Foxcroft Academy alumnus and current External Affairs Officer Graham Pearsall completed the Sugarloaf Marathon in 2:47:24 on Sunday, May 17. His outstanding time was good for fifth overall in a field of 845 runners.
It was the first marathon for Pearsall, who averaged 6:24 per mile. “I had never run more than 19 miles before,” he said, “and the extra seven or so at the end were easily the hardest miles I’ve ever run. I was more mentally and physically drained than I’ve ever been and even threw up twice down the stretch, but finally reaching the finish line was an indescribable experience. It was such an incredible relief to finally stop running.”
A cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track coach at Foxcroft, Pearsall had set a goal of breaking the three-hour mark. “I always tell our athletes that if they get in the middle of things, good things will happen, and that’s what I tried to do in this race,” he said. “Just three miles in, I found myself in the middle of a pack of runners setting a pace that was much faster than I expected to run, but I hung in there and ended up passing them all, and although I paid for it down the stretch, the push at the beginning is what allowed me to shave 13 minutes off the 3:00 time I thought I’d be capable of running.”
Pearsall easily got in under the 3:05 time needed to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon. While he admits that “the thought of ever running a marathon again sounds unbearable at the moment,” he also concedes that he won’t be able to pass up the opportunity to run in one of the world’s most famous races.
The 2009 FA graduate excelled for the cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams at Bates College after a standout running career at Foxcroft that included leading the boys’ cross country team to three straight Eastern Maine titles. He returned to his alma mater as an ESL teacher and three-season coach in the fall of 2013 and became the school’s first External Affairs Officer this year.
Photo taken by Teresa Brzustowicz.
The Foxcroft boys’ outdoor track team, for which Pearsall serves as an assistant under head coach Rob Weber, finished second behind Orono in a regular-season PVC meet at Bucksport on Thursday. Hunter Smith (110 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles ), Julian Zepeda (400 meter dash), and Pete Boyer (shot put) won events for the Ponies.
The girls’ team finished in sixth place and was led by Fern Morrison, who took second in the 400 meter dash and third in the 800.
The Ponies will compete in Old Town on Saturday.
Coach Ryan Dankert’s tennis teams continue to cruise right along, with both the boys’ and the girls’ teams adding wins against Hermon on Tuesday and Old Town on Friday. The boys are now 7-1 on the season while the girls sit at 6-2.
At Hermon, the boys got a singles’ win from Fernando Caceres and doubles’ wins from Bram Dennis-Nick Boyd and Kazu Kawashima-Kevin Kim to pull off a 3-2 victory. The girls won 5-0 behind victories from Madison Fadley, Ricky Chen, Sophia Kurzius, Lexi Raymond-Jen Clawson, and Hannah Vainio-Jessie Breton.
Both teams beat Old Town 4-1 at home on Friday. Caceres, KO Zhong, Dennis-Boyd, and Kawashima-Dexter Canning won for the boys while Fadley, Chen, Jen Boyer, and Raymond-Kurzius picked up victories for the girls.
Caceres also won two individual matches to advance through the Eastern Maine regional singles qualifier and will now compete against the best in the state in the Round of 48.
The baseball and softball teams are coming off a slow week that only included a pair of losses to Old Town’s undefeated teams: 11-2 for baseball and 9-0 for softball. Both teams are now 6-3 heading into a big week that will feature contests at Hermon on Thursday (4:30 start) and doubleheaders against visiting Presque Isle on Saturday (noon start).