With athletic director Jen Lynch gone, Belfast has a new administrator familiar to many sports fans in the mid-coast region.
Terry Kenniston, who recently resigned as the Old Town High principal, was hired July 3 to take over the Belfast post.
“He has a great athletic background, he certainly has the administrative experience,” Belfast principal Butch Arthers said. “I think he’s going to be a good fit for us.”
Kenniston announced his resignation from Old Town High at school board meeting last month.
Kenniston coached the Rockland High girls basketball team to a 45-15 regular-season record from 1993-96. He was a standout on the Tigers’ boys teams in the early 1970s. He was named a second-team All-Mainer in 1972.
He has also served as a principal in the Bucksport school system.
Arthers said Lynch has moved to Danvers, Mass., to take over the athletic director post at Danvers High School.
McLeod transferring to Hermon
Marissa McLeod, a former Bangor High girls basketball starter, said she has transferred to Hermon High for her senior year.
McLeod, whose family lives in Hermon, had been paying tuition to attend Bangor High for the past three years. But McLeod, who said she felt her playing time was lessening and eventually left the team last season, said she felt more comfortable at another school.
Bangor High coach Tom Tennett declined to comment on the situation.
McLeod, a 5-foot-9 guard, has been playing with the Hermon girls at a Bangor High-based girls league this summer.
The Hawks enjoyed one of their finest seasons in years under first-year varsity coach Margie Deabay. Hermon finished the regular season with a 10-8 record and the seventh seed for the Eastern Maine Class B tourney, knocking off No. 2 Camden Hills in a quarterfinal.
The Hawks have three starters back from that team. McLeod should be able to step right in as standout guard Jessie Wiggin has graduated.
It helps that she played with several of her new teammates as a youngster.
“A couple of us all grew up playing basketball together,” she said. “So it’s easy going back.”
NFHS makes pole vault changes
In a move to reduce serious pole vaulting injuries, the National Federation of State High School Associations has adopted a rules change placing the crossbar farther back over the landing pit.
The new rule comes after one last year that increased the size of the pit.
It sets the crossbar at least 151/4 inches past the vertical plane of the back of the planting box. Requiring a deeper vault into the pit will lessen the chance of an athlete landing on the planting box.
“This teaches athletes to vault a little deeper and leaves more room to land once the vaulter plants and leaves the ground,” said Cynthia Doyle, NFHS assistant director.
Three vaulters, two at high schools in Florida and Kansas and one at Penn State, died in a span of two months last year. In the past two decades, an average of one vaulter has died each year, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.
The latest change was adopted last month by the Track and Field Rules Committee of the NFHS, the Indianapolis-based umbrella group for 51 state associations encompassing about 18,200 U.S. high schools and more than 10 million students.
“Any time you can make an event safer, it’s good,” said Belfast track and field coach Dale Nealey, who competed in the pole vault at the University of Maine. “I don’t know if this is going to do that, but the intention is there.”
Nealey said he didn’t think vaulters would have too much trouble adjusting to the new rule.
“You might have a few more kids no-height at meets,” he added. “It’s a great event and if it’s coached properly it’s a safe event. The trouble is, it’s a difficult event to coach.”
MPA seminar postponed
The Maine Principals’ Association has announced that the Maine School Law seminar School Athletics and the Law, originally scheduled for Aug. 21 will instead be held Nov. 4 at the Augusta Civic Center.
The registration brochure will be available on the MPA Web site (www.mpa.cc) on Sept. 2 and will also be mailed to members and athletic administrators in early September.
Jessica Bloch can be reached at 990-8193, 1-800-310-8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.