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Greely Rangers Winter Athletes of the Year

Sports

Greely Rangers Winter Athletes of the Year

2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

MARK MCCAULEY, Senior-Track

* Class B state champion, 800

* Class B state champion, mile

* Class B West first-team all-star

While the Greely boys' indoor track team was second-best at the Class B state meet in February, one Ranger had no peer.

Senior Mark McCauley capped his season of dominance with a pair of championships, cementing his legacy as one of the finest distance runners we've seen in quite some time.

McCauley was consistently excellent, wasn't above doing what was best for his team and has much greatness still ahead of him. In light of his transcendence on the track, The Forecaster is naming Mark McCauley Greely's 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

McCauley grew up in Cumberland and started running at a young age. He ran cross country in middle school, then played soccer his first two years of high school before returning to cross country. He started track as a freshman and fancied himself a sprinter, but realized that he was at his finest in the longer races and soon turned heads.

As a freshman, McCauley was third in the 800 at the indoor state meet. As a sophomore, he came in third again. As a junior, McCauley won the state title and this winter, he led the way from start to finish.

At the Western Maine Conference meet, McCauley came in first in the 800 by nearly 12 seconds. At the state meet, McCauley ran the final leg of a championship 3,200 relay team, then went out and won the 800 and the mile. He could have skipped the relay and made a run at breaking state records in the 800 and mile, but chose to help the team.

If that wasn't impressive enough, McCauley went to New Englands and finished second, a mere half-second behind Brunswick standout Will Geoghegan, who passed him down the stretch.

McCauley will now turn his focus to the outdoor season. His goal is to not only win state titles, but to become one of the better middle distance runners in the whole country. He serves as a senior class officer, runs almost every day, year round, and plays the guitar. Next year, McCauley will run at Columbia. He's undecided on a major.

His high school indoor track career has come to a close, but there's no forgetting what Mark McCauley, Greely's 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, accomplished. We certainly haven't heard the last of him.

Coach John Folan's comment: “Mark is driven to excel. He works very effectively in practice and leads by example. He simply loves to compete, to test his own mettle, to challenge his own perceived limits. He would never duck a challenge. He has really learned how to race. He has a blueprint for how a race should play out and most of the time, he follows that blueprint unless race strategy dictates some changes.”

2008-09 winner: Kevin Hart (Hockey)

2007-08 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Drew Bowden (Hockey)

2004-05 winner: Ben Knowles (Skiing)

2003-04 winner: Kerry Burke (Indoor track)

2002-03 winner: John Loren (Indoor track)

2001-02 winner: Tim Apuzzo (Basketball)

2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

SARAH EASTERLING, Freshman-Swimming

* Class B Swimmer of the Year finalist

* Class B state champion, 200 individual medley

* Class B state champion, 100 backstroke

* All-Conference, first team, 400 free relay

* All-Conference, second team, 100 backstroke

* All-Conference, second team, 200 medley relay

* All-Conference, third team, 200 IM

* All-State, second team, 100 backstroke

* All-State, second team, medley relay

* All-State, second team, 400 free relay

* All-State, third team, 100 free

In the future, coaches can forget scouting and should concentrate their focus on Greely swimmers named Sarah. One year after then-freshman Sara Schad turned heads and was named Winter Female Athlete of the Year, it was Sarah Easterling's turn. She won a pair of individual state championships and helped the Rangers break a frustrating run of close calls to win the Class B title.

Winning those individual crowns was impressive enough, but the fact that Easterling did it in her first year of high school competition is stunning. She certainly deserved success after all the time she puts in training. She loves to swim and it shows.

For making an immediate splash, for shining when her team needed it most and for suggesting that this was just the beginning of something special, Sarah Easterling is The Forecaster's choice as Greely's Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Easterling was born in New Orleans and came to Cumberland at the age of six. She started to swim at age eight and soon became a year-round aficionado. She competes with the Westbrook Seals and trains two hours a day and three on Saturday. With Greely, Easterling quickly became a star and excelled throughout the regular season.

At the Southwesterns meet, which the Rangers won, Easterling took first place in the backstroke and was part of a champion 400 free relay squad. She also came in second in the 200 free.

States went even better. Easterling led Greely to the title by winning the backstroke and the individual medley. She set school records in both events.

Easterling has set the bar incredibly high, but her quiet confidence and devotion makes it likely that she has several encores in store. She figures to be a fixture as one of the state's top swimmers in her three remaining years with Greely. Then, she hopes to swim at the Division I level in college.

A swimmer who has a promising future broke on to the scene with a vengeance this season. Sarah Easterling, Greely's 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, has penned the first chapter of what should be a sensational career.

Coach Rob Hale’s comment: “Sarah quietly came in and made a lot of noise. Her impact was felt immediately in and out of the pool. Right off, she had some amazing performances in the pool, but she kept a low profile on the deck. She was not a prima donna. She knew this was the seniors' team. She had a great attitude. I hate to be cliché, but as good a swimmer Sarah is, she's a nicer person.”

2008-09 winner: Sara Schad (Swimming)

2007-08 winner: Becky O'Brien (Indoor track)

2006-07 winner: Dani Cyr (Hockey)

2005-06 winner: Becky O'Brien (Indoor track)

2004-05 winner: Rebecca Furey (Indoor track)

2003-04 winner: Steph Ginn (Basketball)

2002-03 winner: Abby Chapman (Indoor track)

2001-02 winner: Mandy Bowden (Skiing)