- Police Beat
- The Forecaster
Deering sophomore Brooke Birkhahn celebrates with coach Ryan Hutchins after winning the 145-pound state title at the first-ever Maine Principals’ Association-sponsored girls’ wrestling tournament last week.
Photo courtesy Jason Gendron.
Cheverus’ Victoria Bossong leaves the field in her wake in the 55-meter dash at the last week’s Class A indoor track and field state championship meet. Bossong also won the 200 and 400 to help the Stags win the state title.
Whether it was the first-time or the seventh-straight-time, last week’s state championship meets saw city teams stealing headlines in swimming, indoor track and skiing.
Here’s a look back and a look ahead to the boys’ hockey playoffs:
Cheverus’ boys swim team tallied 318 points to easily capture a seventh consecutive Class A state title, beating runner-up South Portland by 91 points. The Stags didn’t have an individual event winner, but swept the relays and had more than enough depth to prevail.
Cheverus’ 200 medley relay team (Jack Martin, John Hight, Owen Gallo-Wagoner and Quinton Hastings) came in first in 1 minute, 42.03 seconds. The Stags’ 200 freestyle relay squad (Phineas Underwood, Hastings, Hight and Brim Peabody) won its race in 1:30.08. The 400 freestyle relay team (Underwood, Martin, Jeremy Baker and Peabody) placed first in 3:22.97.
Peabody was runner-up in the 200 free (1:47.15) and second in the 500 free (4:45.55). Hastings finished second in the 50 free (21.72 seconds) and second in the 100 free (48.21). Martin was second in the 200 individual medley (2:03.49) and fourth in the 100 backstroke (56.42). Underwood placed fourth in the 100 free (50.27) and sixth in the 200 free (1:52.21). Gallo-Wagoner finished fourth in the 500 free (5:05.73) and seventh in the IM (2:10.27). Hight was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.61) and eighth in the 100 free (51.74).
“Coach said to just swim hard,” Hastings said. “We’re going in with zero (points).”
“Everyone stepped up and did their role,” said longtime Cheverus coach Kevin Haley. “We just needed to stay focused. South Portland is an excellent team. We had a job to do.”
Portland (155 points) came in fifth for the second year in a row. Will Couture was second in the 100 butterfly (52.49) and runner-up in the 100 backstroke (53.33). Josh Ying placed fifth in the 100 free (51.05). Benu Moritz-Jones placed eighth (2:14.41). The Bulldogs’ 200 freestyle relay squad (Moritz-Jones, Ying, Max Orchow and Couture) were runner-up (1:33.00). Portland’s medley relay team (Couture, Paul Gauthier, Ying and Orchow) was third (1:43.71).
Deering (114) finished 10th. Owen McLaughlin won the 200 free (1:43.01) and captured the 100 fly (51.65). Ben Archibald placed eighth in the 500 free (5:18.77). The Rams’ 200 free relay team (Archibald, Lucas Jasonides, Mason Ripton and McLaughlin) finished fourth (1:34.58). Deering’s 400 free relay team (McLaughlin, Archibald, Jasonides and Ripton) placed seventh (3:34.52).
In the girls’ state meet, won by Bangor with 274 points, Cheverus (106) was eighth, Deering (19) 22nd and Portland (4.5) 26th.
The Stags’ top finisher was Caroline Arpin, third in the IM (2:13.86), and sixth in the fly (1:01.88). Grace Shimansky placed seventh in diving (252.40 points). Cheverus’ 400 free relay team (Rosie Train, Patsy Ciampi, Tholia Hallett and Arpin) came in sixth (3:59.19). The Stags’ medley relay squad (Hallett, Arpin, Delilah Hastings and Train) placed eighth (1:59.51).
In the Class B girls’ meet, won again by Cape Elizabeth with 487 points, Waynflete (16) placed 14th.
Waynflete’s boys tallied 20 points and tied George Stevens Academy for 15th place (Mt. Desert Island won with 381 points).
Cheverus’ girls’ indoor track team won its second straight Class A state title and its first outright. The Stags had 72 points to easily outdistance Thornton Academy (38.5). Portland (9 points) was 16th and Deering (4.5) came in 22nd.
Cheverus got three first-place finishes from standout Victoria Bossong, who captured the 55 (in a new record time of 7.2 seconds), the 200 (a new record time of 25.43 seconds) and the 400 (a new record time of 57.13 seconds).
Emma Gallant was runner-up to Bossong in the 200 (26.17) and 400 (59.46). Emma White was second in both the long jump (17 feet, 4.5 inches) and triple jump (37-6.5) and came in third in the 55 hurdles (8.77). Evelyn Hanley placed sixth in the 55 hurdles (9.16). The Stags’ 4×200 relay team (Julia Ryan, Sophie Schuele, Hanley and Gallant) placed sixth (1:51.64).
The Bulldogs’ points came from Jaidyn Appel, the runner-up in the high jump (5-2) and Vanessa Connolly, who was seventh in the shot put (32-2.25).
The Rams’ points came courtesy Hadley Poirier (fourth in the 800, 2:26.39) and Darcy Lally (tie for seventh in the pole vault, 8-6).
In the Class A boys’ meet, won again by Scarborough with 104 points, Cheverus (26) placed fifth, Deering (20) was ninth and Portland (9) tied South Portland for 14th place.
The Stags were led by Sean Tompkins, who was runner-up in the 200 (23.1) and third in the 55 (6.62). Frank Morang came in third in the long jump (20-4.5). Cheverus’ 4×200 relay team (Joseph Baur, Morang, Alex Baur and Tompkins) placed third (1:35.27).
The Rams were paced by Alec Troxell, who was runner-up in the mile (4:27.88) and second in the two-mile (9:54.30). Jerry Mixangelo placed sixth in the 400 (53.55). Josh Paisley came in sixth in the shot put (48-4.5).
The Bulldogs, who had their best finish in eight years, got points from Milo Bloom (fifth in the 55 hurdles, 8.24), Nathaniel Ellington (fifth in the shot put, 48-10) and Mwandja Kaluta (fifth in the triple jump, 42-0).
The Cheverus/Deering/Portland girls’ Nordic ski team won their first Class A state title last week. Sierra Aponte-Clarke was third in the skate (16 minutes, 7.3 seconds) and eighth in the classic (20:07.3) Grace Tumavicus was sixth in the classic (19:56.6) and 13th in the skate (17:09.3). Lucinda Medd placed 10th in the classic (20:18.9) and 10th in the skate (16:56.2). Leska Whitmarsh was 11th in the classic (20:39.9). Elizabeth Thomas finished 15th in the skate (17:12.4).
“We have a deep team, but we knew we were a little short,” said Portland coach George Aponte Clarke, whose team was missing two of its top skiers. “You’re going up against Emma Charles and Chelsea Seabold (who placed fifth for Mt. Blue) and you know they’re going to have some high sticks. So we just had to hope that we packed it in deep, and we did.”
In the boys’ meet, won by Falmouth, the Cheverus/Deering/Portland squad placed third. Will Jordan was fourth in the classic (16:27.7) and seventh in the skate (13:59.4). Liam Niles placed ninth in the classic (17:08.1) and 11th in the skate (14:18.19). Ben Horrisberger came in 11th in the classic (17:19.2) and 12th in the freestyle (14:23.3). Roberts Sheils was 13th in the skate (14:27.0) and 16th in the classic (17:46.4).
Waynflete’s girls’ Nordic ski team tied Fort Kent for second place in Class C (Ashland finished first). Clara Sandberg was fourth in the classic (22:32) and fifth in the freestyle (19:12.5). Kaitlynn Bliss placed sixth in the classic (22:59.4) and eighth in the freestyle (19:42.9). Julia Werner came ninth in the classic (23:10.6).
The Waynflete boys tied Dirigo for third (Madawaska won the title). Nicholas Werner was runner-up in the freestyle (15:50.2) and came in fourth in the classic (19:02.2).
In Alpine action, Cheverus’ Annesley Black won both the Class A slalom (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 40.6 seconds) and giant slalom (1:24.86).
Deering’s Bennett Berg placed fifth in the slalom (1:37.65) and 11th in the boys’ GS (1:26.74).
The first-ever Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned girls’ wrestling state tournament was held last week in Howland.
Deering’s Brooke Birkhahn won the title in the 145-pound division. Birkhahn had pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals before an 11-6 decision in the final over the top-seeded Madeline Tardiff of Nokomis. Birkhahn was voted by the tournament officials as the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.
“It means a lot,” Birkhahn said. “I was really surprised when they called me up for (the award).”
“I’m so proud of the effort that she put in today,” Deering coach Ryan Hutchins said. “She wrestled a tough opponent in the finals. It was a great match and to have her come out on top, I’m just so proud of her.”
The boys’ hockey postseason is underway.
The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team finished 10-8 and third in Class A South and will host No. 6 Cheverus (8-10) in the quarterfinals Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Stags won the regular season meeting, 4-1. Cheverus won both prior playoff meetings with a 5-2 victory in the 2017 Class A South quarterfinals the most recent.
Portland/Deering earned the No. 5 seed in Class A South with an 8-10 mark and opens the playoffs at fourth-ranked Scarborough (10-7-1) Wednesday. The teams are meeting for the third straight game. On Feb. 18, Portland/Deering won, 3-1, in Gorham and in the regular season finale Feb. 21, Scarborough prevailed, 5-2, in Portland. The Red Storm have taken all three prior playoff encounters with a 4-2 victory in the 2014 Western A quarterfinals the most recent.
The regional semifinals are Saturday in Lewiston.
The Class A South Final is Tuesday of next week in Lewiston and the Class A state final is Saturday, March 9 in Lewiston.
Journal Tribune staff writer Pat McDonald and Press Herald staff writers Glenn Jordan and Kevin Thomas contributed to this story.