FA coach likes Raiders’ progress

TURNING ON THE JETS — Fryeburg Academy’s Nate McCann (right) turns it on during the 200-meter dash. (Photo courtesy of Brea McDonald)

GORHAM — In track, some judge an outing based on whether an athlete places first, second, third or fourth in an event.

While scoring ultimately decides how a school fares in the final standings, Fryeburg Academy indoor track Coach Kevin McDonald rates a meet on how much improvement each athlete makes — be it trimming seconds off a sprint or middle distance time or increasing a throw or jump by a few inches.

“We have several kids that are improving, not necessarily point scorers, but working hard and getting better,” Coach McDonald said.

Improvement seen at last Friday’s meet held at the University of Southern Maine’s Costello Field House included:

Divine Dockery: He improved his 55-meter dash by .27 and his 200 meters by 1.88, as well as his long jump by 4.25 feet.

“What a day this kid had,” Coach McDonald said. “He also scored 8 points for the boys. Coach Collins has been working hard with Divine to improve his style of running and the times reflect this. If this continues, Divine should be at Bates College for the State Meet.”

Khalil Fair popped a huge triple jump, improving by 2-feet 3-inches.

“Khalil is new to this event and is showing great talent. Hard work and attention to detail are paying off for Khalil,” Coach McDonald said.

Nate McCann lowered both his 200 and 400-meter times. The 200 dropped by .57 and the 400 dipped by 1.14.

“These are huge improvements and reflect the work Nate has been doing,” the coach said. “Nate is a great kid to work with and he is always ready to help the team.”

Tyler O’Keefe knocked 2.38 seconds off his mile time and 1.07 seconds off his 800 time.

“Tyler is steady and solid, and it’s very satisfying to see him reap the rewards of his work,” Coach McDonald said.

Joseph Schrader, a freshman, ran the mile and the 800 meters — new events for the rookie.

“We asked him to try them and he had the courage to do so. We know this was not easy for Joseph, however he ran very well and if he continues to work hard will have a great future in athletics,” Coach McDonald said.

On the girls’ side, Kiara Durah knocked 2.27 seconds off her 200 time.

“Kiara is only a freshman and just keeps getting better. Her future is also very bright,” Coach McDonald said.

Bailey Friedman added 1-foot 6.25-inches to her shot put best. This improvement puts Bailey very close to the state standard. “If she can continue on this path, she will join her teammates at Bates,” Coach McDonald said.

Another quiet, hard-working athlete that is improving each week is Jamie Gullikson, who cleared 9-feet in the pole vault and ran very well in the hurdles.

“Improving in both events, Jamie is the outdoor state champion in the pole vault and we would like to see her add a indoor title,” Coach McDonald said. “If she keeps working, there is no reason this should not happen.”

Finally, Sage Hennessy was able to overcome a longtime foe. Amanda Peterson of Gray-New Gloucester has stood between Sage dominating the 55 and 200 meters. Last week, Sage won both events with Peterson in her dust.

“Amanda has been beating Sage (seemingly) forever. I have never seen Sage so happy (after winning both events),” Coach McDonald said. “Sage could explode from here on as this was a huge break through.”

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