the state to have run under 13 seconds in the 100, after running 12.84 on her home track on April 28. After finishing 10th in the 200m last June, and third in the event at the indoor championships this February, Post looks ready to challenge for an individual state title.

Field Highlights

Biddeford senior standout continued his stellar start to his spring season at his home track back on May 2. Brady threw 61 feet, 3 inches in the shot put to mark the second consecutive week he's thrown over 60 feet. It's pretty amazing that he's thrown over 60 feet twice in his high school career and they have come in consecutive weeks to open the spring season. He then followed with a win in the discus, throwing 161 feet, 11 inches, which set a PB in the event by more than five feet. The throw ranks him second in the event behind Orono's Jake Koffman who holds the all-time state record. Brady finished third in both the shot put and the discus at the New England Championships last year and appears to be much further ahead at this point than he was last year. If it wasn't for Koffman in the discus and Andrew Lufkin of Brewer in the shot put, Brady might be the New England favorite in both events.

Lufkin, Koffman and Jacob McCluskey, Lufkin's teammate, faced off in the shot put and discus at the Brewer Relays on Monday. Koffman won the discus throwing over 190 feet for the third time this season, throwing 190 feet, 2 inches, McCluskey was second in 155-06 feet, with Lufkin third throwing 153-07. Lufkin would get the better of Koffman in the shot put, winning with a throw of 56 feet, 5 inches. Koffman threw 52-01.75 feet, with McCluskey third in 44-01.

Staying with the throwing theme, Hampden Academy senior Daija Misler is off to a terrific start in her final outdoor season. She's already thrown over 40 feet in the shot put three times this season, and threw a PB of 41-08.75 feet back on April 28, which is the top mark in the state. She followed that up with a win at the Husky Throwdown in Pittsfield, throwing 40-0.25 feet and also won the discus throwing 114 feet, five inches. That mark currently sits atop the state leaderboard. Misler finished third at the Class A State Championships in both the shot put and discus last June, and her performances to start the 2017 season should make her the individual title favorite in both.

Westbrook's Nyagoa Bayak continued her fantastic start to her 2017 season with wins in both the high jump and triple jump on May 2 at Cheverus High School. The sophomore jumped 34 feet, 7.5 inches in the triple, then cleared 5 feet, 7.75 inches in the high jump. The mark in the high jump better her previous state-leading clearance of 5-05 feet, which she cleared back on April 19 at the Tom Foley Invitational at Falmouth High School. Bayak currently ranks second in the state in the triple jump behind Old Town junior Olivia Damboise, who competed at the Brewer Relays on Monday. Damboise jumped 35 feet, 10.25 inches to set a PB by more than a foot. Damboise is the reigning indoor and outdoor Class B State Champion in the event and looks ready to make another appearance on the podium at the New England Championships this June. Damboise finished seventh last year.

Distance Highlights

A Western Maine Conference meet at York High School on May 4 gave way to some great times in the distance events. The most notable performance of the meet had to come from Yarmouth's Anneka Murrin, who won the 800-meters in a state-leading time of 2:17.87. Murrin won the race by nearly eight seconds over Laura Kenealy (2:25.44). Carolyn Todd of Greely was third in 2:26.62. The time set a PB of Murrin and also marked the second time she's gone under 2:20 (she ran 2:19.94 at the New England Championships last June). Murrin is off to a great start this season. She started her season at the Tom Foley Invitational at Falmouth High School back in April, running a state-leading time of 5:12 in the 1,600-meters, and ran 2:23 at Cape Elizabeth High School last week. After finishing second at the Class B State Championships in the 800 to Kaylee Porter of Erskine Academy, Murrin looks poised to challenge for a state title in either the 800 or the 1,600. The Clippers got another outstanding run from junior Luke Laverdiere who won the 1,600m running 4:21.75, which is just have his PB of 4:21.75 that he ran last week.

Speaking of Porter, the Erskine Academy junior won the 800m at Lawrence High School running 2:21.89. The time now sits as the second-fastest in Class B and the third-fast regardless of class. She's also have to a very strong start in 2017 having opened her season with a 27.96/1:01.43 200m/400m double back on April 27. Those marks rank eighth and third respectively in Class B. Her fast times early in the season show she's ready to run sub-2:20 in the 800m very soon. She broke 2:20 on three occasions last year and has a PB of 2:17.10.

The middle-distance trend continues with South Portland junior Juliana Selser. Selser broke 2:20 for the third time of her outdoor career, running 2:18.86 at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish back on May 1. In the process, Selser beat two really high-quality 800m runners in Kayla Raymond of Bonny Eagle and Irish Kitchen of Gorham, who were eight seconds back of Selser in 2:26.52 and 2:26.94 respectively. Kitchen set a PB in the race and was second at the Southwestern Championships this indoor season, while Raymond has already run 2:22.02 this spring. After an indoor season where Selser ran 2:14.30 and finished fourth at the New England Championships, she seems to be picking up right where she left. She's running faster at this point in the season then compared to last year, and should be in the discussion for as a New England title favorite in the event. Selser finished 10th last June at New England's, running an outdoor PB of 2:15.79.

Westbrook senior Joshua Lombardo became the second runner in Class A to break 10:00 in the 3,200-meters this spring. Lombardo joined Paul Casavant of Hampden Academy by running 9:54.41 at Marshwood High School back on May 3 to win by nearly 90 seconds. The time set a PB and marked the first time Lombardo has run under 10:00 in his career. It's an impressive time for Lombardo when you consider he ran all alone and wasn't being pushed at all. You'd expect him to run much faster when he has the right competition. The Class A 2-mile should be one of the marquee events of the championship season as several runners have a chance to win the event on any given day. If Lombardo wasn't on that list of runners, he certainly is now.