Final test for Raiders

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

GORHAM — As a coach, you hope to see hard work pay off when titles are on the line.

Coaches Kevin McDonald and Bobby Collins saw several Raider indoor track athletes enjoy “break through” moments at last Friday’s Western Maine Conference Championships held at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

“We had a good meet. It was the end for most of the kids, but we did have some late season breakthrough moments,” Coach McDonald said.

Devine Dockery met the State standard in both the 55 and 200 meters. He finished second in the 55 meters in 7.06, behind Poland’s Trey Rogers (7.00) and third in the 200 meters at 25.12.

“What a day for Devine. Needless to say, he was very happy,” Coach McDonald said. “Devine is a talent that will be a force to reckon with if he keeps working hard. A lot of kids see only the results and say, ‘Oh, he’s good,’ but there is work that leads to results.”

Bailey Friedman qualified for States in the shot put.

“All year, she has been chasing 29-feet 6-inches, and at the championship, she not only wins the event, but throws 29-feet 7.25-inches. We were overjoyed for Bailey,” Coach McDonald said. “She has worked very hard this year and has steadily improved to the point that a podium at States is not out of the question.”

Jamie Gullikson is starting to click in both the 55 hurdles and the pole vault. Coach Collins has worked with Jamie on her start, resulting in overall improvement.

“Jamie met the State standard in the hurdles posting a 9.97. Could we drop even lower? We shall see,” Coach McDonald said.

Seniors Sage Hennessey and Corinn Bedell combined for 32 points with top finishes in the 55, 200 and 400 meters, while also taking part in the 4x200 relay.

“They are our captains on the girls’ side and the heart and soul of this team. We know success lies in their future and it is our hope happiness follows them always,” the coach said.

Emily Heggie won the high jump, clearing 5-feet.

“Emily jumped clean during the competition, no misses at any heights. This will be crucial at States as the competition will be intense,” Coach McDonald said.

Nikki Shivers, another leg of the relay team that has a shot at a State title, is also competing in the 55-meter dash, as well as the 200 meters.

“Nikki has dealt with some injury issues this year, but it is our hope all is well on the 20th. She is a very important part of relay and could podium in the 55 and 200 as well,” the coach said. “If the team can avoid injury and illness, we will be at the top of our game.”

On the boys’ side, the Raiders will send Scott Pelkie (shot put, he was third at the conference finals with a toss of 40-feet 3.25-inches) and Austin Ward (200 meters) into the State Meet fray.

“Austin has been very sick as of late, but it is our hope that he regains his strength by the State Meet,” Coach McDonald said. “Scott has had some great throws as of late and if this trend continues a podium is not out of the question. To see Scott on the podium would mean a tremendous amount to Coach Collins and myself. Scott has earned it, now he has to throw it. There is a very big throw in Scott and we will work very hard to get it out on the 20th.”

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