Track explodes for 107 points, wins third meet
The 4×800-meter relay team of Tobias Hogfeldt, Gabe Piquette, Chandler Rockwell, and Cooper Nelson shattered the 15-year-old school record in the event by more than 14 seconds in the first race of the afternoon to jumpstart Foxcroft’s best meet of the season.
“Going into the race, I knew the relay had a shot at the record, but I never dreamt that it would go the way it did,” said Coach Pearsall. “They absolutely demolished the old school record. Their performance was extraordinary, and they really set the tone for the rest of the meet. It was going to be a good day, and we were going to get after it.”
Hogfeldt and Rockwell, who both had never raced 800 meters before, split 2:09 and 2:06, respectively, Piquette ran 2:16, and Nelson anchored in 2:03 to lead the team to its historic performance.
“The most exciting thing is the room for improvement,” said Pearsall. “I can see Chandler and Toby shaving a couple of seconds off as they become more familiar with the event. We all know that Gabe has a 2:08 in the tank, and I wouldn’t trade Cooper for anyone in the league to anchor us. This is a special team. Anything is possible.”
In the next event, the boys kept the momentum surging as the Ponies raced to five of the six finals-qualifying times in the prelims of the 55-meter dash. Nate Church (no longer the blockless bullet after learning the technique earlier in the week) cut another .1 seconds off of his time to win the event in 6.89, the sixth best time in the state. Rockwell, showing tremendous range, was second, and Evan Chadbourne (4th), Blaine Robinson (5th), and Jason Eubanks (6th) rounded out the scoring.
Also placing in the top three at the meet were Piquette (1 mile and 800), Rockwell (400 and 55), Hogfeldt (800), Church (200, long jump, 55), Chadbourne (200 and long jump), Eubanks (200), Nelson (800 and 2 mile), Paul Birtwistle (400), and the 4×200-meter relay team of Matthew Kim, Caleb Buerger, Noah Contreras, and Eubanks.
On the girls side, scoring points were Erika Chadbourne in the 200 and long jump, Jordan Thomas, Daniela Zhang-Parada, and Su Kim in the mile, Emily Sprecher in the 200, Virginia Macomber in the 2 mile, Desirae Brawn in the shot put, and the 4×200-meter relay team of Chadbourne, Thomas, Brawn, and Hannah Sprecher.
After all the points were tallied, the Foxcroft Academy boys had accumulated 107 points–more than double the total of the runner-up, and the girls had amassed 34 points–their highest total of the season. “It was an unbelievable day,” said Pearsall. “We entered 21 athletes in the meet. All 21 scored points.”
The track team will be back in action Saturday at the University of Maine field house at 1 pm.
Photo of 4×800 relay team taken by Ali Desmarais. More photos coming to FA’s Flickr soon.
Girls basketball wins three of last four, moves into top 5
The Foxcroft Academy girls basketball team has jumped to fifth in the Class-B North Heal Point Standings after victories over Old Town, Dexter, and Central over the last nine days.
In Old Town, Madison Chadbourne led the way for the Ponies with 23 points, while Grace Bickford scored nine points and freshman Makenzie Beaudry chipped in six during the 44-37 road win.
Against Dexter, Abby Simpson and Beaudry both scored 12 points and Alli Bourget added 11 in the 43-34 win at home.
In Corinth, the snow day did not slow down the Ponies as they took down the Central High School Lady Devils 46-43, thanks to 24 combined points from Simpson and Bickford.
The three wins have elevated Coach Blake Smith’s Ponies into the top-tier of the Class B North region, putting his squad in good position to fulfill the team’s goal of hosting a home playoff game.
Next for the Ponies is a long road trip to Presque Isle on Monday to take on the third-ranked Wildcats. The girls play at 3:00.
Swimming records 12 season-best performances in final home meet
Twelve Ponies swam personal bests in the final regular season home swim meet to conclude a very successful three-meet homestay for Foxcroft Academy.
Owen Booker, Hunter Giacamuzzi, Buddy Sletterink, and Jason Thompson all swam season-best times in the 50-yard freestyle to lead the boys team that also saw Nathaniel Skomars, Tanner Strout, and again Thompson PR in the 100-yard freestyle. Giacamuzzi also swam a season best in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the 200-yard freestyle relay of Pedro Bastos, David Salley, Booker, and Giacamuzzi and the 400-yard freestyle relay of Strout, Salley, Booker, and Bastos both placed second for the Ponies.
For the girls, Gabie Johnson improved upon her state-qualifying mark in the 100-yard breaststroke, and Madison Fadley, Miquela Majewski, Emily Curtis, and Abby Henderson also swam season bests. The girls team also took first in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays and second in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
While they did not swim their best times of the season, Johnson, Curtis, Avery Carroll, Jenna Clukey, and Chloe Waugh were all event winners to lead the girls team to its fifth consecutive victory.
“Even though we were swimming against a very small team–several heats were filled with just our own swimmers competing against each other–we had a great meet,” explained Coach Rublee, whose squad will travel to Bangor on Friday to compete against the Rams in their greatest challenge of the season yet.
Wrestling finishes third at very competitive Spartan Tournament
Over the past weekend, the wrestling team travelled to Sanford for the two-day, New-England-wide Spartan Tournament that featured the toughest competition in New England. Despite wrestling without senior captain Brandon Brock, who had to sit out the tournament with pneumonia, the Ponies still placed a very impressive third.
“This is one of the toughest tournaments in New England,” said Coach Luis Ayala, who recently recorded his 300th team victory. “I just can’t say enough how hard we have been working for this.”
Placing in the top four for the Ponies were Brandon Weston, Antonio Ayala, and RJ Nelson in fourth, Billy Brock and Connor Holmes in second, and Zach Caron and Michael Pendriss were tournament champions.
“Coming into the tournament a top-ten finish was realistic for us,” said Ayala, whose team greatly exceeded that expectation. “Guys really stepped up, and it shows in our results.”
The wrestling team will be at home again as they host a multitude of regional teams on Saturday at 1 pm.
“Coming down the final stretch of the regular season, our goal is to keep everyone healthy and eligible with grades coming out in a week,” said Ayala. “We have yet to reach our goals, and that should keep everyone motivated to keep working hard.”
Boys basketball battles hard
The 2015-16 basketball season has been a trying one for Coach Erickson in his first year as Foxcroft’s coach. He has had to implement a new offense and defense all while dealing with significant injuries as well as periods of absence from key players. Despite adversity, his team has never let down, adopting a visible never-give-up attitude.
Playing without two starters and an impact substitute, Coach Erickson’s Ponies fought top-ranked Orono to a close contest at home, led by Max Santagata, who scored 14 points off the bench.
Later in the week, the Ponies lost close contests to Dexter and Central, losing by a combined six points. Sophomore Drew Dankert led the way in both games, scoring 20 points in Central and 13 in Dexter. Phil Pleninger chipped in eight points in Dexter and Hunter Smith returned from the All-American Blue-Grey game to score 16 points in Central.
The Ponies will return to the court Monday in Presque Isle as they take on the Wildcats at 4:30.
Hunter Smith shines at All-American football game
Representing Foxcroft Academy and all of New England at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl: North vs. South game on January 9, in Tampa Bay, Hunter Smith did not disappoint, hauling in every catchable ball thrown his way.
Before departing, when he described his goals for the game, Smith said, “I just want to go down there and compete to the best of my ability and represent my family, school, and state.”
He did just that, hauling in two catches for 32 yards, including a one-handed snag that set up the North’s final touchdown in a 35-0 trouncing of the South team.
Smith is the only Foxcroft Academy athlete to ever participate in an All-American football game and is perhaps the first from the state of Maine. His performance will likely only pave the way for others. Congratulations, Hunter.