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Goalie Trinity Atwater and her Cheverus/Kennebunk girls’ hockey teams took home the state title last month.
Deering’s Owen McLaughlin enjoyed another strong Class A swim state meet.
Portland’s Zack Elowitch won a state title in wrestling last month.
(Ed. Note: The basketball season was recapped last week)
The winter sports season had its share of memorable performances by local athletes.
Cheverus’ boys’ swim team won another Class A state title, its seventh in a row, and other schools and individuals, led by Deering’s Owen McLaughlin (Class A champion in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle), also produced strong showings.
Cheverus’ girls’ indoor track team, led by record-setter Victoria Bossong, won its second state title in a row and after sharing the crown with Scarborough last winter, had it all to itself this time around.
The Portland/Deering/Cheverus Nordic skiing team won a championship for the first time. On the Alpine side, Cheverus’ Annesley Black again swept the Class A slalom and giant slalom.
Wrestling produced a pair of individual champions.
On the ice, all three local boys’ squads made the playoffs, with the Portland/Deering’s co-op team advancing to a surprise regional final.
On the girls’ side, the Cheverus/Kennebunk co-op team, which was denied in last year’s state final, got back to the big stage this time around and shocked Lewiston to win the title.
Here’s one last look at the winter sports season that was:
Cheverus Stags boys’ swimming, Class A
Cheverus Stags girls’ hockey
Cheverus Stags girls’ indoor track, Class A
Portland/Deering/Cheverus, girls’ Nordic skiing, Class A
Annesley Black, Cheverus, Class A girls’ Alpine giant slalom
Annesley Black, Cheverus, Class A girls’ Alpine slalom
Owen McLaughlin, Deering, Class A boys’ 200 freestyle
Owen McLaughlin, Deering, Class A boys’ 100 butterfly
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 55
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 200
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 400
Brooke Birkhahn, Deering, girls’ 145 pounds
Zack Elowitch, Portland, Class A, 160 pounds
5) Yet another Cheverus swim title
It is undoubtedly a rite of winter, Cheverus’ boys’ swim team leaving the rest of Class A in its wake. This time around, the Stags scored 318 points, which left them well ahead of runner-up South Portland (227). Cheverus didn’t have an individual event winner, but swept the relays as the beat goes on and on.
“Everyone stepped up and did their role,” said longtime Stags coach Kevin Haley. “We just needed to stay focused. We had a job to do.”
4) A pair of wrestling champs
Portland senior Zack Elowitch has been a top-notch wrestler since entering high school, but it took until his senior season to win a state crown. This winter, Elowitch had no peer at 160 pounds as he bowed out in style. In another first, the Maine Principals’ Association sanctioned a girls’ tournament this winter and Deering’s Brooke Birkhahn stole headlines by winning the championship at 145 points.
3) Cheverus sprinter excels locally and beyond
Cheverus’ Victoria Bossong had a lot of success on the track as a freshman, but she became a transcendent star as a sophomore this winter. Bossong won the Class A title in the 55, 200 and 400, setting new state records in each. Bossong continued to dazzle at the New England championships, running the 300 in 39.68 seconds, setting a new state mark in the progress. The scary thing for everyone else, is that Bossong is only going to get better.
2) Nordic skiers make history
The Portland/Deering/Cheverus Nordic ski team has long held its own against bigger, longer-established programs, but this year, the squad took it to another level, winning the state crown for the first time. Sierra Aponte-Clarke, Grace Tumavicus, Lucinda Medd, Leska Whitmarsh and Elizabeth Thomas all came up huge at the state meet to help produce the historic title.
1) Cheverus girls’ hockey wins state crown
A year ago, the Cheverus/Kennebunk girls’ hockey team appeared bound for the state title, but fell short against Greely-Gray/New Gloucester in the state game. This time around, Cheverus/Kennebunk was against the best team in the South Region this season, but got pushed hard in the playoffs. After surviving Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, 1-0, in double-overtime in the semifinals, Cheverus/Kennebunk was down, 2-0, to Scarborough in the South Region Final, rallied to tie that one, then prevailed in overtime again, 3-2. Cheverus/Kennebunk was an underdog in the state final in Lewiston against a Lewiston squad which beat it twice in the regular season, but this time, the team got the job done, in regulation no less, 2-1, to wrap up the hardware.