Tag Archives: Bridgton

Eric Ashe and Heather Gallant win 46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth

46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth gets underway

(Bridgton) Eric Ashe of Natick (MA) was the top finisher in the 46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth road race.

Eric Ashe (Natick) wins the Bridgon 4 on the Fourth

Heather Gallant of Wayne (ME) was the repeat winner among the women.

Heather Gallant crosses first
Eric Ashe

Nearly 1500 runners participated under sunny skies departing from in front of Food City at 8AM.

Eric Ashe was visiting his mother in Greenwood during the holiday weekend.

“I talked myself into driving over and running the race,” said Eric afterwards.  “The cash price covers the gas expenses.”

Sasha/Scott Mindel (Burlington) have family on Moose Pond but hadn’t run the race before.

The two of them ran today, and both came in second.

“Our A goal was for both of us to come in first,” said Scott afterwards.

“I had seen the recent results, so I thought that I had a chance to win,” Scott added.

Eric Ashe (885) and Scott Mindel (766) at the start of the race

That optimism suffered a bit of a jolt before the race started.

“At the warmups, I saw Eric (Ashe),” said Scott.  “He generally beats me, but I’ve beaten him a couple of times.”

For a mile the talented twosome stayed together.  Then came the hills.

“The uphill started, and I tried to maintain the same effort,” recalled Eric.  “Luckily, I was able to open a gap and keep it.  I think the gap got bigger.”

Scott Mindel

“He’s much better on the uphills than I am,” said Scott.  “When the uphill started today, I was hoping to keep him within close enough distance because I’m better on the downhills.”

“But Eric got too much on me and I couldn’t make a move until the downhill in the last mile,” said Scott.  “It was too late by then.”

“At least it was a fun last mile,” he added with a smile.

Eric finished at 20:06 and had a thirteen-second lead over Scott.

Heather Gallant (Wayne) won last year.

“I was happy with last year’s weather and this years’ time (23:26),” she said.

2021 was rainy with temperatures in the fifties.

Heather was 15th overall today.

Heather Gallant at the start

Heather didn’t face any serious challengers from today’s runners.  Her closing time was 23:26. The next woman to finish (Sasha Mindel) closed at 24:58.

“I hung out with a couple of guys during the race,” said Heather afterwards.  “I pace off them.  They’re good about doing that.”

Heather said she felt better prepared this time.  “I had a couple more races coming into this one compared to last year.  The hills here are still memorable.”

Sasha Mindel, who had a daughter last year, was glad just to be out there running.  “This is only my second race since having her,” she said.  “It was the first time it felt as if everything clicked.”

All four runners I talked with enjoyed the Bridgton race and would return if they could.

Scott Mindel told me that he had run at the University of Cincinnati.  “I now run for the Central Mass Striders. I do a lot of races including marathons.”

Race Director Bill Graham

Eric Ashe attended Boston University.  “I saw online that guys were doing twenty-flat here,” he said, “so I knew it would be competitive.  I am focusing on marathons.  I did one in Minnesota two weeks ago.”

Joseph Reynolds (3rd), Andrew Mongiat (4th), and Chris Harmon (5th) were in the top five.

Race Director Bill Graham again ran things smoothly.

The object is to have the male and female winners run through a banner at the finish line.  It’s always easy with the male.  The female…not always.  Today was an example.  Female leader Heather Gallant was close behind another runner near the finish and when the banner went up that runner (Thomad Lyons) got wrapped in it. 

(The pictures should enlarge if you click on them.)

Sasha Mindel finishes

Banner malfunction
Chris Harmon (5th)

Andrew Montiat (4th)
Joseph Reynold (3rd)

Sasha Mindel at the start

National Anthem

Eric Ashe wins

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Brookfield (CT) takes New England 10U title 8-7 over Marlboro

 Brookfield (CT) - 2015 New England 10U Regional Champions

Brookfield (CT) – 2015 New England 10U Regional Champions

CF Cameron Cole after catching the final out

CF Cameron Cole after catching the final out

(Bridgton ME) Brookfield took an 8-7 lead in the second inning and rode that score to win the 2015 New England 10U Regional baseball title on Thursday afternoon at the Ham Complex in Bridgton.

The Barracudas, from Connecticut, move on to the Cal Ripken World Series held in nearby (??) Jonesboro, Arkansas in early August.

Once Brookfield rallied back to get the lead in the second their coaching staff switched shortstop Chris Catania to pitcher, first baseman Matt Guilbeault to short and pitcher Casey Katz to first. Those moves turned out to be directly connected to the Brookfield win.

Chris Catania allowed only one hit over the final four innings and struck out five. He threw strikes and put up an occasional changeup that handcuffed several Marlboro batters.

Shortstop Matt Guilbeault came up throwing in the last inning

Shortstop Matt Guilbeault came up throwing in the last inning

In the tense final inning (sixth), Matt Guilbeault snared a line drive to start the Marlboro frame. Then Matt rushed a slow grounder, rushed his throw but 1B Casey Katz dug out the errant throw and caught speedy Ryan Taylor for the second out. After Braden Deckers reached, Austin Hunt’s fly ball to center was easily handled by CF Cameron Cole and the Brookfield celebration began.

Marlboro (representing Western Massachusetts) nearly defeated Brookfield two days earlier. In that 2-1 loss Marlboro carried a 1-0 lead into the late innings but an infield 2-run throwing error gave Brookfield the runs needed to win.

So you can imagine that Marlboro got pretty excited early in this game when they put across five runs in the first inning. The visitors were already chanting, “I believe that we will win,” in the top half of the first inning! That’s way too early no matter who the opponent is. Against undefeated, in the tournament, Brookfield it was silly early.

Marlboro’s Ryan Taylor tripled over CF Cameron Cole’s head off of Brookfield starter Casey Katz to lead off the Marlboro first. Cam Ginnetti’s sac fly scored Ryan. Later, Adam Cronin singled to bring home Braden Deckers. Then it was Jack McCabe’s turn to get a big hit as his single to right brought teammates Austin Hunt and Adam Cronin across. Marlboro reloaded the bases and the tenth batter of the inning (Ryan Taylor) walked forcing in LT Quirion.

Marlboro ran into the final out of highly-productive inning at the plate. Brookfield catcher Kyle Rosa quickly retrieved a passed ball and tossed to pitcher Casey Katz who was able to tag Drew DeFranzo for the last out.

Down 5-0, Marlboro turned aggressive and came back with four runs. Key play for certain (maybe of the game?) happened after Brookfield loaded the bases with one out. Catcher Drew DeFranzo chased down pitcher Ryan Taylor’s wild pitch and looked to have a good chance to get Jake Micelli trying to score. Not only did Marlboro not get Jake but Drew’s throw went past Ryan and through the opening into the Marlboro dugout. That throw allowed two more runs to score. So Brookfield picked up three runs on that wild pitch and bad throw. That’s costly for sure! Later, after a terrific catch by CF Jason Knollenberg, Ryan Sanborn tripled to the left field corner scoring Casey Katz.

Jake Miceli slides while Ryan Taylor awaits throw

Jake Miceli slides while Ryan Taylor awaits throw


ball gets away from pitcher Ryan Taylor and goes out-of-bounds

ball gets away from pitcher Ryan Taylor and goes out-of-bounds

Marlboro added two more runs in their half of the second. An infield bobble (2B Jake Micelli) put runners on first and second. Adam Cronin’s single between third and short delivered Austin Hunt. Jack McCabe’s fielder’s choice enabled Cam Ginnetti to add Marlboro’s 7th run.

3B Adam Cronin about to start a double play

3B Adam Cronin about to start a double play

Brookfield erased their 7-4 deficit with a 4-run second. Matt Guilbeault walked with the bases loaded on a 3-2 count to force in the first run (Caden Borges). Cameron Cole followed with a hot shot through the right side of the Marlboro infield bringing across teammates Jake Micelli and Chris Catania. Brad Deckers came on to relieve Ryan Taylor and was greeted with an RBI single to center by Casey Katz that brought Matt Guilbeault in with the 8th Brookfield tally. Third baseman Adam Cronin started a 5-4 double play to get Marlboro out of the inning.

Never dreamed that no more runs would be scored but that is what happened. Chris Catania and Marlboro’s Austin Hunt threw strikes (Austin had five K’s) and that score held up.

What didn’t hold up was the rain which resulted in a 10-minute delay in the 4th inning. Typical Maine rain. I live five miles from the Bridgton Complex and my wife reported that it never rained there.

Marlboro ran into an out leading off the third inning. Drew DeFranzo walked and just kept running to second. Pitcher Chris Catania’s throw to shortstop Matt Guilbeault had Drew by plenty.

2B Jake Miceli gets an out from his knees

2B Jake Miceli gets an out from his knees

The visitors had solo runners reach in the 4th and 6th but Chris Catania had strikeouts and solid defense behind him to carry the day.

Cameron Cole was named MVP of the Brookfield team. He had two hits, two RBI, and scored a run.

Casey Katz and Ryan Sanborn had two hits apiece in Brookfield’s nine-hit attack.

Jack McCabe registered three RBI for Marlboro.

Adam Cronin (Marlboro MVP) had two of their seven hits.

This tournament was well organized. Three officials were used in the championship game.

If Marlboro had won this game there would have been another game between the same two teams shortly afterwards. Why? This was a double-elimination tournament and Brookfield had yet to lose.

Give credit to the fans from both sides for coming out on a Thursday afternoon. Brookfield is at least five hours away while Marlboro is over three hours.

Brookfield box

Marlboro box

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

Play at the plate

Play at the plate

Play at the plate

Play at the plate

Play at the plate

Play at the plate

Chris Catania

Chris Catania

Marlboro pre-game

Marlboro pre-game

Kyle Rosa

Kyle Rosa

Runner-up Marlboro

Runner-up Marlboro

Winning coaches celebrate

Winning coaches celebrate

Cameron Cole - Brookfield MVP

Cameron Cole – Brookfield MVP


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Phil Richert Wins Bridgton 4 on the Fourth Road Race

Part of the crowd of 1757 finishers at the Bridgton 4 on the Fourth road race.

(Bridgton ME) Steamy Bridgton was the scene of the 34th annual 4 on the Fourth road race.

Temperatures were in the 80s even at the 8AM start time from beside Food City.

Winner Phil Richert runs alone to victory in the 34th 4 on the Fourth

For the third straight year, the winner was a newcomer to the event.

I like to size up the runners as they prepare for the start to see if I can pick the winner.  After the race starts, I move over to in front of the Magic Lantern to get a great view of the runners cruising down Main Street and to see how I did.  I suspected that there were ringers in the race but chose the wrong one.  My wife, however, guessed Phil Richert and had the winner.

For the second straight year, the eventual winner ran Main Street without company.  The first competitive race was for fifth between Tim Even and John Bechshaw and Tim eventually won while John faded to seventh.

The race now attracts over 1500 runners and has come a long way from 1977 when it was started.  In that starting year, the race was held in DECEMBER with a course that included Chadbourne Road and Upper Ridge Road.  That race ended at the house of the organizer and hot cider was served to the 28 participants.

Later the starting point shifted to the golf course and the ending to Highland Lake.  The hassle of getting runners to the golf course caused it to be shifted to downtown Bridgton in the 1980s where it has stayed.  USA Track & Field have certified the course.

The event is very well organized from beginning to end.  There are still folks who think that they can drive along Main Street just before the runners show up.  Two cars tried it this year and judging by the number of stops they were forced into and the verbals they got, I doubt they’ll make the same mistake again.

Bowman Schneider (aged 7) was one of the 1757 finishers.

One change I noticed was that cones ran down the middle of Main Street giving the runners just half of the road.  With 1757 finishers, I’m not sure that was a great idea.

That high heat brought out health concerns.  You never worry about the elite runners because they have trained enough so that they could probably keep the same pace for another four miles.  It’s the folks who are trained but the heat gets them or the untrained that should be standing beside me rather than risking their lives in front of a large audience.  I did hear a couple of ambulances as I was leaving the race, before all had finished, and pray that there wasn’t a fatality.  I did see one scary elderly gentleman in the race look as if he was going to go down at any minute since he was running at about a 45 degrees angle.  Fortunately, it looked as if a family member was near him in case he headed for the pavement.

I did some online research on the top finishers after seeing their summer residences listed beside their names.  I just wanted to know a little more background.

Winner Phil Richert is from Minnesota and went to Wisconsin = Stevens Point.  The 23-year-old ran track there.  What’s he doing in Bridgton, Maine on a hot July 4th?  The Portland Press Herald found out that he has a summer job at Arcadia National Park in the gift shop on Cadillac Mountain.

Phil’s 19:58 winning time was quite a ways from that of record-setting Colin Peddie.  The 3-time winner ran the course in 18:46 in 1987.  Colin still holds a number of Maine state track records set while he was at Cheverus High School.

Noah Graboys, Douglas Whichard, and Richard Klauber finish 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

In second was Noah Graboys, who just graduated from New Trier High School in Illinois. If you want a favorite for next year, how about this kid?  He finished eighth in 2009.  It surprised me to see an elite runner like Noah have such long hair.  If he returns next year with short hair, he’s my favorite.  Noah’s brother, Sam, finished 11th and he’s just 15.  Both boys are again connected to Camp Wigwam in Waterford for the summer and have run the Bridgton race several times each.

Third was Douglas Whichard who finished 15th at Bridgton as a 16-year-old in 2006.  Doug is from California and is connected to the track program at UC Santa Barbara.

In fourth was Richard Klauber.  This was Richard’s first try at Bridgton.  He’s from Thomaston CT and now runs for Quinnipiac College.  He’ll be a junior.

The first truly local runner to show up was Stoneham’s Tim Even.  Tim is 21, attends the University of Southern Maine and runs track there.  He has been running Bridgton while he was at Fryeburg Academy and had been stuck in the teens for the past three tries.  This time, though, he put together his best time and best finish.

Erica Jesseman finishes first for the women and 14th overall

Scarborough’s Erica Jesseman finished 14th overall to pace the women finishers for the second time.  She also was the best woman in 2006.  She just graduated from UNH and starred in track.

(All information should be considered unofficial.)

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Age Distrusted, Experience Underestimated

After reading the October 18th issue of The Bridgton News I’m thinking this if your last name starts with “T” and you’ve been on the job for a while it is clearly time to take note.

Out the door locally in recent days have gone Bridgton police officer Doug Taft and Harrison town manager Mike Thorne.  Expanding nationally we can add Yankee manager Joe Torre to the unemployed lot.  Let’s face it, if each of them were to take off their shirts we would still see the marks of the handprints on their backs providing visual evidence of how they were “helped” to find the exit.

It can happen to any of us I suppose.  Consider the senior citizen bumper sticker that states, “I was taught to respect my elders but there are none of them left.”  In this day, the chances of getting respect because of advanced age and/or extensive experience are vanishing.

I believe that it is important to remember that everything in life is terminal.  No question in my mind that each of these three men knew at the outset of employment that there would be an ending.  The unfortunate surprise for each of these men was that they weren’t able to choose the ending time – others forced the decision.

What makes me unhappy about what has happened is that those doing the forcing were younger than the victims are and certainly much less experienced. 

I read of the impact of the local twosome in The Bridgton News and I quickly sensed how important they were to their respective communities. 

I overheard someone in the Market Basket in Harrison say this week about Mike Thorne, “They ran him out of town.  Now they’ll find out what he did.” 

Sgt Taft’s contributions on and off duty in Bridgton have been well documented over the past few weeks.  No way that the, “let’s-bring-everything-up-to-the-21st-century,” crowd managing the Bridgton police department will be able to quickly replace a person of Sgt. Taft’s stature.

I look at Joe Torre’s exit with a lot less sympathy.  As a Red Sox fan I am pleased to see Joe Torre forced out because I’m quite sure that the resulting turmoil will keep the Yankees where I want them to be – behind Boston in the standings and struggling to make the playoffs.  No surprise that George Steinbrenner’s two sons, Hank (50) and Hal (38), who are now in charge of the Yankees, masterminded Joe’s exit.  It is just one more example of youth and inexperience messing things up.

I suspect that the forced exits of Doug Taft, Mike Thorne, and Joe Torre  will lead to lingering divisions, especially over the two local guys involved.  No question that the wounds won’t heal very quickly from any of these cases. 

I read somewhere that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we would listen twice as much as we speak.  Too bad the decision makers forcing the ousters of Doug Taft, Mike Thorne, and Joe Torre got it backwards.

( Appeared in the Bridgton News – October 25, 2007 )

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Filed under Bridgton, Bridgton News, Harrison, Joe Torre