University of Southern Maine freshman Ben Drummey opened his collegiate career on Saturday on his home runway competing in the pole vault. Drummey who competed for Biddeford High School won the Class A indoor pole vault title a year ago clearing a then-personal best of 16 feet.
Ben choose to stay close to home to compete for the Huskies, and of course, that meant the chance to be coached by his dad Mike who is a long-time Huskies assistant coach.
Drummey didn't have the best start to his first meet missing his first two attempts at his opening height of 15-5 but made the necessary adjustments to clear it on his third attempt. Ben got in a groove after that making 16-2 3/4 on his first attempt for a new personal best. After that, he cleared 16-6 to break the University of Southern Maine school record of 16-5 1/4 held by Ron Helderman. The bar went to 16-8 3/4 (5.10m) and Drummey cleared it again on his first effort to break the USM facility record of 16-7.
Currently, the mark ranks Drummey as the second-best vaulter in division three according to TFRRS.
Drummey wasn't the only former Maine high school athlete that had a big weekend. Former Yarmouth High School standout Anneka Murrin running for Loyola of Chicago at the GVSU Big Meet broke the school record in the mile with a 4:43.11 mile effort. The time was a ten-second personal best and currently ranks Murrin 38th in all of Division 1. The previous week Murrin was named the Missouri Valley Conference Female Track Athlete of the Week for her victory in the opening season cross-country meet where she clocked 17:11 to win by over thirteen seconds.
Hannah Steelman formerly of Orono, transferred to NC State this fall, and she opened her indoor track season with a strong 15:47.43 for 5k back on February 1st. Her time was a new personal best and ranks her fourth in Division 1 this winter.
WVU Tech senior Steven Smith a former South Portland High School racewalk standout currently ranks #1 in the country for NAIA in the 3k racewalk. Smith walked a 12:19.01 on February 5th, his time is a minute better than the second-ranked athlete.
Speaking of racewalking former Lewiston state champion Kayla Allen is ranked second in NAIA in the 3k racewalk. Allen who competes for Friends University walked 15:28.77 back on January 22nd. Stefanie Meacham who competed for Gorham is fifth-ranked in the NAIA in the 3k racewalk with her 15:39.37 effort competing for WVU Tech, while Hayley Bickford her high school teammate is ranked 10th with 16:39.93, she walks for Goshen.