A night to honor Maine´s finest
By MIKE LOWE, Staff Writer
Twenty-eight of the state´s finest high school athletes will gather tonight, with two walking away with highest honors.
The 25th annual All-Sports Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, will be held at 6 p.m. today at The Landing at Pine Point in Scarborough.
At the end of the ceremony, a male and female Athlete of the Year will be announced.
The candidates include the Players of the Year in 28 sports sponsored by the Maine Principals´ Association. Those athletes were selected by the newspaper staff at the end of each sports season.
The overall Athletes of the Year were determined earlier this week at a gathering of newspaper staff members, along with high school administrators, coaches and officials. The panel discussed the merits of each candidate, then voted.
"It was a real challenge because there were so many candidates that were so very good," said Kim Ballantyne, a field hockey official.
Panelist Maureen Curran, a coach at Cheverus High, said the candidates were eye-opening.
"You think you see a lot of athletes in the SMAA," she said, "then you see how talented the Western Maine Conference is, and the kids in Eastern Maine."
In recognition of the 25th year of the program, past Athlete of the Year winners have been invited to attend. Among those who will return are Katie Rollins (2005), Brittany McAllister (2004), Kate Blake (1998) and Amy Vachon (1996). Vachon, an assistant coach on the University of Maine women´s basketball team, will be the guest speaker.
Here is a review of the Players of the Year for each sport, beginning with spring sports:
Sam Dexter, Messalonskee
Dexter led the Eagles to the Class A state championship. A flawless fielder at shortstop, he batted .475 with two home runs, 16 RBI and 24 runs scored. He will attend the University of Southern Maine.
Mitch Tapley, Falmouth
A two-time All-American, Tapley had 53 goals and 29 assists to lead Falmouth to its second straight Class B state championship. He will attend Endicott College, a Division III school in Beverly, Mass.
Martha Veroneau, Waynflete
An honorable mention All-American, Veroneau had 46 goals and 43 assists to the lead the Flyers to their first Class B state championship since 2009. A junior, she is also a basketball and cross country standout.
Boys´ outdoor track
Matt McClintock, Madison
He won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at the Class C state championships, setting records in both. He also won the 3,200 at the New England championships. McClintock will attend Purdue University.
Girls´ outdoor track
Bethanie Brown, Waterville
A junior, Brown swept the 1,600 and 3,200 at both the Class B state championships and the New Englands. At the New England meet at Thornton Academy, Brown won the 1,600 in a photo finish with a time of 4 minutes, 50.39 seconds -- the fastest by a Maine schoolgirl.
Jordan Friedland, Lincoln Academy
A junior, Friedland came from the No. 5 seed to win the state singles tournament, defeating defending champ Patrick Ordway in the semifinals and two-time runner-up Justin Brogan in the finals.
Maisie Silverman, Brunswick
After finishing second in the state singles tournament as a freshman, Silverman won the title as a sophomore with three-set victories in the semifinals and final against Falmouth teammates Olivia Leavitt and Annie Criscione.
Julia Geaumont, Thornton Academy
Geaumont had the type of season players dream about. As a pitcher she went 14-2 with a 0.84 ERA. At the plate, she batted .679 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI. She had more hits (36) than she allowed as a pitcher (34). She will attend Bowdoin College.
Louis DiTomasso, Wells
DiTomasso scored 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,400 yards as Wells completed a 12-0 season by beating Leavitt 21-13 for the Class B state championship.
Nicole Sevey, Skowhegan
A senior, Sevey had 11 goals and 19 assists, finishing her career with 42 goals and 48 assists while helping Skowhegan win three state titles.
Ashley Robinson, Bangor
Robinson, a senior forward, scored a school-record 28 goals and had 19 assists to lead the unbeaten Rams to their first Class A state championship.
Robby Lentine, Windham
Lentine moved from center back to midfield last fall and finished with 21 goals and 10 assists, helping Windham capture its first Class A championship.
Girls´ cross country
Abbey Leonardi, Kennebunk
Leonardi became the second cross country runner to win four individual state championships, joining Scott Roberts of Maranacook (1982-85). The New England champion as a freshman, Leonardi is Maine´s first three-time Foot Locker finalist and placed fourth at the national championships in San Diego.
Boys´ cross country
Matt McClintock, Madison
Unbeaten against Maine competition, McClintock was the fastest runner from any class at the state championships for the second year in a row. He placed 15th at the Foot Locker nationals.
Ali Prescott, Fort Kent
Prescott, a home-schooled sophomore, overcame the after-effects of a torn right knee ligament to win the state championship for the second straight year.
Joe Walp, Deering
Walp used a consistent approach to succeed on the course, sharing medalist honors at the SMAA qualifying tournament and tying for the Class A individual title with Ben Bell of Sanford.
Maggie Bradley, Greely
Bradley had 175 kills, 30 aces and 134 digs, and also found ways to make big plays at the most important times. Coach Kelvin Hasch always looked to her when the Rangers needed a boost, and she helped the Rangers win the state title.
Alexa Coulombe, McAuley
Coulombe, who will play at Boston College, averaged 11.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.8 blocked shots to lead McAuley to a second consecutive Class A state title
Josh Britten, Yarmouth
Britten led the Western Maine Conference in scoring at 21.8 points a game and scored 54 points, a school record, in a four-overtime win over Poland. Britten is also the school´s all-time scoring leader with 1,331 points.
Megan Fortier, Falmouth
Fortier, a senior defenseman, was an imposing force for the Yachtsmen and finished the season with 48 goals and 12 assists.
C.J. Maksut, Thornton Academy
Maksut had 32 goals and 27 assists while leading the Trojans to a 20-1-1 record and a second consecutive Class A state championships. He also won the Travis Roy Award, given to Maine´s top senior in Class A.
Girls´ indoor track
Sarah Perkins, Gorham
Perkins won three events at the Class A state meet, including a win in the 200 in 25.82, just two-hundredths of a second shy of a 5-year-old state record.
Boys´ indoor track
Harlow Ladd, Messalonskee
The senior won the mile at the state meet, but also won the 2-mile in 9:21.87, breaking the seven-year-old state record set by Eric Giddings (9:24.26).
Sarah Easterling, Greely
Easterling never lost a race all season, and won two individual events (200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke) and two freestyle relays at the Class B state championships.
Trebor Lawton, Cheverus
Lawton was named performer of the meet at both the North Southwesterns -- where he posted the winter´s fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly (52.15 seconds) -- and the Class A state championships, where he won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke and led off the winning 200 medley relay.
Abby Mace, Maranacook
Mace won the Class B classical and freestyle state titles and was Maine´s top qualifier for the Eastern High School Nordic Championships.
Silas Eastman, Fryeburg Academy
A junior, Eastman won Class B state championships in classical and freestyle, as well as Western Maine Conference titles in both disciplines and the Sassi Memorial 5-kilometer classical race in late January.
Rhett Chase, Camden Hills
Chase reeled off 50 consecutive wins before losing his first match of the season in the semifinal round of the New England championships. He also led the Windjammers to their second Class B state championship in three seasons.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:
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