Bangor coach Roger Huber encourages Megan Randall as she heads for the finish line in the girls 4x800 meter relay at the PVC Large School Track and Field Championship Meet in May 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Roger Huber admits he can’t identify Megan Randall’s athletic specialty.

That’s because the Bangor High School cross country coach sees Randall gifted in many specialties, both on the track and the trails.

“That is a great question,” said Huber of Randall, a senior who this fall won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Class A North individual cross country titles and placed second at states. “She is a 400 runner, she is an 800 runner, she is a miler, she is a 2-miler, she is a cross country runner and she is a high jumper, and she’s improved in each of those over the last two years. I don’t think I can tell you even having worked with her for two years what her specialty is.”

Randall, who spent her first two years of high school in Scarborough before transferring to Bangor as a junior, plans to continue running next year at Michigan State University.

“I definitely kept my options open at the start and was looking at many different schools for academics and athletics,” she said. “Both of my parents [Brian and Stephanie Randall] attended Michigan State and that sparked my interest because they had such an amazing experience there. I know that academically the school is very good and athletically they have a great team.”

Randall has been in contact with one of Michigan State’s assistant coaches and plans to work as a first-year student-athlete on the East Lansing, Michigan, campus toward eventually earning a roster spot with the Spartans, members of the Big 10 Conference.

“I would definitely be a developmental runner so most likely not competing [next year] but working and training with the team for an opportunity in the future,” said Randall, who also plans to study speech language pathology at Michigan State. “I’d be training with the team.”

Randall will be the second runner from this year’s Bangor High School cross country team to matriculate at a Division I program next year. Daniel McCarthy, winner of the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions and Class A North regional and Class A state runner-up, plans to continue running at Georgetown University beginning next fall.

“We try and train these kids not to burn them out in high school but to keep them interested and going in the right direction,” Huber said. “Kids like Megan and Dan McCarthy are going to continue to improve as their bodies become a little more mature and they’re able to handle the  stresses of the increased training loads. She will do well.”

Randall currently is running indoor track at Bangor and made a record-setting season debut in the 2-mile run at the Rams’ opening Penobscot Valley Conference/Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet of the season at the University of Maine in Orono last Saturday night.

Wearing a mask for the race in conjunction with league protocols, Randall finished what is believed to be her first competitive event at the New Balance Field House in 11 minutes, 14.12 seconds, breaking the facility’s high school girls record of 11:17.48 set in January 2016 by former Orono High School standout Tia Tardy.

Randall came off an active summer of training to begin her senior season of cross country by becoming the first girls’ runner at Bangor High School to eclipse 19 minutes in a 5-kilometer race with an 18:59.55 clocking at the Fleet Feet 5K meet in Gorham.

She went on to win conference and regional championships, then lowered her personal best for the 5k distance to 18 minutes, 40.19 seconds while placing second to University of New Hampshire-bound Delaney Hesler of Bonny Eagle High School of Standish at the Class A state meet.

Randall finished 14th two weeks later at the New England interscholastic championships in Thetford, Vermont.

That led to Randall being selected to the Maine Track and Cross Country Coaches Association all-state team for the second-straight year.

“I think there was definitely a lot of improvement in this past cross country season for me,” Randall said. “I was very happy with that, a bit surprised, but I knew that I had put in the work over the summer and tried my best.”

Randall also aided Bangor in winning the 2021 Class A girls outdoor track and field state title last spring, including helping the Rams win both the 4×400 and 4×800 relay races.

Randall won the 1,600, finished second in the 800 and ran on a victorious 4×800 relay team a week earlier as Bangor won the Penobscot Valley Conference large-school championship.

“Megan is that runner who’s always doing that little bit extra,” Huber said. “She’s not afraid to put in the work, and when she races she races. She’s competitive but she’s not obnoxiously competitive. She’s very supportive of those around her, both her teammates and competitors, and she has a very healthy internal drive about herself that certainly has gotten her far.”

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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...