In search of their first state championship in 12 seasons, the Cheverus boys’ outdoor track team took time out to secure the top spot in the conference Saturday by winning the Southern Maine Activities Association championship meet at Thornton Academy in Saco.
The Stags tallied 106 points to beat runner-up Gorham by nine. Deering tied Marshwood for 14th place with 4 points. Portland did not score.
In the girls’ meet, won by powerhouse Scarborough with 119 points, Cheverus (82) was third behind Thornton Academy (86.333). Deering (31 points) came in seventh. McAuley and Portland didn’t score.
Waynflete’s boys’ and girls’ team participated in the Western Maine Conference championship at Yarmouth High School Saturday. The Flyers had 24 points and were seventh in the boys’ Division II competition (Sacopee was first with 156). The girls’ team scored 25 points and was also seventh. Traip won with 136.
Cheverus has overwhelming scoring potential in the distance races and the throws and rode those standouts to victory Saturday.
Junior Jack Terwilliger won the mile (4 minutes, 25.38 seconds) and the two-mile (9:35.73) and was part of a champion 4×800 relay squad (8:06.49).
Senior John White was first in the discus (145 feet, 2.25 inches) and the shot put (51-2).
That was just the beginning.
Senior Taylor Dundas was runner-up in the mile (4:27.65), as well as second in the two-mile (9:48.68). Senior Tim Woods was second in the 800 (1:59.77). Senior James Rutter finished third in both the shot put (46-10.5) and the 200 (23.46 seconds). Senior Thomas Yates placed fourth in the discus (129-11). Junior Kane Molleo was fifth in the javelin (155-4). Charles Place finished fifth in the shot put (43-11.25).
The Stags were third in the 400 (45.22) and 1,600 (3:34.97) relays.
“Winning the conference is always nice,” said Cheverus coach Bruce Bickford. “It was close the whole way, but the boys competed very well. Our 4×8 relay is very strong. Starting out with 10 points was nice.”
The victory was even more impressive considering distance star Andrew Snyder and top thrower Beau Michaud both skipped the meet to rest up for states.
Speaking of which, Cheverus is viewed as the team to beat Saturday, but Bickford expects a challenge from the likes of Gorham, Scarborough, Brunswick, Bangor and Edward Little.
“Everyone’s predicting us to win, but we had to prove we can do it,” Bickford said. “We should be in good shape if things go right. It’s been awhile. There are no guarantees.”
Deering’s points came from David Nguyen, who was fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.37).
In the girls’ competition, Cheverus made plenty of noise as well.
Junior Caroline Summa won the high jump (5-2). Sophomore Emily Durgin captured the two-mile (11:03.99). The Stags also won the 400 (51.44) and 3,200 (9:46.30) relays.
Senior Hannah Lyons was runner-up in the 100 (12.94) and came in fifth in the 200 (27.79) and fifth in the long jump (15-10). Durgin was second in the mile (5:05.76). Sophomore Katie Shapiro was runner-up in the discus (106-10). Sophomore Fiona Hendry placed fourth in the mile (5:21.85) and fifth in the two-mile (11:48.08). Senior Amelia Lundkvist placed fourth in the two-mile (11:42.55) and sixth in the mile (5:25.74). Senior Liana Rubinoff came in sixth in the two-mile (11:48.99).
Cheverus came in fifth in the 1,600 relay (4:20.31).
For Deering, Ella Ramonas was runner-up in the 800 (2:21.08). Tricia Stewart finished second in the high jump (5-2), third in the triple jump (33-1.5) and was sixth in the long jump (15-9.75). Claire Ramonas was fourth in the shot put (35-6.75). Jane Farrell placed fourth in the 100 (17.55).
Putting on a show
Waynflete’s boys were led by up-and-coming sophomore standout Abshir Horor, who was won the mile (4:35.53) and was second in the 800 (2:04.54).
“Coach told to me to keep my pace and I felt good at the end,” Horor said, after completing the mile. “The pace was nice. I felt strong. Hopefully I can do it again next week. I think I have a shot.”
“With a kid like that, it’s a gift,” added Waynflete coach Ziggy Gillespie. “His first mile ever, he ran 4:45. He’s just a natural with a great attitude. He followed his race plan. Coming in today, I just wanted to get the kids on the podium. High school track is all psychological.”
Senior Bill Ngoal placed fourth in the long jump (19-1.5). Freshman Abukar Adan came in fifth in the mile (4:51.09). Senior Robin Wajler came in seventh in the long jump (17-2).
The girls’ team was led by freshman Amelia Mitchell, who won the 800 (2:32.57) and came in fourth in the long jump (13-9.25). Sophomore Gina Schnier was second in the 400, 1:12.06. Junior Emma Longcope came in fourth in the 800 (2:48.49).
Cheverus, Deering and Portland will compete in the Class A state meet Saturday at Cony High School in Augusta.
McAuley will vie for Class B honors in Windham.
Waynflete takes its show north to Foxcroft for the Class C meet.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deering’s Dali Tauwala came in first in her heat in the 800 Saturday and placed 13th overall.
Cheverus’ Jack Terwilliger led the way in the mile with teammate Taylor Dundas close behind. Terwilliger would win the event and Dundas was runner-up as the Stags went on to win the SMAA boys’ team title.