The conditions were sweltering for Saturday’s outdoor track and field state championship meets, but local runners, jumpers and throwers rose to the occasion in triumphant and record-setting fashion.
At the Class A boys’ meet in Brewer, Scarborough managed to do something it hadn’t yet accomplished, win a state title at that level, as its 89 points were nine better than runner-up Cheverus. South Portland was 18th with 8 points.
The Red Storm was paced by Ryan Jamison, who won the 100 in 11.18 seconds (a facility record) and the 200 (22.89). Kevin Manning was the pole vault champion (13 feet). Robert Hall was the champion of the mile (4 minutes, 25.83 seconds).
Alec James was runner-up in the pole vault (13-0). Colin Tardiff, seeded eighth, provided huge points with a second-place showing in the two-mile (10:06.39).
Hugh McSorley finished fourth in the shot put (46-5.5) and seventh in the discus (128-6). Alex Karam placed fourth in the 800 (1:59.99). Jerry Kenney came in fifth in the 400 (51.84). Cameron Langlois was sixth in the 110 hurdles (15.79) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (41.46). Michael Pino was seventh in the shot put (44-11.75).
Jake Alofs, Kenney, Karam and Jamison were third in the 1,600 relay (3:31.4). Tardiff, Will Fowler, Colin Jones and Karam came in third in the 3,200 relay (8:15.58). Jamison, Kenney, Langlois and Alofs had the fourth-best time in the 400 relay (44.92).
“It’s been a great year,” said Scarborough coach Derek Veilleux, who, as the Cape Elizabeth boys’ cross country and Red Storm indoor and outdoor coach has known nothing but state titles this school year. “I’ve been blessed to have such great leaders and athletes to work with on each team. Winning the outdoor state title was awesome for our seniors who have given so much to the program. They performed at an all-time best on Saturday.
“Ryan had a special season, which saw him break the school record in the 100 and the (400 relay) earlier this year. Our pole vaulters once again gave us a big boost with 18 points to start the meet off. It was a special moment to see Robert Hall win that elusive individual state title in the 1,600. He had finished secnd in the cross country state meet and second in the mile indoors. He ran a perfect race and provided us 10 important points. He entered as only the fourth seed. Freshman Colin Tardiff once again showed he’s a big meet performer. We were only up five points in the team race heading into the 3,200. With the chance to put away the meet slipping with three laps to go, Tardiff moved up in the pack and with one lap to go, he moved all the way up to second place. It was a truly gutsy performance given the temperatures. He knew the team needed the points. His eight points meant we would be state champions for the first time in Class A.
“This was the most well rounded team in Scarborough history according to longtime coach Steve Ross. We had the ability to score in all disciplines and we did just that at the state meet. Winning the first Class A title for the program will be something this group can always be proud of.”
The Red Storm lose some special seniors, but if you think it won’t be heard from going forward, guess again.
“We graduate some of the program’s all-time best and three individuals who won state titles, but we have plenty of talent returning,” said Veilleux. “We’ll have new leaders next year and hopefully will be able to emulate our success again.”
South Portland was led by Joseph Zelasko, fifth in the discus (130-0) and sixth in the shot put (45-0.25). Michael Cuesta was seventh in the triple jump (42-0.75). The Red Riots’ 3,200 relay team (John Salamone, Jacob Maloney, Jonathan Bagley and Maxwell Knutsen) placed sixth (8:36.59).
The girls’ meet was won by Bangor with 84 points. South Portland (15) came in 17th and Scarborough (7) placed 23rd.
The local highlight came in the 3,200 relay, when freshman Casey Loring, juniors Casey Kelley and Shannon Conley and senior Nyajock Pan not only came in first, but set a facility record in the process, with a time of 9:49.95.
“Each leg of the relay did their part,” said South Portland coach Karen Reardon. “Casey Loring led off with a 2:29 split and had us right in the mix of the top five teams. Casey Kelley ran second this week and stayed in contention with the other runners at a smart pace through the first lap and finished so strong in the last 150 that she handed off to Shannon basically tied for first. Shannon again ran a controlled pace through the first lap even though the girl from Brunswick, Tessa Cassidy, had gone out really fast. As she came through the 400 at about 73 seconds, she started to close the gap as the Brunswick girl was fading. When Shannon handed off to Nyajock, we had the lead by a lot and Nyajock just extended it. She maintained her lead, ran a 2:21 split, and helped the team finish with a time of 9:49.95, a new school record, a new facility record for the Brewer complex and most importantly, a Class A state championship.”
Conley finished fifth in the 800 (2:24.62). Loring was seventh in the two-mile (12:07.3). Pan, despite a fall, placed seventh in the mile (5:34.44). Pan, who had a stellar career at South Portland, will attend Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., on an athletic scholarship, where she’ll study nursing.
The Red Riots hope to be even stronger next season.
“Overall, we have a lot to look forward to,” Rearden said. “We only had two seniors at the state meet. Excitement abounds for the future. The girls in general are a great group to work with.”
Scarborough’s points came from Natalie Foster in the high jump (5-0) and its 3,200 relay (Jenna Douglas, Karli-An Gilbert, Emma Koukos and Marisa Agger, 10:14.78).
Cape Elizabeth took part in the Class B meet in Bath.
The girls had 3 points to come in 22nd (Waterville won its seventh straight title with 136). Hailey Petsinger had the points with a fifth-place showing in the 800 (2:26.62). It didn’t factor into the team total, but Christina Kouros capped her career by setting new state records in the 800 wheelchair (3:06.21) and 1,600 wheelchair (6:06.19).
The boys had 1 point to tie Lake Region and Morse for 24th place. Waterville (96) was first. The point came from Eddie Galvin, who was seventh in the long jump (20-1.25).
Several Scarborough and South Portland athletes qualified for Saturday’s New England championship meet in Connecticut. That list includes Scarborough’s Jamison (100 and 200), Kenney (400), Karam (800), Hall (mile), Tardiff (two-mile), Manning (pole vault) and McSorley (shot put), South Portland’s Conley (800) and the Red Riots’ boys’ and girls’ 3,200 relays.
South Portland’s Shannon Conley helps the 3,200 relay team to a first-place finish in a new record time at Saturday’s Class A state meet. Conley was joined by Casey Loring, Casey Kelley and Nyajock Pan.
Cape Elizabeth’s Trevor Ewald stretches for the finish line in the 100 at the Class B state meet. Ewald didn’t qualify for the finals.