AUGUSTA – Auburn Running Club placed second in the team competition at the recent Maine Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship.
Competing against 31 teams, the Auburn team enjoyed its 13th consecutive top-three team finish, which includes seven state championship titles.
Poland won the championship with 458 points, followed bt Auburn with 255, York (249), Brunswick (203) and Windham (193).
Auburn had more than 50 athletes qualifying for the championship, and it the team’s depth that paid off in the team competition. Coached by Tom Menendez, a nationally recognized racewalk coach, the team scored many of its points in that event, including two state champions: Spencer Dunn in the 11-12 boys, and Morgan Knowlton in the 11-12 girls.
Other Auburn state champions were Ben Davis in the 13-14 boys’ 100 and 400 meters, Brooks Layman in the 13-14 discus, Leyla Davis in the 8-and-under long jump and Olivia Jalbert-Hodgdon in the 8-and-under javelin.
Athletes in the 8-and-under age group were very successful. Placing in the top three of their events were Olivia Jalbert-Hodgdon (javelin, high jump, shot put), Leyla Davis (LJ, 100), Emma Hefty (racewalk) Micah Jack (Shot Put, 200m) Gabriel Hastings (racewalk), and Jacob Arel (javelin).
In the 9-10 age group, top-three finishers included Mathew Syphers (racewalk) and Lauren Jutras (racewalk).
In the 11-12 age group, Spencer Dunn (racewalk), Zack Guimond (400), Sam Michaud (racewalk), Kylie Bureau (javelin), Izzy Layman (shot put) and Morgan Knowlton (racewalk) were leaders.
Ben Bailey (100, 400, triple jump, discus), Mitchell Bourisk (racewalk), Brooks Layman (discus, shot put), Kerri St. Denis (high jump, shot put) and Kailey Norcross (racewalk) earned top-three points in the 13-14 bracket.
Auburn Running Club is a Summer Track and Field Program Sponsored by the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department. Menendez has been coaching the program for 18 years. The staff this season included Carolyn Court, Muriel Schwinn and Nicole Court-Menendez along with several volunteer coaches. The program welcomes children 6 to 14 years old from Auburn and area towns to participate in two evening practices and a meet each week.