By Lloyd Jones
FRYEBURG — It was a record-setting night for the Fryeburg Academy indoor track and field team on Friday when the Raiders competed in the Western Maine Conference Championships on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
Freshman Gwen Boros broke the school mark in the long jump with a winning leap of 15-feet, 10-inches to pace the girls from Fryeburg to a fourth place showing in the team standings, just two points behind York in the 14-school meet.
Christian Bedell broke the school record in the 800 meters to help lead the Fryeburg boys to and overall fifth place finish, just four points behind Cape Elizabeth.
"Overall a fine evening for the Raiders," a smiling Coach Kevin McDonald said of the results.
Boros has jumped ahead of her years this winter for the Raiders and timed the best jump of her career for the biggest stage to date.
"Quite a feat for this young lady," McDonald said. "Gwen has worked very hard this season and it is showing at just the right time. This distance seeds Gwen in seventh place for the Class B State Meet to be held Saturday (at Bates College at noon). Gwen is also seeded eighth in the 400-meter dash and finished second at conference championships in the event. She also runs the anchor leg on our top seeded 4x200-meter relay. An impressive showing for a freshman."
Bedell put the pedal to the metal in the 800 meters, finishing second in 2:03.88, to set the new school record.
"Christian has been a solid athlete all season and we knew he had a fast time within him, but he had not gone below 2:06," McDonald said. "This has set the stage for a fantastic race at states as Christian, who is seeded sixth, will have fast company all around him. A fierce competitor, we believe Christian will rise to the occasion and produce a fine 800."
McDonald said there were a host of other strong performances by the Raiders. Allenceiah Waiters ran to fourth place in the 400 meters and anchored the junior 4x200-meter relay to a third place finish. Joining Waiters on the relay were Olivia Plekie, Jen L'Hommedieu and Cam Ghadfa.
Malina Voter placed second in the junior high jump and just missed at 4'8".
"Malina has been a bit frustrated with her jumping but picked up the second place to help the team in the point total," McDonald said.
Kasey Kneissler had a breakout day in the junior shot put, winning the event with a throw of 33' 7.75".
"A huge PR which seeds her in fourth place at states," McDonald said. "Coach (Jim) Cummings has worked wonders with the throwers. To have Kasey win and Breanna Burnell finish fifth speaks volumes about his program. The team is blessed to have Coach Cummings on board.
Bridget Tweedie made a statement to the rest of the Pine Tree State in winning the 55- and the 200-meter dashes.
"Bridget is seeded second in the 55 meters and seventh in the 200 at states," McDonald said. "Bridget also anchored the No. 1 seeded 4x200 relay team to a win Friday night. Joining Bridget on that relay were Lexi Charles, Skye Collins and Gwen Boros. Coach (Bobby) Collins has his sprinters ready at just the right time. We, along with everyone else, have been battling the weather and practice time has been hard to come by. However Coach Collins has got this group up and on their toes and ready to race. Coach Collins will have all his sprinters ready for Saturday and we should see some incredible racing."
McDonald believes the boys' 4x200-meter relay may be the race of the meet at Class B State Championships as seven/tenths of a second separates three teams. Fryeburg, Old Town and Mt Desert have all run under 1:37.00.
"The relays are the last event of the day and the Bates Field House will be rocking for both the girls and boys," McDonald said. "I don't think there is a more exciting event and I know no one will be backing down. This showdown will be epic! Our relay is made up of Jared Chisari, Miah Schrader, Max Kummer, Christian Bedell and Spencer Thomas. Spencer was unable to compete Friday and the boys still ran 1:37.45. They will need to take a second off that at States."
Schrader was named the boys' track athlete of the meet.
"I do not believe a Raider has ever won this award," McDonald said. "It is voted on by the coaches at the meet and is a huge honor. We are very happy for Miah and after winning the 200 meters, the 400 meters and anchoring the 4x200-meter to the win, he deserved the honor."
The 4x800 relay made up of Kummer, Beddell, Osage Crie and Cole Lablond had a great finish running 9:29.95 for fifth place overall.
"Indoor track and field is a long season," McDonald said. "Our first practice was in November and our last meet, New England's is scheduled for March 4. But as Coach Cummings said on the bus ride home Friday night, all the hard work washes away when you see the athletes succeed. And we have seen a lot of that these last few weeks."
- Category: High School