Track finishes second at State Championship, matches school’s best finish
The Foxcroft Academy indoor track team finished runners-up at the Class B State Championship held at Bates College on February 13.
Senior Hunter Smith, who competed valiantly in spite of an ankle injury, led the way for the Ponies, scoring a total of 20 points in the jumps. He placed 6th in the triple jump, 2nd in the long jump, and bested the field by six inches in the high jump to be crowned state champion.
Also medaling in the maximum-allotted three events for the Ponies were senior Nate Church, junior Chandler Rockwell, and sophomore Tobias Hogfeldt. Church, who ran a blazing 23.80 in the 200, placed 3rd in the event, 6th in the 55-meter dash, and led off the 5th place 4×200-meter relay team. Also in the on 4×200-meter relay was Rockwell, who also placed 7th in the 400, and ran the third leg of Foxcroft’s 2nd place 4×800-meter relay. Hogfeldt was also a member of both scoring relays and added a 6th place medal in the 800-meter run.
Teaming up with Church, Rockwell, and Hogfeldt in the 4×200-meter relay team was senior Blaine Robinson, who also competed in the 200-meter dash. Joining Hogfeldt and Rockwell on the state runners-up 4×800-meter relay team were seniors Gabe Piquette and Cooper Nelson. Nelson also picked up a 6th place medal in the one-mile run and competed in the 2-mile.
Foxcroft’s runners-up finish matches the team’s best result at the Class B State Championship in school history and serves as a positive indicator of the potential for good things to come in the outdoor season.
“Finishing second at the indoor state meet with just nine athletes is a huge accomplishment,” said Coach Graham Pearsall, who teamed up with Rob Weber to coach the track team this winter. “We have a couple of holes to address before the spring season, but the team took some great steps forward, and I look forward to seeing what the Ponies can do this outdoor season!”
Foxcroft’s 4×800 meter relay team was the state’s fifth fastest and was selected to represent Maine at the New England Interscholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on Sunday. The team of Hogfeldt, Piquette, Rockwell, and Nelson will compete against New England’s best at 1:30.
Swim sets three more records at State meet
Swimming just seven strong, the Foxcroft Academy girls swim team finished an outstanding 7th out of 22 teams at the Class B State Swim Championship at Bowdoin College on February 15. Leading the way for the Ponies were three record-breaking performances.
Junior Jenna Clukey was first to crack the record board with a brilliant swim of 2:02.57 in the 200-yard freestyle, placing 3rd among the State’s best. Senior Avery Carroll also broke into the top three in the 100-yard backstroke, swimming an excellent 1:02.93, breaking her own school record in the process.
Clukey and Carroll also teamed up with Gabie Johnson and Alice Russo to break a third school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Their time if 1:46.71 was the third best by any team on the day.
Also placing in the top 15 were Carroll (4th in the 200-yard individual medley), Johnson (6th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th in the 100-yard freestyle), and Clukey (6th in the 100-yard butterfly). Also medaling was the 200-yard medley relay of Carroll, Johnson, Clukey, and Elena Russo, which placed 8th.
“We were competing against some very large schools from southern Maine, but our seven girls swam incredibly,” said Coach Morgan Rublee, who concluded a very successful first season as head coach at the State meet on Monday. “I could not be more proud!”
While the Ponies graduate some very talented swimmers this spring, the future remains bright for Foxcroft, which showed tremendous depth and improvement throughout the season under the tutelage of Coach Rublee. “I will certainly miss the energy the seniors brought to the team,” said Rublee. “There’s no doubt that we will miss them next year, but we have some promising swimmers coming up. Chloe Waugh and Abby Henderson–who both swim for the PRYMCA as well–will be great. Emily Curtis, a first year swimmer, is also incredibly promising.”
Girls Basketball battles top-seed Houlton to final whistle
Despite falling behind early in their Class B North quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded Houlton, Foxcroft Academy’s girls basketball team showed great resolve, clawing their way back from a 12-3 deficit in the first quarter to make it a game in the contest’s final minutes.
“Our girls showed a lot of heart,” said Coach Blake Smith, whose squad would ultimately fall 52-61 to the top-ranked team but not without giving them a fight.
Junior Kendra Ewer led the way for the Ponies with 15 points on five three-pointers, while junior Grace Bickford and freshman MacKenzie Beaudry added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Captain and graduating senior Madison Chadbourne will be missed, but the team that returns next year will be experienced and ready to take the next step. The Ponies, who had reached the playoffs the previous two years, set the goal of not only making the postseason but hosting a home playoff game this year. In their final game of the 2015-16 regular season, they accomplished just that, defeating Central to earn a home game in the first round. Next year, with all their experience, the Ponies will surely look to take another step.
To see more of Camille Bozzelli and Erika Chadbourne’s great photos of the basketball team in action, as well as photos of the pep band and cheerleaders preforming at the Cross Insurance Center, click here.
Boys basketball plays Caribou close
As is custom in basketball, the final score of a game rarely depicts the true competitiveness of the contest – As was the case in Foxcroft’s 53-61 loss to Caribou in the Class B North Regional prelim game.
The Ponies were never out of the game, concluding the first three quarters within a possession of the lead, but Caribou ultimately pulled away in the final minutes, hitting 12 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter as the Ponies employed a strategy of fouling in an attempt to conserve time.
Senior Hunter Smith, who played despite a hobbled right ankle that he injured in the team’s regular season finale against Central just six days prior, led the Ponies with 22 points. Senior Noah Allen chipped in 13, and Drew Dankert added 5.
The 2015-16 campaign got off to a rough start, but the Ponies improved each week under the supervision of first-year Coach Tyler Erickson, who led Foxcroft on a late-season run that secured the Academy a place in the Class B North playoffs. While the loss of seniors Hunter Smith, Dylan Harmon-Weeks, and Noah Allen to graduation will leave a hole to be filled, many underclassmen earned playing time throughout the season and will have plenty of experience entering Coach Erickson’s sophomore season as head coach next winter.
Mission Accomplished: Foxcroft Academy wins Class B State Wrestling Championship
–In other wrestling news, the Ponies finished runners-up at Maine’s all-state tournament, qualifying three wrestlers for the New England Championship tournament. Representing Foxcroft Academy and Maine will be seniors Brandon Brock, Michael Pendriss, and Zach Caron.–