Following Makenna Drouin’s stellar first outdoor track season, Edward Little’s trainer Rebecca Hefty told him about the state record in the 300 meter hurdles.
Hefty thought Drouin could break it, and Drouin wanted him.
It was a lofty goal for such a young athlete, but after winning the 300m hurdles at this spring’s Class A state meet, Drouin took first place at the New England Championships with a time of 43.74 seconds – a new Maine record, surpassing the previous mark of 43.94. , set by Jesse Labreck of Messalonskee in 2008.
“The goal for the outdoor season was to get better,” Drouin said. “I also wanted the 300-meter hurdles record in Maine, and I got it.”
Drouin, a sophomore, also won the 100 hurdles at the Class A state competition (15.56 seconds) and added third places in the 100-meter (12.31) and 200-meter dashes (25.78).
She was also selected as the Sun Journal’s Female Track Athlete of the Year.
“At the state meet, I think there was so much emphasis on time that she didn’t run her race as well as she could,” Hefty said. “She set a personal best, breaking the 45 second mark (44.95), but we knew she had another chance. Makenna attacks every obstacle from the start, which is very useful and difficult in the 300 hurdles In terms of strategy, I knew she had the opportunity, and the race was set for her to not only win, but break the record.
Drouin said that because she came through on New England, she was not only able to win again, but also break the state record.
“I think I paced myself at the start and the other girls did what I usually did, which was run at the start instead of pace themselves at the start,” Drouin said.
Drouin, who only started racing on the track in the spring of 2021, has plenty of speed, so Hefty has focused on second-placed form this season. The two also worked on the competition while dealing with pressure and expectations after a first outdoor season that included a state title in the 300 hurdles and a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles.
“Makenna is a very different athlete in many ways,” Hefty said. “As a new athlete on track last season, there are a lot of lessons to learn physically, mentally and emotionally. The pressure to be the best is very difficult to maintain that level of fitness.
“I have been coaching for a long time and have had the good fortune to coach many successful athletes, but she is the first of this caliber. I love the training challenges and the fact that she has two more seasons to go.
Drouin said she was more anxious about sprint events at the state meet than hurdles.
“I was more nervous in the 100 and 200 because I knew I had competition in those two,” said Drouin.
Bangor’s Anna Connors was first in both sprints and Gorham’s Emma Green was second, ahead of Drouin in both races.
“I knew I had two other girls who would be the best competition for me, and I thought it went pretty well because I was aiming for the top three,” Drouin said.
Drouin is preparing to compete at the USATF Junior Olympics in Sacramento, Calif., this week, then will turn to soccer before another cycle of indoor and outdoor track.
“Makenna has a natural talent, but now his training needs to take it to the next level,” Hefty said. “Next season will also have a different approach to keep her motivated and even faster.”
2022 Sun Journal All Region Women’s Track and Field Teams