Boston High School: Bethanie Brown

New England Roundup: Maine

January, 25, 2013
Max McHugh, a standout soccer and girls' basketball player at Central High School, suffered a broken leg recently as the result of a head-on auto accident. Shortly after, the school had a “white-out” night at a home game, where fans were asked to wear white in support of McHugh and her family.

MaineMcHugh was a key figure in Central’s Class C state championship last season. She played solid defense on Hall-Dale’s Carylanne Wolfington (now a freshman at Colby College) and hit two free throws with 11.4 seconds left for the final points in Central’s 40-39 victory.

The driver of the other car was Tanya Clement, of Corinth. The Bangor Daily News reported that Clement’s 6-year-old daughter was still hospitalized eight days later from her injuries as a result of the accident.

Bangor television station WABI reported that according to the police report, “McHugh admitted she was changing a song on her I-pod and not paying attention.”

Cheverus star Donald Goodrich won the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, given annually to the top senior football player in the state. Goodrich, who ranks 58th in a class of 122 students, played two years at Cheverus after transferring from York following his sophomore year.

Goodrich rushed for 8.65 yards per carry, 1,722 yards, and 22 touchdowns this season. On defense, he had seven sacks. Cheverus had won 34 consecutive games before losing to eventual Class A state champion Thornton in the state final.

The other finalists for the award were Sanford’s Alex Shain and Cony’s Chandler Shostak. Shain rushed for over 1,400 yards and scored 28 touchdowns, while Shostak had 58 receptions for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns, while also intercepting 11 passes on defense.

Track and cross country coach Derek Veilleux has created an outstanding website for Maine high school track and field at Veilleux coaches the Scarborough boys in indoor and outdoor track, and Cape Elizabeth in cross country.

Veilleux told the Morning Sentinel he spends about 30 to 40 hours per week putting information on the site. He also frequently updates his Twitter account (@MaineTrackXC).

“I’ve got a regular full-time job, and then I coach in the afternoon,” Veilleux told the Sentinel. “This is done late at night and early in the morning.”

The site has regular updates, as well as lists of the top times and performances across the state in each event. Several athletes also contribute blogs. One of those is written by Waterville’s Bethanie Brown, who was recently named Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year for Maine and will be heading to the University of Connecticut in the fall. Brown was the first Maine high school girl to run a mile in undr 5 minutes in a competition.

Brunswick’s Alex Nichols, the defending Class A indoor boys champion in the 400 meters, also blogs for the site. Here’s an excerpt from his latest blog:

“Oh but wait, that sounds like a boring meet doesn’t it? You’re right, it was. That is until our bus, cruising at 50 mph down the highway, was assaulted by a large turkey. ... A turkey had crashed directly into the bus windshield, shattering it, and hitting the bus so hard that the rear-view mirror INSIDE the bus had been shattered. We slowed down and pulled off to the side of the highway to wait for another bus, which took approximately an hour. While we were waiting, an SUV came flying down the highway towards us. I don’t understand how it is even possible not to see a school bus on the highway, but he jerked out of the way at the last second, spun a full 360 degrees, and ended up in the snow bank 200 meters in front of us. For those of you who don’t know how far 200 meters is, you’re on the wrong website. Anyways, we finally got home in one piece and went out to eat. I obviously got a turkey sandwich.”

Regional School Unit 19, which includes Nokomis Regional High School, recently asked voters in its eight communities to approve a $2.9 million loan. The communities denied a $3.6 million loan on Election Day. After making approximately $750,000 in cuts, RSU 19 asked for the reduced loan.

Among the cuts originally slated were all sub-varsity sports at the high school in winter and spring sports, and travel to away games for winter and spring varsity teams. The teams and travel were all restored for this school year by private fundraising.

Whoever wins the Eastern A tournament will be a huge underdog against Catherine McAuley High School. The Lions are the defending state champions, and have three talented six-footers, as well as one of the state’s best point guards in Allie Clement.

But the team that comes out of the East will have the advantage in number of close games. There are at least six and as many as nine teams that are more or less even, depending on the day. Every team in the league has at least three losses.

Mt. Blue is one of the league’s favorites. Within the span of a week, the Cougars defeated previously unbeaten Mt. Ararat by making all 18 of their foul shots over the final three minutes, then lost in double overtime to a .500 Skowhegan team, then edged Brewer, another .500 team, in overtime. And Skowhegan? Three days after knocking off Mt. Blue to earn a leg up on one of the final playoff spots, the Indians lost 56-51 to Hampden, which was 0-11 entering the game.

Cony is holding on to the final playoff spot at 7-6. The Rams got that high by defeating Edward Little, a team that was 10-2 at that point. Cony also lost to Lawrence, 51-50, on a 23-foot 3-point heave by freshman Dominqiue Lewis with two seconds left. Cony has no one taller in its regular rotation than 5-foot-8 Josie Lee, but the Rams take about to 25 to 30 3-pointers per game, and the tournament is played a few miles from their school at the Augusta Civic Center.

No. 1 seed Edward Little is 10-3, with those three losses by a total of eight points. In contrast, Presque Isle is the top-ranked team in Eastern B. The Wildcats are 13-0, and exactly one of those wins has been by less than 25 points.
In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Carla Forbes of Newton North High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Forbes is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Newton North High School.

The 5-foot-6 junior field athlete won the long jump, with a leap of 19 feet, one inch, and the triple jump, soaring 40 feet, at the All-State Meet this spring, leading the Tigers to first place as a team. An All-Scholastic as named by The Boston Globe and Boston Herald this past winter, Forbes ran the third leg of the second-place 4x100-meter relay squad that crossed the line in 49.78 seconds at the All-State Meet. She also swept the long jump (19 feet, 3.5 inches) and the triple jump (41 feet, two inches) at the Eastern Mass. Division 1 championships, setting meet records in both events. In addition to winning the long jump at the Nike Indoor Nationals in 2011, Forbes won the triple jump at the 2010 Nike Indoor Nationals as a sophomore, the 2011 World Youth Track & Field Trials as a junior and the 2012 New Balance Indoor Nationals this past winter.

Forbes has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. She has donated her time as a youth athletic instructor and mentor on behalf of the Waltham Track Club.

“Carla has a tremendous competitive spirit and a driving force to be the best that she can be,” said Newton North Head Coach Joe Tranchita. “Her attention to details surpasses any athlete I have coached, as does her work ethic. Her desire to not only be the best, but to do her best each and every workout and competition, has led her to become a real student of her events.”

Forbes will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

Forbes joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Nadia Eke (2010-11, Holy Name Central Catholic High School), Deanna Latham (2009-10, Triton Regional), and Emily Jones (2007-08 & 2008-09, The Bromfield School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Holmes won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.51 seconds and the 400-meter dash in 53.92 at the State Open this spring, leading the Academics to second place as a team. A two-time returning All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, the 5-foot-4 junior sprinter swept the 200-meter dash in a class-record 24.04 seconds and 400-meter dash in a class-record 54.42 at the Class MM Championships. She also ran the third leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 3:58.43. Holmes clocked a 52.67 in the 400-meter dash at the Loucks Games, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 performance by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.

Holmes has maintained a B average in the classroom at New Haven Academy, where she attends high school and which does not offer a track program. She has donated her time as a youth track instructor in addition to volunteering annually on behalf of her track club at a local road race.

“I can wholeheartedly endorse Precious Holmes as the Gatorade Connecticut Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year,” said Lin Schulte, head coach at rival Jonathan Law High. “She possesses all the qualities necessary while remaining humble and being a role model for other athletes.”

Holmes will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

The 5-foot-3 junior distance runner won the 1,600-meter run with a class-record time of 4:55.23 and the 3,200-meter run in a class-record 10:34.79 at the Class B state meet this spring, leading the Purple Panthers to the state title as a team. Brown ran the second leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 4:06.77. She also swept the 1,600-meter run in a state-record 4:50.39 and the 3,200-meter run in 10:31.19 at the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which ranked as the nation’s No. 30 and No. 39 performances, respectively, among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.

Also a cross country standout and an avid writer of poetry, Brown has maintained a 4.31 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has received her school’s Renaissance Award, presented to students who excel in academics, service and character on behalf of the nationwide Renaissance Program. A Student Ambassador for incoming transfer classmates, Brown also donated her time to promoting science in local fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms.

“Bethanie is a tremendous competitor and holds herself to a high standard in all areas of her life,” said Waterville head coach Ian Wilson. “She does not avoid competition, but rather seeks better runners whenever possible. She embraces the opportunity to compete at a national level. Many athletes do not want to face greater competition, fearing their weaknesses may be exposed. Bethanie wants to know what she needs to improve upon, recognizing that the only way to know that is through better competition.”

Brown will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

The 5-foot-6 senior won three individual state championships at the Division I meet and the Meet of Champions this spring. At the Division I state meet, Holmes won the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3.75 inches and the triple jump with a leap of 38-2 and led the Blue Hawks to the state title. She also won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.81 seconds and placed second in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.94. Holmes concluded her prep track career with seven state titles and the state record in the indoor long jump (18-6.25).

Holmes has maintained a 3.84 GPA in the classroom. Selected to attend a state leadership convention for high school athletes, she has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit the Special Olympics and food pantries and as a youth basketball instructor.

“Hillary Holmes has been dominant,” said Bob Mullen, co-president of the New Hampshire Track & Field Coaches Association. “She is a true student-athlete and an awesome talent.”

Holmes will attend Cornell University this fall, where she will compete with the track & field team.

The 5-foot-4 sophomore set a state record in the 1,500 meters at the All-State meet, leading the Purple to a third-place finish as a team. Berkson won the 1,500 with a time of 4:27.92, a time which ranked No. 13 in the nation by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection. She also ran the anchor leg for Classical’s winning 4x400-meter relay team. The Rhode Island Track Coaches Association State MVP, she placed second in the 800-meter run at both the All-State Meet and the New England Outdoor Championships.

Berkson has maintained an unweighted 4.12 GPA in the classroom. She is a member of Classical High’s Debate Club and Chess Club.

“The hard thing to remember about Maddy Berkson is that she is still only a sophomore,” said Steve Turgeon, head coach of rival Barrington High. “Her state record in the 1500 was probably most impressive. She broke a record that seemed untouchable.”

Berkson will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior won four individual state championships at the Division I state meet for a second straight outdoor season and led the Rebels to a second-place finish as a team. Gribbin won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.10 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 25:16, the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3.25 inches and the triple jump (39-10). Also the triple jump champion at the New England Outdoor Championships, she concluded her prep track career with 22 individual state titles and 11 state records.

Gribbin has maintained a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. A member of her church youth group, she has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit leukemia research and as a youth track coach.

“Mollie Gribbin has been the best athlete in Vermont for the past two years in any sport,” said Chip Langmaid, head coach of rival St. Johnsbury Academy. “She has not only destroyed records and won championships, but she has competed in any event that her team needed. I watched her when she was 8 years old and she hasn’t stopped. It has been an honor to compete against her and simply to enjoy watching her compete.”

Gribbin will attend Dartmouth College this fall, where she will compete with the track & field team.

New England Roundup: Maine

June, 8, 2012
Abbey Leonardi concluded her stellar high school running career last Saturday with a pair of wins at the State Class A track and field championships. The Kennebunk senior won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races despite missing a month of training this spring with a strained tendon in her leg.

MaineLeonardi finished the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 56.87 seconds, a little more than five seconds off her state record pace in 2010. She caught Lawrence’s Erzsebet Nagy on the final lap and held her off down the stretch.

“I missed more than a month of training," Leonardi said, "so it was just more about being mentally tough."

Leonardi won 3,200 later in the meet in 10:45.49, again a few seconds off the state record she set in 2010. In four years, Leonardi has posted four cross country individual championships and 12 outdoor track titles. She holds state records in 1,600, mile, 3,000, 3,200 and the two mile.

She is widely considered Maine’s best female high school runner since Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the inaugural women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics. This year Leonardi finished fourth in the prestigious Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals, setting a PR of 17:35.30 in the 5,000 meter event.

“What we’ve tried to do is not go too crazy with her in high school and chase every big meet,” her father Jack said.

Abbey will attend the University of Oregon next fall on a running scholarship and will step on campus with plenty of gas left in her tank. She hasn’t run indoor track in high school nor has she over-trained.

“I actually think she can get a lot better,” her dad said. “We’ve tried not to stress her too much. I think Abbey’s at the low end of the top kids in high school in terms of mileage.”

Her dad got her started in running and said he got up to speed in training methods as she progressed. He credits middle school coach Mike LeBlanc as an important influence. As she’s grown older, Leonardi has trained with Kristen Barry, a former 2:40 marathon runner and Falmouth’s Sheri Piers, the top American female finisher in this year’s Boston marathon.

“She definitely has some physical talent but she works as hard as anybody at it,” jack Leonardi said of his daughter. “She’s really methodical about what she does. She’s pretty educated about what she’s doing.”

Leonardi won’t complete in this weekend’s New England meet in Saco, but will follow a training regimen to get her ready for cross country season next fall. Her only appearance in the new England cross country meet was her freshman year when she finished first. Oregon is one of the country’s strongest track and cross country school. Last fall, the Ducks placed fifth in the NCAA cross country meet and return five of their top seven runners.

“She had lots of opportunities (to attend other schools),” Jack said, “but she definitely is choosing to jump into the big pond. If she didn’t give the biggest stage a chance, she wished she would have.”

Leonardi, who has a twin sister, is a straight A student who also loves to cook.

“She’ll probably end up studying business and hope to apply that in some food area,” her father said.

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New England Roundup: Maine

November, 27, 2011
State football championships in three classes were decided at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Saturday with two teams repeating titles.

MaineCheverus extended its win streak to 24 games with its win against Lawrence in the Class A game while Yarmouth also ran its win streak to 24 straight with a win against Bucksport for its second Class C title in a row. Wells went to the wire against Leavitt before capturing its first
Class B championship since 1997.

The victories complete a sweep for Western Maine teams for the second year in a row. Here’s rundown of the games with video provided by DVM Sports, and the Maine Sports Network.

Class A - Cheverus 49, Lawrence 7
With injured senior running back Spencer Cooke playing all but a few token minutes for Cheverus, it appeared the Stags might be challenged by a tough Lawrence defense. They weren’t as Don Goodrich scored five touchdowns, including a 92-yard kickoff return, and the Stags rolled up 509 yards of offense.

Goodrich rushed for 143 yards on 17 carries while fellow running back Brent Green picked up 179 yards on 20 carries. Wide receiver Louie DiStasio caught four passes for 130 yards.

The Bulldogs, who finished at 11-1, were hurt by five turnovers, four of which the Stags turned into scores. A fumble and an interception led to a pair of first quarter touchdowns by Green and Goodrich. Goodrich added a score early in the first quarter to make it 21-0. The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard when Anthony Sementelli scored on a 52-yard run midway through the second quarter, but Goodrich returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to make it 28-7 at the half.

Cheverus put the game away with 21 points in the third quarter, highlighted by a 52-yard scoring run from Goodrich. The Stags’ defense, which held opponents to 71 points in 12 games this season, limited Lawrence to 167 yards of total offense. The score was the most lopsided in a Class A title game since Cheverus beat Lewiston 65-13 in 1985.

Cooke, who sustained an injury late in the regular season and missed all of the Western Maine playoffs, carried the ball nine times for 18 yards, all in the second half. Cooke scored four touchdowns in last year’s state championship game.

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