Mother Nature has reared her ugly head on Eastern Maine Indoor Track League athletes in the early part of this season, as thanks to a late-December snowstorm, teams had to endure a three-week layoff in between meets.
That didn’t stop Brewer High School senior Austin Lufkin from unleashing one of the top shot-put throws in the country over the weekend..
Lufkin, the reigning Class A state champion in the shot put, blew away an EMITL record that was more than a decade old on Saturday, uncorking a throw of 59 feet, 8 inches in a five-team meet at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House.
Lufkin didn’t waste any time eclipsing the mark of 55-2.75 held by Old Town’s Tyler Eastman since 2005, doing so on the first of his six throws on the afternoon.
Shot putters get three throws during the preliminary round and three more if they make it to finals.
Lufkin’s throw is the top mark in Maine thus far this winter, and is good for third in the country.
The nation’s top-ranked shot putter, Jordan West of Rahway High of New Jersey, owns a toss of 63-6 thus far this winter.
If breaking a record wasn’t enough Lufkin also helped lead his Witches to a tightly contested team win in a meet featuring Brewer, Bangor, Old Town, Orono and Hampden Academy.
Coach Dan Juilli’s Witches would edge Old Town 70-68 while Bangor was a close third with 63 points while Hampden tallied 62.
Broncos’ senior distance runner Paul Casavant had an excellent day as well, winning the mile and 2-mile runs with solid efforts of 4:29.65 and 9:49.11, respectively.
With the same teams facing off in the girls’ competition, Bangor senior pole vaulter Rihan Smallwood, who valued 10-7 in the only other EMITL meet of the season to set a new league record, narrowly missed heightening the standard, as she went for 10-9 but could not clear it.
Smallwood’s winning height Saturday was 10-6 as her Rams finished second in the team competition to Brewer.
In the girls’ shot put, Hampden senior Daija Misler set a new facility record in unleashing a throw of 38-11.75.
Saturday featured a full day of EMITL action in Orono, as after the first five-team meet, the league’s other teams squared off in separate five- and six-team meets.
Among the highlights were MDI senior Tia Tardy racing for the first time this winter.
Tardy, who will compete in the New Balance Grand Prix junior mile later this month, singled in the 2-mile and cruised to a victory in 11:37.08.