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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, April 20, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, April 20, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, April 20, 2017
Top runner John Hassett commits to UMaine
Signs Letter of Intent for 2017-18

The newest Black Bear

John Hassett signed his National Letter of Intent last week to become the newest addition to the University of Maine track and field and cross country programs. Pictured, Hassett, right, signs his National Letter of Intent with his father, David Hassett.

Photo by Monique Labbe Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Monique Labbe

George Stevens Academy star runner John Hassett of Castine is the newest member of the University of Maine, Orono track and field and cross country teams. The high school senior signed his National Letter of Intent on April 12, with his father, Dave, and running coach, Erich Reed, by his side.

“I’m really excited,” said Hassett while scribbling his signature on the documents to officially become a Black Bear in the fall.

Hassett donned a UMaine sweatshirt during the signing, along with a throwback UMaine baseball cap borrowed from GSA baseball coach Dan Kane, who is a UMaine alum.

Hassett is a two-time state champion in cross country running and also holds state championships in indoor and outdoor track. As a junior, he led the cross country team to the program’s first state title in 23 years.

“[Hassett] has ambition, talent, speed, and his accomplishments have been done with relatively low mileage,” said Reed. “He will likely be very successful in college.”

Reed added that UMaine seems like the right fit for Hassett, who will enroll in the school’s engineering program upon acceptance. He also noted that the school’s cross country and track and field coach Mark Lech has a reputation for fostering talent, something he thinks will benefit Hassett as he makes the transition from high school running to the Division 1 level.

Lech echoed Reed’s assessment of Hassett’s potential at the college level.

“I’m very excited about working with [Hassett],” he said. “I think even as fast as he has run so far, he has a great upside and I look forward to helping him to even greater performances. He has all of the genetic tools to be great.”