Scarborough Red Storm Spring Athletes of the Year

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Male:

SAM RUSAK, Junior—Track

  • All-American

  • Maine Gatorade boys’ track Athlete of the Year

  • Class A state champion, 110 hurdles

  • Class A state champion, 200

  • Class A state champion, high jump

  • Class A state champion, pole vault

  • SMAA all-star, 110 hurdles

  • SMAA all-star, 200

  • SMAA all-star, 400

  • SMAA all-star, high jump

  • SMAA all-star, pole vault

Rusak was a one-man wrecking crew at the state meet and his dominance helped Scarborough complete a first place sweep of the school year.

Rusak started competing in track in middle school and the pole vault quickly became his favorite event.

In high school, Rusak has excelled in the jumps, vaults, sprints and hurdles. As a freshman, he came in third in the pole vault and seventh in the high jump indoors. As a sophomore, Rusak placed second in the pole vault outdoors. This winter, he won the high jump and pole vault at states, which served as an appetizer for what he accomplished this spring.

After a dominant regular season where he consistently finished first in multiple events, Rusak won the 200, high jump and pole vault and placed runner-up in the 110 hurdles at the SMAA meet.

Then, at states, Rusak was first in the 110 hurdles (15.01 seconds), 200 (22.82), high jump (6 feet) and pole vault (15-6).

“Winning all four events was my goal, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Rusak said.

Those 40 points went a long way in helping Scarborough win the state title, giving the Red Storm their third crown of the school year to go with cross country and indoors.

“Sam’s mindset was to do whatever it took for the team to win the state title,” said Red Storm coach Derek Veilleux. “He really wanted to win it for those athletes who won in cross country and indoors, so they could win all three titles in the same school year. His effort at the state meet was one I’ll remember for a long time. To win four individual events is a special achievement.”

Rusak capped his amazing year by coming in fourth in the decathlon at the New Balance Naionals in North Carolina (he won the discus, 132-6, and pole vault, 15-5).

“It was an amazing year,” Rusak said. “It all came together. I stayed dedicated and did everything in my power for the team. It took a lot of time and effort. I run when it’s pitch black on the track. I eat fewer cheeseburgers than your average high school student.”

Rusak has one more year to turn heads at the high school level before he hopes to compete in the decathlon at the Division I level. He figures to have many suitors.

That’s because he’s already a star, one whose legend has stretched far beyond Maine’s borders. Sam Rusak, Scarborough’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, has made the amazing seem ordinary and his legend figures to continue to grow.

Coach Derek Veilleux’s comment: “Sam was tremendous. Earning All-American honors speaks volumes about his ability and talent, but none of that would be possible if he didn’t put in the work. He matured to a new level this year. His confidence was key to his success. His commitment to excellence is why he experienced the level of success he did. I can’t wait to see what next year brings. I know that the best is yet to come.”

Previous winners:

2015 Nate Howard (lacrosse)

2014 Ben Greenberg (baseball)

2013 John Wheeler (lacrosse)

2012 Ben Wessel (baseball)

2011 Ben Wessel (baseball)

2010 Nick Neugebauer (lacrosse)

2009 Chris Bernard (baseball)

2008 Ryan Hunt (lacrosse)

2007 Phil Lambert (lacrosse)

2006 Bryan Macphie (lacrosse)

2005 David Hamilton (lacrosse)

2004 David Hamilton (lacrosse)

2003 Adam Mumm (track)

2002 Keith Corey (track)

Female:

MAGGIE MURPHY, Senior-Softball

  • SMAA Offensive Player of the Year

  • SMAA Defensive Player of the Year

  • SMAA all-star, first team

  • Senior All-Star

  • Maine-New Hampshire All-Star 

Murphy wasn’t just a hitting machine, she also had a nearly flawless glove and that combination made her (and her teammates) close to unstoppable during another dominant season.

Murphy grew up in Scarborough and played baseball through the fourth grade before joining the Southern Maine Flame and softball has long been her top sport.

“I love how competitive softball is,” Murphy said. “It’s one of the most difficult sports to play. You have to be mentally tough playing against top competition.”

She joined the Red Storm varsity as a freshman third baseman, moved to centerfield, then back to third base. For four years, she was a key contributor for a juggernaut. As a sophomore, Murphy hit .488, scored 23 runs and stole 13 bases and was named an honorable mention all-star. As a junior, she hit .378 and scored 22 times in a first-team all-star campaign.

Her senior statistics were otherworldly.

Murphy set a new school record by batting .712, set a new school mark with 42 hits in 16 regular season games, set another new record with 39 runs scored and also drove in 20 runs. She made a mere two errors at third base.

“I want to get that much better every time I take the field,” Murphy said. “I love being challenged.”

Highlights this spring included four hits (including a triple), three runs scored, an RBI and three steals in a win against Sanford ace Jen Jones, four singles and a triple in a victory over Deering, four hits in a win over Gorham, two singles and a double in a victory over Portland, three hits in a win over McAuley, three hits in a victory at Noble, three hits in a win over Marshwood, three hits in a win at Westbrook, a key triple in a narrow victory over Windham and a single and double in a come-from-behind home win over Biddeford.

In the playoffs, Murphy had two hits and scored a run in a quarterfinal round victory over Portland, singled and doubled in a semifinal round win over Windham, then hit a two-run double to spark a five-run rally in the sixth inning of the regional final against Biddeford, but the Tigers scored twice in the seventh to end Scarborough’s title hopes. 

“This was the most talented team we’ve had,” Murphy said. “It was tough to lose.”

Murphy, who also belonged to Scarborough’s Key Club and volunteered on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, plans to attend, major in business, minor in sports management and play softball at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire next year. 

She figures to make quite a mark at the next level as well. Maggie Murphy, Scarborough’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, achieved her goal of consistently getting better and she posted some dazzling numbers that might never be equaled.

Coach Tom Griffin’s comment: “Maggie has been an outstanding contributor for four years. This year, she was unstoppable, shattering many school records. She was also a tremendous leader. She brought energy, spirit and work ethic. She was the engine that made our team run.”

Previous winners:

2015 Megan Nathanson (tennis)

2014 Alyssa Williamson (softball)

2013 Marisa O’Toole (softball)

2012 Nicole Kirk (track)

2011 Nicole Kirk (track)

2010 Heather Carrier (softball)

2009 Ellie Morin (lacrosse)

2008 Melissa Dellatorre (softball)

2007 Kelsey Griffin (softball)

2006 Lauren Hagerman (lacrosse)

2005 Camille Jania (tennis)

2004 Sarah Marchilli (softball)

2003 Chelsey Ledue (track)

2002 Jen Williams (softball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached atmhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.