Ellsworth distance-running standout Dan Cu rts set state and New England high school records for the indoor 3,000-meter run Sunday at the USATF New England Indoor Track and Field Championships held at Gordon Track on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Curts, who a week earlier won the Class B state indoor championship in the 2-mile and anchored Ellsworth’s victorious 3,200-meter relay team, was timed in 8 minutes, 23.85 seconds for the 3K, which was described as a new Maine and New England record for the distance by milesplit.com.

Curts finished second overall in the open race, trailing only 32-year-old Andrea Sargato, a native of Italy who runs for New Balance-Boston. Sargato was timed in 8:22.27.

Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar Regional High School in Bethel, who will join Curts on scholarship at Iowa State University this fall, finished seventh with 8:30.20.

Curts is set to run the 2-mile this Saturday at the 27th annual New England Interscholastic Boys’ and Girls’ Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury, Mass.

New qualifying tourney sets New England wrestling seeds

Alex Urquhart’s runner-up effort at the recent Class B wrestling state championship meet likely would have been his final competition of the season in previous years — and as a senior at Hermon High School might have marked the last meet of his career.

But a change this year in how Maine qualifies its wrestlers for the New England championships, and Urquhart’s ability to make the most of the change, has meant his high school career will continue at least through one more event.

Maine annually is allotted three spots in each of 14 weight classes for the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships, which this year will be held March 7-8, at the Providence Career and Technical Center in Rhode Island.

In previous years, Maine sent its individual state champions from Classes A, B and C to the New Englands, but this year, the Maine Principals’ Association held a New England qualifying meet for the first time at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport.

The top four finishers from each weight class at the three state meets were eligible to participate, and the top three finishers from the qualifier regardless of class earned berths at the New Englands.

Urquhart, who finished second in the 220-pound division of the Class B state meet, would not have qualified for the New Englands under the old format, but his second-place finish at the qualifying competition means he’ll be part of the Maine contingent in Providence.

The qualifying meet has been sought for years by many in the Maine wrestling community for at least two reasons — to ensure that the state is represented by its best competitors at the New Englands and to give top wrestlers an additional competition during the three- to four-week gap between the state meets and the New Englands.

This year’s Maine state wrestling championships were held Feb. 15.

The qualifying meet produced a definite change in the composition of the Maine contingent eligible to compete at the New Englands. Instead of 14 wrestlers from each of the three classes under the previous format, 25 wrestlers from Class A, 14 from Class B and just three from the small-school Class C ranks qualified from the one-day tournament at Nokomis.

Nine of the individual champions from the New England qualifier were from Class A, with five from Class B. Of the runners-up, seven were Class A wrestlers, while four were from Class B — including Urquhart — and three were from Class C.

And of the consolation final champions who earned the final tickets to the New Englands, nine were from Class A schools and five were from Class B programs.

Qualifying meet champions were led by Skowhegan junior Kaleb Brown, named the event’s outstanding wrestler after winning the 145-pound title. Like Urquhart, Brown would not have been eligible for the New Englands based on his result at the Class A state meet, where he finished third in his weight class.

Other New England qualifying meet champions were Cody Craig (106 pounds) and Tyler Craig (120) of Skowhegan; Peter DelGallo (113) of Gardiner; Dagan Berenyi (132) and Michael Garland (220) of Ellsworth; Tyler Everett (126) of Massabesic of Waterboro; Dominick Day (138) of Biddeford; Jackson Howarth (152), Cody Hughes (160) and Brett Gerry (182) of Marshwood of South Berwick; Malik Geiger (170) of Oxford Hills of South Paris; Michael Curtis (195) of Wells and Aaron Lint (285) of Winslow.

Qualifying as runners-up were Urquhart of Hermon, Darren LaPointe (106); Bradley Beaulieu (113) and Josh Marks (120) of Marshwood; Jacob Thornton (126) of Mountain Valley of Rumford; Zach Caron of Dexter (132), Kameron Doucette (136) and Mikal Federici (182) of Skowhegan; Stewart Buzzell (145) of Monmouth Academy; Joseph Grenier (152) of Noble of North Berwick; Jesse Hutchinson (160) of Dirigo of Dixfield; Joe Wright (170) of Ellsworth; Christopher Wilson (195) of Nokomis and Will Gunter (285) of Mt. Blue of Farmington.

Third-place finishers eligible for the New Englands are Kidayer Alijubyly (106) and Jaime Lones-Martinez (120) of Portland,; Austin Shorey (113) and Otto Keisker (145) of Noble; Dylan Dahlbergh (126) of Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield; Julian Sirois (132) of Skowhegan; Colin Sevigney (138) of Wells; Connor Winchenbach (152) of Camden Hills of Rockport; Todd Francis (160) of Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft; Cyril Miller (170) of Medomak Valley of Waldoboro; Rusty Wilson (182) of Nokomis; Mike Risti (195) of Massabesic; Nic Benner of Cony of Augusta (220) and Chris Cole (285) of Mount View of Thorndike.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...