Miss Maybell and Slimpickin’s

Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq

(Lovell ME) I went to see Miss Maybell and Slimpickin’s perform but instead, landscape painters Lauren Sansaricq and Erik Koeppel showed up.

Actually, they’re one in the same.

The August 10th performance at The Brick Church in Lovell was part of the summer program at the continuing-to-improve site in that Maine village.

The most noticeable improvement was the lighting.  This year I could actually get a well-lighted shot.  Last year?  Not so much.

The talented twosome appeared with a collection of instruments and a ton of talent.  They were well worth seeing.

The theme of their show was to revisit music from the early 1900’s.  With just two of them you wondered how it would go but their instrumentation was more than enough to carry the day.

Lauren successfully mimicked the singing styles of a variety of the early singers.

The couple from New Hampshire had plenty of songs that were just plain fun to listen to.  Terrific harmony.

I tried to find out about Lauren and Erik before the show and that was where I learned about their landscape-painting skills.

What I didn’t find out was how the music “thing” came about.  Someone ought to write that story.

Here are links to Lauren’s paintings and Erik’s paintings.  They are truly multi-talented.



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Abu Kebede Diriba wins 2017 Yankee Homecoming 10-miler in Newburyport

Abu Kebede Diriba

Apryl Sabadosa won the women’s 10-mile title. Notice the lack of footwear.

I know, it’s been days since the races, but I was there and have some commentary and pictures to share.

The races?  The Newburyport Yankee Homecoming 5K and 10 mile.

Those races started ten minutes apart on Tuesday night.

I think I have given coverage five times.  I did not do last year’s

My strategy is to set myself up at the one-mile mark (Cushing Museum) and get a good look at both races there.  I have learned that the leaders lead early and late-run surges don’t happen.  The good runners have a fast pace that they maintain for the whole race.

So, I see both races into one mile of their race.  Then I get to Newburyport High School to catch the end of the 10-mile race.  Can’t get back fast enough for the end of the 5K but I’m quite sure that within my pictures from the one-mile location I will have most of the top finishers in the 5K.

Speaking of pictures, I was happy with the ones at the one-mile mark but those at the finish were disappointing.  The sun at NHS was right in my face so I tried to adjust the speed and ended up way too slow.  Runners and slow camera speed are a bad combo.

If I were titling this story I might try: “While the Pat’s away the mice will play.”  I thought it would apply nicely to the 5K race.

5K lead pack at one mile. Sam Coppola (2659) will win. Sam Acquaviva (6) will be second. Will Coogan (2555) will finish 3rd.

Why?  “Pat” Fullerton has won that race four straight years with impressive times.  No sign of him this year so the race wasn’t for second place this time around.  Somebody different would get the win.

Pentucket graduate Sam Coppola took advantage of the situation.  Sam finished a distant 8th in 2016 but this time he chopped forty-six seconds off his time.  With all of those ahead of him in the 2016 race missing, Sam got himself a nice win.

Abu Kebede Diriba, like Sam, was the only returnee from the top eight in the 10-mile race.  Abu wasted little time taking this race over.  He had a 20-yard lead at the one-mile mark and gave back some of that spread by race’s end but he could well have been coasting in the late stages.  Abu (connected to the West Side Running Club in NYC) was second in 2016.  He was over a minute slower this time around but the competition probably had a play in it.

The best closing race was for second among the 10-mile women.  Salome Kosgei held off Liz Ryan but just barely.

Apryl Sabodosa at one mile

Speaking of “barely,” you couldn’t help but notice the footwear of 10-mile winner April Sabadosa……it didn’t exist.  The 33-year old from Westfield (MA) ran the race WITHOUT footwear!  She claimed, according to the Newburyport Daily News, that running shoeless feels comfortable and natural.  Maybe on the beach but ten miles?  However, it worked for Apryl as she finished 25th overall.

Jaclyn Solimine killed the women’s field in the 5K winning that relatively short race by 1:25. Jaclyn is from Haverhill and recently graduated from UMass Lowell.  Jaclyn was 15th overall in the 5K.

Jason Ayr was 2nd in the 10-mile and Eric Ashe 3rd.  Jason is a UMass grad who finished 29th in the last Boston Marathon.  Eric is a BU graduate.

Ryan Place was 4th in the 10-mile.  He graduated from Allegheny College and was an All-American there.  He was 26th in the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Race for 2nd in the 10-miler. Jason Ayr (70) will get second. Eric Ashe (56) gets 3rd. Ryan Place 1544) 4th and AJ Ernst (2448) 5th

AJ Ernst (5th in 10-mile) is the North Shore running phenom from Marblehead (MA) who just finished his sophomore year at Virginia.  He led the Magicians to state track titles his senior year.

The next three ten-mile finishers (Robert Espinoza, Dan Smith, Nicolai Naranjo) all run for the Western Mass Distance Project.  WMDP placed five in the top ten finishers.  Jason Ayr (2nd) and Kevin Quadrozzi (10th) are part of the same organization.

Alexander Arslan (9th) is a Running Brand specialist at Mizuno USA in Syracuse.

The 2nd place finisher in the women’s 5K was Salome Kosgei.  Salome came to the US from Kenya in 2004 thanks to a scholarship from Iona College in New York.

Liz Ryan who finished 3rd for the second straight year graduated from Brown in 2013.  She trained for six months in Panama.

Newburyporter Sam Acquaviva got second in the 5K.  The Clipper senior-to-be can easily be expected to dominate the 2017-18 Cape Ann League in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track.

I hope I have this right: The 3rd place 5K finisher was Will Coogan of Exeter.  Will was on the Phillips Exeter JV squad this year.  The 15-year-old may have had the race of his young life.

Bekah Broe was second to Apryl Sabadosa in the 10-mile.  Bekah, from Newton (MA), is an assistant product manager with New Balance.

Sarah Hjelmstad of Wilmington (MA) followed Bekah.  Sarah runs with the Wilmington Sole Sisters.

Complete race results

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

5K finishers

Jason Ayr (70) and Eric Ashe (56)

Dan Smith

Alexander Arslan

Nicolai Naranjo

Kevin Quadrozzi

Salome Kosgei and Liz Ryan battle for 2nd

Robert Espinoza

Abu Kebede Diriba about to win 2017 Yankee Homecoming 10-mile race

Jaclyn Solimine won the women’s 5K

Bekah Broe (2nd in 5K)

Sarah Hjelmstad (847) 3rd in 5K

Salome Kosgei (2nd in 10 mile)

Liz Ryan (3rd 10 miles)






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2017 Harrison Old Home Days Grand Parade

Young participant in the 2017 Harrison Old Home Days parade

Veterans on parade

(Harrison ME) It is the question that separates the first-timers from the veterans: “Is that it?”

The first-timer to the Grand Parade at Harrison’s Old Home Days is never prepared for the length of this parade.

Come a little late and you find that the percentage of the parade missed is surprisingly significant.

This year’s edition lasted fifteen minutes.  That was all of it!

And I enjoyed it.

Eagle overhead

I also enjoyed checking out geese parading, a young man jumping into Long Lake, and catching an eagle overhead while waiting for the parade to start.  What an area!

The parade wasted no time with the minimum of frills.

On a hot Saturday afternoon, with Long Lake rippling nearby, an uncomplicated collection of representations was perfect.

Fire equipment is a staple.  I always like to get a picture of little ones riding up front.

In a non-election year there were no politicians to be found.  Funny how they find time in election years to attend.

No sign of the Kora little cars this year.  I’m starting to think that they come every other year.

Volunteer marching band

I was impressed with the volunteer band.  The sound was good and they looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Camp Wigwam was on hand with a nifty assortment of water guns.  My camera did not get fired at which spared the camp a possible lawsuit…..just kidding.

Averill Davis continued his string of appearances with his Woody.

Brian and his John Deere tractor were back in the parade.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Parade heads toward downtown Harrison

Girls afloat

Talent on the street

Camp Wigwam counselor

Water in the air

Brian with his John Deere tractor

Averill Davis


Volunteer drummer

Volunteer drummer

clarinet player

Stirred up Long Lake

Jumping into Harrison Bay

Geese in parade


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Dom Sclafani runs away with 2017 Harrison 5K Run by the Lake

Dom Sclafani of Harrison captured the 2017 Harrison 5K Run by the Lake

Notice in the header above that early on Dom was in total command.

(Harrison ME) Fifty yards into Wednesday’s Harrison 5K Run by the Lake Dominic Sclafani had a twenty yard lead.

Then the Oxford Hills graduate really took off!

Dominic would finish the course in an impressive 17:32 leaving the competition far behind.

Gavin Kuns of Bridgton was the first of the 100+ runners chasing second place to arrive.  Gavin arrived over 1 ½ minutes after Dominic reached the Harrison Post Office parking lot.

Two years ago, Dominic finished second in this race as a 15-year-old recording a time of 19:13. The Harrison native has obviously benefitted from spending the last two seasons connected to the Oxford Hills track program.

I could have figured Dominic for an easy night in this race if I had checked further into the results of Tuesday’s prestigious Bridgton 4 on the Fourth.  Dominic was terrific in that event missing a 13th place finish by only two seconds.

Nancy Sullivan was the first female finisher

Nancy Sullivan from Ann Arbor, Michigan timed in at 21:58 to pace the female finishers.

Erik Martin took 3rd this time around after getting 2nd in 2016.

Noah Currier and Arno Bommer were also again among the race’s top ten finishers.  Noah moved up to 5th after being 8th last year.  Arno was 6th which was a place better than 2016.

Jordan Cole, who won this race in 2015 with a time of 18:49, returned to the event and placed 7th.

Eleven-year-old Amelia Bommer dropped thirty seconds from last year’s time and she became the second female to finish the event.

The weather was perfect.  The 7PM start brought on the cooler temperatures.  Running along the lake (Long Lake) added breezes.

Strong effort made, and accomplished, to minimize the effect the race has on Harrison traffic.  Keeping the nearly 200 runners in the breakdown lane eliminated stop-and-waits for those driving through.

Race results

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Gavin Kuns of Bridgton was second.

Erik Martin (3rd)

Battle for 4th

Max Forbes (4th)

Noah Currier (5th) chased by Arno Bommer (6th)

Jordan Cole and Mark Hogan

Tim Moore finished 9th

Colin Gilmore and Bear Brooks

Spencer Smith

Amelia Bommer had a thirty-second improvement in her time over last year

Jillian Davis of Gray (ME) was the 3rd female to finish

Dimitri DiBiase and Mary Humphrey

Encouragement near the finish

Kevin O’Brien

Amy Milo and Leighann Dufresne

Aiden Baker of Harrison




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Filed under Harrison, Harrison 5K Run by the Lake, Harrison Recreation Department 5K Run by the Lake

Rob Gomez and Heather Mahoney win 2017 Bridgton 4 on the Fourth

Rob Gomez (Windham ME) takes the men’s title.

(Bridgton ME) Three days after a tornado roared into sections of Bridgton, over two thousand runners raced through an area of the town hit hardest by the storm.  Talk about resilience!

Beautiful weather for the 41st edition of the Bridgton 4 on the Fourth on Tuesday morning.

First-timer Rob Gomez of Windham (ME) ran away from the field that included 3-time champion Moninda Marube.

Moninda was only four second off his winning time in 2016 but, against one of state of Maine’s best runners, he was defeated by a significant twenty-five seconds (20:18).

Another first-timer, Heather Mahoney of Westford (MA), was the first woman to finish (24:14).  Heather was 24th overall.  Her husband, Chris, crossed 8th overall.

Heather Mahoney (Westford MA) was the top woman.

Two seniors from Principia College (Elsah IL), who work at Camp Owatonna in Harrison (ME), were among the top finishers.  Shane Witters Hicks was 3rd while teammate Nate Richards was 6th.

In fourth place was Colby grad Silas Eastman.  Silas has won this race in the past.

Osman Doolow (Lewiston ME) was another successful newcomer to this event.  Osman had a remarkable high school running season in 2015-2016 winning several Maine state titles.

Robert Hollis (Farmington ME) was back at 7th again.

Nick Brown (UNH freshman) took over thirty seconds off his time last year to claim 9th.

Patrick Carty (Emmanuel College) from nearby Sweden reached 10th.

Looking for a most-improved runner?  Without much research, I’ll take Anna Lastra.  Anna was a good runner for Fryeburg Academy but has now moved on to run at Stonehill College (Easton MA).  Last year’s time: 25:46 and 46th overall.  This year’s time: 24:37 and 26th overall.  Watch out for Anna if she runs the Bridgton race next year.

Grady Rockwell shows the colors

Mary Pardi of Falmouth, who has competed in Bridgton many times, ended up as the 3rd woman to finish.

The excitement, to me, in the Bridgton 4 on the Fourth is that you never know what runners will appear.  The way that Moninda Marube had easily won the three races he had run at Bridgton had me thinking that the battle would be for second.  Silly me!  If I had known who Rob Gomez was I would have certainly hedged my assumption.

Rob is a graduate of Medomak Valley and Bates.  He was the 5th Mainer to finish the Beach to Beacon 10K last year.  He was Maine’s “Runner of the Year” in 2013 according to New England Runner Magazine.  He has had two top-forty finishes in the Boston Marathon.  He owns the Eastern Shore Training company.  He’s into running!

The Bridgton race is serious for some but for many it is a social event.  It is not uncommon for runners to move into the crowd for a high-five or a hug.

A good collection of patriotic gear was in evidence.

Race Results

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rob Gomez follows the Bridgton cruiser

Rob Gomez with Moninda Marube in the distance

Moninda Marube followed by Shane Witters Hicks

Silas Eastman followed by Osman Doolow, Nate Richards, and Robert Hollis

Osman Doolow followed by Nate Richards

Chris Mahoney (8th)

Zachary Matthiesen, Patrick Carty, Nick Brown

Anna Lastra (Bridgton ME)

Cooper Ashcroft (Canton MA)

Mike Brooks, Bear Brooks, George Voigt

Paige Lipman, Sara Shipon, Caroline Green

Amelia Bommer

Brad Richards

Nearby camps sent runners to Bridgton

Ken Shaw gives his daughter a 4-mile ride

Patriotic look

Bill Wood of Harrison ME





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Eduardo Rodriguez shelled in rehab outing at Portland

Eduardo Rodriguez in front of the Hadlock Field scoreboard before the game

ERod peers at one of the many Fisher Cat baserunners.

(Portland ME) Not hard to figure out what was going on.

It was a spring training outing for Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez at Hadlock Field on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old lefty pitched “competitively” for the first time since his knee injury in Baltimore on June 1st.

Tonight’s performance by Eduardo centered on  throwing strikes and using an assortment of pitches.  Getting outs were of secondary concern.  The score didn’t matter.

I have no doubt that those who came to see a major leaguer in action were stunned by the way Eduardo’s three innings went.  How do five earned runs and nine hits sound?

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats feasted on Eduardo’s heavy dose of strikes.  Leadoff hitter Jonathan Davis took ER out of the park on the second pitch of the opening inning.  Eduardo did end up striking out three batters in the 3rd inning but before that it was bang, bang, bang for the Manchester (NH) team.

Jonathan Davis homered on Eduardo’s second pitch.

Not sure when Eduardo will return to the Red Sox rotation.  I would have to believe that there will be more rehab starts ahead for him.

Tonight I got another look at 3B Rafael Devers.  I am stunned that he hasn’t been moved to Pawtucket yet.  Rafael is comfortable in the field and is making regular solid contact at the plate.

The times I saw celebrated Yoan Moncada last season I was not overwhelmed by him because of his lack of consistent contact.  Rafael puts the ball into play regularly.

The “other pitcher” in tonight’s game was Jon Harris.  Jon was Toronto’s #1 pick in the 2015 draft.  He pitched seven terrific innings against Portland giving up only five hits and two runs.

Jon’s 3-8 record would suggest a tough season to date but not tonight.  Jon’s last win, before tonight, was on May 23rd against Portland.

Got my first look at Michael Chavis.  Michael will be taking over 3B exclusively when Rafael heads south to either Pawtucket or Boston.  Michael was Boston’s #1 pick in 2014.  He swings hard and may strike out often the rest of this season.

How long will 3B Rafael Devers stay with Portland?

Also on hand was former Sea Dog Henry Owens.  Two years ago, Henry was on the fast track to Fenway.  However, to date he has not been too effective above Portland.  Much of the trouble was over ever-changing mechanics that led to too many walks.  Henry will seek to get a consistent handle to his mechanics in the weeks ahead at Portland.

What about Slugger?  The drizzle started after Eduardo finished his three innings.  I value my camera too much to risk damage from rain.  I wonder if Slugger ended his lifetime losing streak?

Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my Hadlock visit.

(Pictures from the Portland/New Hampshire game.)  Clicking on a picture will cause it to enlarge significantly.

Eduardo Rodriguez backs up a throw home

Shortstop Richard Urena chases an infield popup

Rafael Devers at 2B

Michael Chavis batting

Winning pitcher Jon Harris

Eduardo heads for the dugout

Eduardo pitches with Rafael in the background

Henry Owens is back at Portland

Eduardo Rodriguez ready to pitch

Eduardo Rodriguez

Rafael Devers

Jeremy Barfield had a 3-run homer in Portland’s 9-5 loss

Newcomer Michael Chavis

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers in the Portland dugout.

Danny Mars made the Eastern League All-Star team

ERod stretches before the game

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Filed under Eduardo Rodriguez, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Mckenna Smith pitches Old Town to Class B softball title

Mckenna Smith – 19 K’s and an RBI for Old Town

Mckenna checks on the pitch called.

(Standish ME) Mckenna Smith.

Where do you begin in describing her part in Old Town’s 2-0 victory over Fryeburg Academy in such an important game?

The obvious would be her NINETEEN strikeouts.  In a seven-inning softball game there are only twenty-one outs!  One of the other two outs was a popup caught by Mckenna.

The other out?  Great catch by Coyotes left fielder Jannessa Brown in the Raiders’ 3rd inning.  A shot by Fryeburg’s Mackenzie Buzzell looked headed for the base of the LF fence but Jannessa sprinted straight back and was tall enough to make the grab.  With a runner (Grace Condon) on first there might have been a FA run without Jannessa’s catch.

The Raiders (16-4) could have used that run because they had just fallen behind by two runs in the top of OT’s tainted third inning.

Old Town’s third-inning runs were both unearned.  After a bloop single to right by Natalie St. Louis, Morgan Love reached on a drop in right by Chloe Coen.  Natalie raced to third on that play with no outs.  Morgan then took second uncontested putting two Coyotes in scoring position with no outs.  Mckenna Smith hit a sacrifice fly to RF scoring Natalie and getting Morgan to 3B.

Morgan Love scores the second Coyotes run

Key play warning!  Olivia Albert struck out but the ball was dropped by FA catcher Makayla Cooper forcing her to throw to first to get the out.  OT junior Morgan Love alertly broke from third on Makayla’s throw and beat Kaylee Emery’s relay home giving Old Town a huge second run.

Those would be the only runs reigning Class B champion Old Town (18-2) would get but they were enough with Mckenna’s assortment of pitches working.  From where I was watching (press box), it was the rise that did in Fryeburg.  Many of FA’s swings-and-misses were on pitches that ended up shoulder height.

Old Town won the game and all that but it would be a shame to overlook the pitching of the Raiders’ Nicole Bennett.  The FA senior did not give up an earned run and had nine strikeouts.  Nicole surrendered seven hits but stranded eight Coyotes in a strong effort.  Delete the two misplays in the 2-run Old Town third and the late innings would have been a lot more tense.

Nicole Bennett struck out nine Coyotes and did not give up an earned run

Though down by two runs, I kept waiting for FA to put a rally together as they had against #1 seed Wells in a 4-run miracle final inning in the South title game.  But junior Mckenna Smith would have none of it.

Certainly a remarkable playoff run for Old Town.  They did not allow a run in any of the four tournament games.

Mackenzie Buzzell, Kaylee Emery, and Chloe Coen had the hits for Fryeburg.

Versus Fryeburg Academy, Mckenna struck out seven batters in a row during one stretch and later six in a row during another stretch.

Mckenna had 128 strikeouts in 61 innings during the regular season.

Old Town now has three softball titles since 2012.

Shortstop Olivia Albert pitched for Old Town in last year’s title game against York and had a home run.

Fryeburg Academy senior Mackenzie Buzzell was injured sliding into second base in the first inning.

Lauren Gasaway and Olivia Albert each had two hits for the Coyotes.  Mckenna Smith had the first of OT’s seven hits.

LF Jannessa Brown robs Mackenzie Buzzell in the 3rd inning

Last time I saw Fryeburg softball was in 2012 when they defeated Greely 8-1 to take the Class B South championship.

Good crowd from Old Town on hand.  Why?  The OT baseball team was scheduled to also play at St. Joseph’s later in the afternoon.

Mckenna was given signals from the dugout by assistant coach Adam Boucher.  She would check her wristband after each signal and several infielders did too.  When I saw Mckenna looking at her wrist I couldn’t help but think of Celtic Isaiah Thomas and his routine of looking at his imaginary watch during “Isaiah” time.  No question it was “Mckenna time” on this afternoon!

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Old Town – 2017 Maine Class B softball champions

Morgan Love and Mckenna Smith

OT coach Jenn Plourde gives Mckenna Smith the ball used on the final pitch

Fryeburg Academy seniors – Alexandria Fraize, Mackenzie Buzzell, Makayla Cooper, and Nicole Bennett

Old Town celebrating begins after the final out

Freshman Jannessa Brown

Shortstop Tina LeBlanc sets to throw to first base

Shortstop Tina LeBlanc awaits throw as Olivia Albert slides into 2B

Natalie St. Louis celebrates the first OT run with teammate Lauren Gasaway

RF Chloe Coen drops a fly ball in the 2-run Old Town 3rd inning

Brooke Juneau drops a ball in LF

RF Chloe Coen makes a nice catch to end the first inning OT threat




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