What Could Have Been in 2020
The cancellation of the spring high school sports season due to the coronavirus pandemic left athletes a chance to run, jump and throw their way into the record books and spectators a chance to witness history. Let's take a look at the hypothetical races that could've happened and records that could've been broken this season.
A rubber match in the Class A girls 800
At last year's state championship, Thornton Academy freshman Mia-Claire Kezal edged Anna Folley of South Portland, winning in 2:18.82 to the junior's 2:19.09. The two duked it out again this winter, but this time it was Folley exacting revenge as she won in a state meet record of 2:16.04 with Kezal right behind in a PB of 2:17.44. The rubber match between Folley and Kezal would've been fascinating to watch. For Folley, it would be the opportunity to end her high school career with another state title. For Kezal, a win would give her a an opportunity to make history and finish with a potential four state titles in the event.
A Sub-9 3,200 Attempt
The 3,200 at the Glenn D. Loucks Games in White Plains, New York in the beginning of May often features some of the top distance runners in the country. Each winner since 2014 has dipped below 9:00, and that includes Dan Curts of Ellsworth who an all-time state best of 8:51.24 back in 2014. Five runners went sub-9 at last year's meet. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria of Mt. Ararat has competed in the event the past two years and ran a personal-best of 9:16 as a sophomore back in 2018. The Notre Dame-bound senior was in great form this winter as he broke the Class A meet record in the 2-mile, running 9:20.99 and cruising to another win in the mile (4:22.20). He went unchallenged in both events, which showed how fit he was at the time. Berry-Gaviria's sole goal of the spring season was to break the Curts' state record, and the Loucks Games would've given him a shot to do so.
A showdown in the Class A boys 1,600
The official results don't show it, but last year's Class A 1,600 was a thriller between Berry-Gaviria and Falmouth's Ben Greene. Greene, a sophomore at the time, nearly pushed the state's top distance runner to the breaking point, but Berry-Gaviria edged him at the line winning in 4:22.25. Unfortunately, Greene would get DQ'd for stepping inside the line. The stars were aligned for the two to race each other for a state championship this winter, but Greene sprained his ankle during a workout two weeks prior and Berry-Gaviria cruised to an easy win. Before injury, Greene was in great shape, having run state leading times in both the 800 (1:56.73) and the Mile (4:20.07) and was poised to make a serious run at Berry-Gaviria. We also can't get this far without mentioning Brunswick's Will Shaughnessy, who actually beat Berry-Gaviria by three seconds in the mile at KVAC indoor championship meet. Shaughnessy finished the indoor year with the fastest 2-mile (9:18.35) and second-fastest mile (4:20.46) in the state. Greene has the pure speed advantage over the two based on 800 times (Berry-Gaviria, 2:00.17; Shaughnessy, 2:02.13) , but Berry-Gaviria is one of best distance runners in state history, and Shaughnessy proved to be one of the top runners in New England last fall. This one would've been a doozy.
Maine's continued dominance in the shot put
After eclipsing the 60-foot barrier three times during the winter season, Falmouth senior Joshua Bradford was poised to continue the rich tradition of great shot putters in the state's recent history. From Jason Montano of Thornton Academy, Daniel Guiliani Jr of South Portland to Matt Brady of Biddeford, Jake Koffman of Orono, and to Austin Lufkin, Jacob McCluskey and Garrett Graham of Brewer, Maine has produced New England's best shot putters year in and year out. At least one Mainer has finished in the top five at New England's in the event for the past five year, which includes an impressive 1-2-3-5 finish in 2017. Bradford looked ready to continue Maine's impressive run of shot putters. Bradford, who was the runner-up to Montano at last spring's state meet, finished had the eighth best throw in the country this winter (61-02 ¼).
Records, record and more records
State and meet records shave fallen by the wayside in bunches lately in Maine, and the 2020 outdoor campaign would've been no different. Cheverus junior Victoria Bossong already has her name in the record books, and another record-filled season would help her case as the best sprinter in Maine high school history. The junior would've had chances to lower her all-time state record in the 400 (53.81) and have a shot of breaking the state best in the 200 set by Kate Hall of Lake Region, who ran a wind aided 23.69 in 2015.
Falmouth junior Sofie Matson, who has competed at two consecutive Footlocker National cross country championships, would've had the chance to break her own Class A meet record in the 3,200 (10:33) and also take a stab at the all-time event record of 10:13.9 set by Waterville's Bethanie Brown back in 2013. The junior ran the second fastest time in Maine history at last year's New England Championships in 10:24.07 to earn a runner-up finish. Another event that Matson could've have also taken a stab at the all-time state best is the 5k. Matson's only chance of taking down Brown's record of 16:41.86 likely would've been at New Balance Outdoor Nationals, but the junior ran 17:29.36 on the trails last fall.
Scarborough senior Jarett Flaker holds all-time bests in both the 100 (10.71) and 400 (48.23), and was hoping to lower those marks this spring. In a Kennebec Journal article published on April 15, Flaker stated he was hoping to break the 48-second barrier in this season. Coming into the season with a PB of 21.98 in the 200 meters, the Flaker also would've had the chance to break the state record of 21.82 set by Isaiah Harris of Lewiston back in 2015. Speaking of Harris, his 800 meter state record (1:49.63) likely would've stood pat this season, but his Class A meet record of 1:52.96 had a chance to go down due to the speedy legs of Westbrook senior Mahamed Sharif. Sharif, who's heading to UConn in the fall, ran a PB of 1:52.88 last spring and won the Class A indoor meet this winter in a season-best of 1:54.09.
The Class C 400 meet record of 58.47 set by Olivia Alford of Orono back in 2004 would've been in serious jeopardy this season.Winthrop's Jillian Schmelzer actually tied the record at last year's meet, running a PB, and Maranacook's Molly McGrail was a step behind her in 58.79.
While we will never know what might have happened in the 2020 outdoor season, it is a shame we won't get to watch the state's best compete on the track and in the field this spring.