Forecaster Country’s finest runners, jumpers and throwers took part in the outdoor track and field state championship meets Saturday and two teams came home with state titles.
The Class C story continues to be dominated by small, but potent North Yarmouth Academy. The Panthers boys’ team won its fourth straight title, edging Lisbon 81-79.5, thanks to a clutch effort in the final event of the day. Freeport came in 14th with 12 points.
On the girls’ side, NYA and Freeport gave it a run, but ultimately, John Bapst was first with 95 points. The Panthers came in third with 64. The Falcons were fourth with 46.
In Class B, Falmouth’s boys ended Waterville’s three-year reign as state champions, scoring 112 points to beat the Purple Panthers by 17.5 and win the title for the first time. Greely (49 points) was fourth. Yarmouth did not score.
In the girls’ meet, won by Waterville with 119 points, Greely placed third with 62, Falmouth was fifth with 43 and Yarmouth finished tied for 14th with 10 points.
To the fourfront
The NYA boys’ team has been consistently small in numbers, but enormous in skill and heart dating back to the beginning of this magical run in 2006.
This season, the Panthers had to go to the final event to secure their destiny. Trailing Lisbon by a half-point entering the 1,600 relay, NYA came up huge, as freshman Robby Lentine, sophomore Nick Kolkin, sophomore Mohammed Dahia and junior Henry Sterling came in fourth in 3 minutes, 38.42 seconds, while the Greyhounds had to settle for sixth. That gave the Panthers 81 points, 1.5 better than the runners-up.
Sterling and senior Sam Fear were largely responsible for the four-peat.
Sterling culminated his dominant year by winning the 800 (2:01.55), mile (4:24.81) and two-mile (9:44.06).
Fear was first in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches) and javelin (172-8), runner-up in the shot put (45-3) and third in the discus (123-3).
Dahia placed third in the 300 hurdles (43.33 seconds). Junior Douglas Goldstein was sixth in the racewalk (9:30.68). Senior Steven Lentine came in fourth in the 110 hurdles (17.46) and seventh in the 300 hurdles (44.91).
For Freeport, senior Connor Yost was third in the pole vault (12-6). Junior Henry Loughlin came in fifth in the mile (4:42.60) and fifth in the two-mile (10:24.47).
On the girls’ side, NYA got a win from junior Maeve Stier in the high jump (4-10).
Junior Alexandra O’Reilly placed second in the shot put (32-4.25) and third in the javelin (93-2). Junior Hannah Bewsey was runner-up in the high jump (4-10) and placed seventh in the 300 hurdles (53.40). Senior Alison Carpenter was second in the 400 (1:02.56). Junior Hilary Gibson had a fourth-place showing in the long jump (15-1.5). Senior Marley Witham was fifth in the racewalk (9:57.96).
The Panthers came in second in the 400 relay (53.51), third in the 1,600 relay (4:21.78) and sixth in the 3,200 relay (11:04.90).
For the Falcons, Caroline Davis was runner-up in the two-mile (12:37.18). Kristen Poulin was second in the 100 (13.42) and fourth in the 200 (28.05). Andrea Goodrich came in second in the 800 (2:32.05) and was seventh in the mile (5:47.58). Adrian Baker placed sixth in the 400 (1:03.49).
In the relays, Freeport was second in the 3,200 (10:26.84), fourth in the 400 (54.46), fifth in the 1,600 (4:27.93).
A first for Falmouth
Prior to Saturday, the Falmouth boys had never won a Class B state title. The Yachtsmen (who did win Class C in 1978 and again in 2003) were close in 2008 and wouldn’t be denied this time around.
Standout senior Tommy Winger capped his Maine high school career in high style by winning the long (21-5) and triple (43-3) jumps. Falmouth also got wins from senior Kristopher Floridino in the shot put (48-6) and its 400 relay team (Winger, juniors Michael Gardner, Alec Dunn and Gabe Hoffman-Johnson had a time of 44.78).
The Yachtsmen were also second in the 1,600 relay (junior Kellen MacDonald, Dunn, sophomore Will Wegener and Hoffman-Johnson; 3:30.97) and fifth in the 3,200 relay (senior Luke Barbour, senior Jamey Epstein, junior Mike Serunian and senior Scott Gardner had a time of 8:25.58).
Falmouth had plenty of other scorers.
Floridino was second in the discus (131-5). Senior Dallin Thomas came in second in the pole vault (13 feet). Dunn was runner-up in the 110 hurdles (15.63) and placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (42.73). MacDonald came in second in the 300 hurdles (41.34) and was fifth in the 110 hurdles (16.27). Wegener was third in the 400 (51.47). Junior Charlie Swerdlow came in third in the racewalk (7:38.90). Winger placed fourth in the 200 (23.33) Scott Gardner was fifth in the two-mile (10:18.02). Sophomore Matt Goldstein was seventh in the racewalk (8:56.40). Freshman Tim Follo placed seventh in the mile (4:38.46). Epstein finished seventh in the two-mile (10:20.85).
“We have a wonderful group of athletes on this team,” said Falmouth coach Danny Paul. “Tommy, Kris and Dallin led a strong group of seniors, along with Scott, Luke and Jamey. Most of our best kids are committed to many activities and the juggling is a real challenge. We managed to get it done. I’m proud of the effort of everyone. I was impressed with how the returnees from last year’s dramatic, close loss at states came back and got the job done.
“The underclassmen have a great future to look forward to. Alec has become a true blue chip track athlete. Kellen came through in every place we needed him. Will and Gabe made us formidable in key places, especially the relays. Mike Gardner was huge for us in the 400 relay. Tim Follo, Charlie Swerdlow, Matt Goldstein and Mike Serunian chipped in to help the distances. Reid Pryzant, Andy Kowalsky, Jimmy Polewacyk, Charlie Cott and John Webster all got state meet experience, which will help them next year.”
For Greely, junior Mark McCauley came in first in the 800 (1:56.09). The Rangers also took the 3,200 relay (as senior James LePage, senior Andy Fitch, junior Logan Price and McCauley had a time of 8:03.57, setting a new state record).
Price was runner-up in the two-mile (9:38.55). LePage came in second in the 800 (1:58.15) and was third in the mile (4:28.58). Fitch placed fifth in the 800 (2:01.33) and came in sixth in the two-mile (10:19.77). Sophomore Tanner Storey placed sixth in the high jump (5-8).
“The finish was a bit higher than we might have expected,” said Greely coach John Folan. “The boys distance crew did major damage. What a wrecking crew and well deserved outstanding achievement for an entire school year of work and dedication. Tanner’s fifth in the high jump was a significant achievement coming off two full weeks of illness and little practice as a result. We have some impressive shoes to fill next year. We’ll endeavor to do our best.”
On the girls’ side, Greely got a win from senior Liza LePage in the 800 (2:20.99). Junior Hannah Werneth was second in the shot put (36-8) and fourth in the discus (103-0). Sophomore Katherine Harrington finished second in the discus (106-7) and was seventh in the shot put (33-4). Senior Lili Grieves was third in the discus (103-9). Senior Hillary Cederna had the third-best leap in the long jump (16-7.25). Freshman Emily Curato came in fifth in the pole vault (8 feet). Sophomore Tess Carley placed sixth in the two-mile (11:47.64). Senior Allison Hall came in seventh in the 800 (2:30.08).
The Rangers were third in the 3,200 relay (Hall, senior Jessa Steinman, Carley, LePage; 9:59.16), fourth in the 400 relay (sophomore Emily Christensen, sophomore Meaghan Crowley, junior Taylor Hicks and junior Abby Diehl; 53.19) and fifth in the 1,600 relay (Hall, sophomore Elizabeth Morrone, LePage and Steinman; 4:25.73).
“It was a solid meet,” said Folan. “There were a lot of high points. Liza’s fast win in the 800 was a fitting end to her career. Hillary, battling injuries, managed to dig deep. Emily’s growth this season, as a person who had never vaulted in March, to an 8-foot effort for fifth place in June, is a testament to her hard work, athleticism and the work of our vault coach, John Lane. Tess’ fifth in the 3,200 was a real plus as this was her first year of outdoor track. The throwers were just awesome.
“We lose some real impact athletes across the board next year, particularly Cederna, Hall, LePage, Steinman, Carley and Grieves,” he added.
Falmouth was paced by a win from freshman Rosemary Nurse in the high jump (4-10). Nurse was also seventh in the 100 hurdles (17.22).
Senior Abby Smith tied for second in the pole vault (8-6). Sophomore Kate Sparks finished fourth in the shot put (36-1). Senior Tina Pruyn came in fifth in the racewalk (9:03.13). Senior Alison Coyne was fifth in the high jump (4-10). Freshman Jenna Serunian finished fifth in the shot put (35-4) and sixth in the discus (100-1). Sophomore Adrienne Michalakis placed seventh in the 100 (13.23).
In the relays, the Yachtsmen placed third in the 400 (junior Adriana Fox, Michalakis, senior Ali McClellan and freshman Emily Rand; 52.54), sixth in the 3,200 (junior Francesca D’Alfonso, junior Erin Morris, junior Rachel Brown and junior Allison Tietjen; 10:29.57), and seventh in the 1,600 (sophomore Amy Webster, freshman Jena Mannette, D’Alfonso and Brown; 4:31.60).
“The girls had an amazing day overall,” said Paul. “We were quite excited and pleased. We return most of the girls next year.”
Yarmouth’s points came from senior standout Haley Knaub, who won the javelin (with a state record throw of 126-4).
The New England championships will be held this upcoming Saturday in Burlington, Vt. The event marks the final competition of the 2008-09 school year.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.
Greely’s distance standouts (from front) Mark McCauley, James LePage and Andy Fitch took part in the 800. McCauley won the race, LePage was second and Fitch placed fifth. The Rangers placed fourth as a team.
Yarmouth senior Haley Knaub set a new javelin record Saturday with a top throw of 126 feet, 4 inches, and accounted for her team’s 10 points.