New scenic nature trail

Crockett Trail 5K attracts 35 runners for first event

Drago first overall, Scott top female finisher on course built in honor of Penny and Charlie Crockett
By Staff | Oct 10, 2017
Courtesy of: Miranda Dunton Nathanial Porter, left, and Scott Kessel, back, lead a pack of runners in the inaugural Crockett Trail 5K on Oct. 7 at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport.

Rockport — The Crockett Trail 5-kilometer race attracting a modest group of runners on Saturday morning, Oct. 7 at Camden Hills Regional High School, with Keith Drago crossing the new 3.1-mile course first in 19:22.

Ella Scott was the first female finisher in 22:25. She was fourth overall among 35 finishers.

Watch video below.

The trail officially opened the day before with the annual Camden Hills Invitational high school cross-country meet.

The individual results, with place, name, age and time listed, were: 1, Keith Drago, 30, 19:22.9; 2, David Root, 48, 19:33.6; 3, Finn Urey, 12, 22:07.0; 4, Ella Scott, 20, 22:25.3; 5, Jala Tooley, 38, 22:45.2; 6, Webber Roberts, 46, 23:02.7; 7, Alex Owre, 50, 23:06.8; 8, Liam Haining, 17, 23:12.0; 9, Jesse Bifulco, 48, 23:58.9; 10, Jan Pitcarin, 52, 24:06.2; 11, Emily McDevitt, 52, 24:06.2; 12, Karen Linares, 13, 24:46.5; 13, Zoe O’Brien, 12, 24:59.3; 14, Adam Kohlstrom, 41, 25:03.9; 15, Jon Heath, 16, 25:22.1; 16, Shawn Stockman, 52, 25:41.3; 17, Max Gallagher, 13, 25:56.5; 18, Chris Richmond, 51, 26:31.8; 19, Scott Kessel, 50, 26:48; 20, Mary Smith, 51, 27:00.9; 21, Kate Pierce, 45, 27:15.3; 22, Carl Trapani, 52, 27:20.9; 23, Nicole Maynard, 45, 27:26.1; 24, Lucy O’Brien, 10, 27:35.7; 25, Nathaniel Porter, 50, 27:56.3; 26, Allyson Poutasse, 51, 27:59.7; 27, Piper Urey, 10, 28:08.6; 28, Brian Furtiak, 54, 28:18; 29, Karen Sprague, 38, 29:11.7; 30, Michael Gallagher, 44, 29:12; 31, Lily Stowe, 12, 29:14.5; 32, Harold Van Lonkhuyzen, 54, 29:28.1; 33, Mary Wells-Eager, 48, 35:03.8; 34, Dana Fittante, 56, 35:03.8; and 35, Maggie McCarthy, 7, 38:29.3

Gift certificates were donated as prizes for overall male and female top finishers, male and female runner’s-up, male and female winners in all age-group categories, and a raffle to include all other runners in the race.

Many of the area businesses were generous, including: Long Grain, Cuzzy’s, The Waterfront, Sea Dog Brewery, Laugh Loud Smile Big, The Samoset, Boynton-McKay, Drouthy Bear, The Market Basket, Camden House of Pizza, French and Braun, Marriner’s Restaurant, Side Country Sports, Camden Deli and Maine Sport.

"We appreciate the participation of the whole Midcoast community in making this trail and race such a success," said Shawn Stockman of the Windjammer Trailblazers.

Stockman said the Trailblazers thank all volunteers and contributors who worked hard to complete the new “Charlie and Penny Crockett Trail" on the Camden Hills Regional High School property.

It was competed about a week ago and the ribbon-cutting ceremony happened just before the first Windjammer cross-country race on the course on Friday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. The trail was dedicated on Saturday, Oct. 7, during homecoming weekend, to Charlie and Penny Crockett, the first coaches of the cross-country teams at Camden-Rockport High School.

Between the two Crocketts, they have more than 69 years of teaching and coaching experience at CHRHS, as well as organizing and chaperoning the Washington D.C. trip for the rising seniors from the high school for nearly 30 years.

They recently retired, but continue to do the television commentary for athletic events and remain active at the school and in the community.

The construction of the trail was a year-long project managed by Stockman, who assembled a dream team of volunteers, he said, including Dan Eaton of Landscape Services in Rockport, who contributed months of in-kind services using his own equipment and hired help to remove tree stumps, carve the trail bed, lay the boulders and set the poles for the five bridges on the trail.

Windjammer coaches Helen Bonzi and Richard Stetson were involved from the beginning to mark the trail and organize volunteers, as well as contributing hours of physical labor.

Stetson, along with a core group of dedicated volunteers, Jeff Bowman, Scott Kessel, Tim Seymour, Carl Trapani and Bob Withey, worked through the winter to cut trees, and then in the summer to remove roots from the trail bed, and finally this fall they were part a larger group of volunteers who hauled and spread the mix of crushed rock and asphalt grindings to finish the trail surface, Stockman said. Tim Seymour used his own tractor to haul rocks and build retaining walls around the bridges.

Other volunteers who contributed significantly included Geoff Scott, who helped with planning and spent several weekends on the trail; David Root and Jim Iltis, who collaborated to attach railings to the bridges; Jon Heath, who created the signage for the course as part of his Eagle Scout project; Geoff Parker, who loaned the group his generator to be used to build the bridges on site; and Kerry Hardy, who identified 25 tree species that are now marked along the nature trail. In the final stretch, the Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine stepped in by the dozens to help finish the trail bed and spread materials.

Stockman said the Trailblazers also thank many local businesses who provided in-kind services: Gartley & Dorsky Engineering & Surveying did the site assessment, filed for state permits and designed the bridges; Bragg’s Tree Care removed two huge trees with their bucket truck and crew; Chuck and Dale Dorr of Dorr Wood Carving & Sign Company spent time with Jon Heath teaching him carving techniques and advising on the materials and construction of trail signage; the Public Works Department of the Town of Rockport and Fairpoint Communications donated new and used utility poles for the bridges; Viking Lumber contributed hardware and discounted lumber; landscaper David Wellman cut and chipped trees; Craig Mitchell of Rockport Landscape and Design used his tractor to load and haul rock, and then loaned the crew his tractor to use when the school’s equipment was out of service.

The high school’s staff also went into overdrive to complete the project on time. The track at the high school was resurfaced over the summer, and the school smartly saved all the reclaimed materials to use as the surface of the trail. John Novak, who oversees property maintenance, built a screen to separate the large chunks of rubber from the asphalt and spent hours screening more than 250 yards of material and hauling it out to the trail. Randy Carpentier brought his own ATV and trailer to haul the reclaim out to the trail on Saturdays and Sundays. Even Keith Rose, facilities director for CSD 28, spent several Sundays on a tractor hauling materials.

The trail would not have happened without funding, of course, which came from Martha Bonzi, First National Bank and James O'Rourke, in addition to an online fundraising campaign led by Bonzi, the Trapani family, Jonathon and Emily McDevitt, and Ann and Frank Yahner and David Berez of Penobscot Bay Media.

The Charlie and Penny Crocket Trail is open to the community as a nature trail that runs from school entrance across from Doc’s Garden (first entrance), along a stream to the small bridge at the elementary school (second entrance), and then joins the cross-country and Nordic ski trail that runs from the football practice field past the tennis courts (third entrance) and up the hill with a fourth entrance on the grass path behind the field hockey field to emerge behind the track, where the fifth entrance provides easy access into the woods.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

That is what the Crocketts did for decades, and that is their legacy, Stockman said.

Now, in their honor, the community has "created a very tangible trail that we can all enjoy and be proud of for years to come."

Crockett Trail dedication
Penny and Charlie Crockett, as well as Crockett Trail dedication. (Video by: Zack Miller of VStv)
Eventual winner Keith Drago, far right, and others take off at the start. (Courtesy of: Miranda Dunton)
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