State meet glory in track, swimming and skiing

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February vacation week is anything but a week off for local winter sports athletes and this year’s round of indoor track, swimming and skiing state meets once again produced an abundance of stellar performances.

Here’s a recap:

Swimming

Greely’s girls’ swim team won its first Class B title in three seasons by the slimmest of margins last week, beating Mt. Desert Island by a half-point (350.5-350). Yarmouth (106) came in eighth, while North Yarmouth Academy (33) was 15th.

The Rangers didn’t have a single event winner, but it didn’t matter. Kate Dransfield, Hwanhee Park, Madison Rawnsley and Cat Maker were second in the 200 medley relay (1 minute, 54.33 seconds). Park, Lily Black, Camilla Civiello and Maker were runners-up in the 200 freestyle relay (1:44.33) and Civiello, Black, Lauren Williams and Katie Bacall placed second in the 400 free relay (3:52.92).

Park was second in the 200 individual medley (2:13.85) and the 100 butterfly (58.95 seconds), setting a new school record in the latter event. Maker finished runner-up in the 50 free (25.34) and was third in the 100 free (56.39). Bacall was second in the 500 free (5:39.56) and fourth in the 200 free (2:04.79). Dransfield finished runner-up in the 100 backstroke (1:00.83) and was fourth in the 50 free (25.92). Black came in fourth in the 500 free (5:51.82) and fifth in the 200 free (2:07.86). Civiello placed sixth in the 200 free (2:08.43) and seventh in the 100 free (58.52). Meagan Currie finished sixth in the 500 free (5:51.96). Williams came in seventh in the backstroke (1:06.38).

“With no rock stars on the team, the girls had a lunch-pail effort,” said longtime Greely coach Rob Hale. “We were the first team ever to win a championship without winning a single event. While we weren’t the defending champion, we were the one with a target on our back. The girls swam really well for the second weekend in a row. They followed up a wonderful Southwestern championship with a state championship. This is the hardest-working group I have ever coached.  Every day they came to practice and accepted the challenge of ‘don’t be afraid to get better.'”

The Clippers featured Eliza Lunt, who was third in the 50 free (25.49) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.23). Yarmouth’s 200 free relay team (Lunt, Cara Ricciardi, Amanda Murray and Eliza Oliver) came in fifth (1:49.05) and its 200 medley relay squad (Ricciardi, Lunt, Murray and Oliver) was sixth (2:00.64).

The Panthers’ points came from Sonia Lin, who was second in the breaststroke (1:08.13) and third in the 200 IM (2:14.70).

Greely’s boys weren’t able to win a sixth straight championship, but their 162 points still left them a respectable eighth (Cape Elizabeth was first with 275.5). Yarmouth (66) finished 10th.

Ryan Plante was fourth in the 50 free (23.4) and fifth in the 100 free (51.3). Jordan Merrifield was eighth in the 200 free (2:03.98). Connor Rog came in eighth in the IM (2:12.77). The Rangers were fourth in the 200 free relay (Rog, Andrew Simoneau, Chipper Byron and Plante, 1:36.75), sixth in the 200 medley relay (Plante, Rog, Luis Villa and Byron, 1:51.31) and eighth in the 400 free relay (Will Russell, Simoneau, Villa and Merrifield, 3:41.68).

“While the boys were in no position to defend their championship, they still swam terrifically,” said Hale. “The inexperienced squad moved up from their expected finish.. Hats off to Cape. Their boys had an outstanding meet.”

The Clippers featured a seventh-place 200 free relay team (Camden Thaxter, Jack Snyder, Braelen Creswell and Brandon Felker, 1:41.44). Snyder was ninth in the 50 free (23.97).

Falmouth took part in the Class A championship meet. The boys had 202 points to come in fourth (Cheverus was first with 360).

Jake Perron led the way with wins in the 200 free (1:41.32) and the 500 free (4:38.71). Connor Perron was fourth in the 500 free (4:55.87) and eighth in the 200 free (1:50.47). Logan Herodes finished fifth in the 50 free (23.61). Griffin Conley was sixth in diving (263.45 points). Jeremiah Sands came in seventh in the IM (2:15.45).

The Yachtsmen’s 400 free relay (Connor Perron, Winslow Robinson, Herodes and Jake Perron) finished fourth (3:28.03), the 200 free relay (Connor Perron, Nathan Ryer, Herodes and Jake Perron) was fourth (1:35.56) and the medley relay (Robinson, Sands, Ryer and Hyun Lee) came in seventh (1:51.62).

Falmouth’s girls tied Westbrook for sixth with 143 points (Brunswick was the champion with 246).

Charlotte Janelle won another diving title (this time with 395.25 points). Piper Alexander finished seventh in the 500 free (5:36.96) and was eighth in the IM (2:27.12). The medley relay (Keunjoo Kim, Alexander, Kate Lannon and Madeline Winkeler) finished fifth (2:03.28), the 200 free relay (Blair Legere, Alexander, Lannon and Winkeler) was seventh (1:50.86) and the 400 free relay (Kim, Winkeler, Lannon and Alexander) also placed seventh (3:59.67).

Indoor track

At last week’s Class A boys’ state track meet in Gorham, Falmouth saved its best for last and proved that it not only could contend with Class A opposition, but beat the entire field as well.

It took until the very end, but the Yachtsmen’s victory in the 4×200 relay gave them 59 points, which was three better than Scarborough. Andy Clement, Kohl Valle, Nick Sanzari and Tony St. Angelo produced a time of 1 minute, 33.15 seconds to put Falmouth over the top. The Yachtsmen also won the 4×800 relay, as Spencer Brown, Bryce Murdick, Josh Simensky and Sean Soucy had a time of 8:17.36.

Falmouth didn’t have a single first-place individual finisher, but boasted plenty of depth.

Murdick finished third in the two-mile (10:01.73) and was fifth in the mile (4:36.72). Simensky was fourth in the 800 (2:04.97). Matt Edmonds placed fourth in the shot put (48 feet, 1 inch). Tony St. Angelo finished fourth in the high jump (6 feet), Sanzari came in fourth in the 200 (23.63 seconds). Aaron Thomas finished fifth in the pole vault (12-6). Valle was fifth in the 200 (23.75). Clement placed sixth in the 200 (23.83) and was also sixth in the 55 hurdles (8.48). Brown finished sixth in the 800 (2:05.55) and was sixth in the mile (4:44.50).

In the girls’ meet, won by Thornton Academy with 53 points, Falmouth came in 10th with 23.

The Yachtsmen’s 4×800 relay team (Hannah Berzinis, Paige Chamberlain, Gina Pardi and Mira Wyman) was runner-up to Cheverus (10:13.66). Emma England placed fourth in the 200 (27.54). Lydia Farmer came in fifth in the long jump (16-1.75). Berzinis finished fifth in the two-mile (12:09.06). Wyman was sixth in the 800 (2:33.59). The Yachtsmen were fifth in the 4×200 relay (Wyman, Pardi, Elizabeth Cyr and England, 1:53.71).

The Class B track championships were held in Lewiston.

Greely’s girls tallied 59.33 points to finish runner-up to Waterville (74.83). Yarmouth (24) was sixth and Freeport and NYA tied for 21st place with 4 points.

The Rangers won the 4×800 relay, as Sophia Stickney, Olivia Bucknam, Emily Mason and Izzy Evans had a time of 10:24.99. Alyssa Coyne won the shot put (39-0) and tied for fourth in the pole vault (8-6). Evans was first in the mile (5:38.47) and also came in fifth in the two-mile (12:11.29). Samantha Pynchon finished in a three-way tie for third in the high jump (4-10). Olivia Bucknam came in third in the mile (5:47.38). Mitiguy was fourth in the 55 hurdles (9.09). Mason finished sixth in the mile (5:51.48) and was sixth in the two-mile (12:25.77). Sophia McMonagle and Lucy Wetzel tied for sixth in the pole vault (8-0).

The Clippers featured a record-setting performance from Emma Egan, who set a new mark in the high jump with a top leap of 5 feet, 4.5 inches. Egan also came in second to Lake Region record-setter Kate Hall in the long jump (16-5) and was third in the 55 (7.57)

The Falcons were fifth in the 4×800 relay (Chloe Hight, Lucy Zachau, Maddie Squibb and Hannah Schnyder, 10:52.33) and Schnyder finished seventh in the 800 (2:34.34).

The Panthers featured Hannah Austin, who was fourth in the two-mile (12:08.18).

In the boys’ meet, won by York with 71 points, Greely (20) was seventh, Yarmouth (19) came in eighth, NYA (5) was 20th and Freeport (4) tied George Stevens Academy and Lincoln Academy for 21st.

The Rangers got a fourth-place finish from their 4×800 relay team (Chris Perry, Adam Bruder, Kyle Hansen and Ryan Morrison, 8:56.26) and a fifth-place showing from their 4×200 relay (Malik Black, Daniel Peables, Connor Wyman and Perry, 1:39.83). Ben Ray came in third in the pole vault (11-6). Perry was fourth in the 400 (54.21). Morrison finished fifth in the two-mile (10:19.51) and was seventh in the 800 (2:07.25).

The Clippers were paced by Sam Gerken, who came in second in the 800 (2:02.46). Darren Shi came in third in the shot put (49-6.5). Luke Laverdiere finished fourth in the two-mile (10:16.82). Topher Pidden finished seventh in the 400 (55.53).

The Panthers got a fifth-place finish from Henry Quesada in the 800 (2:06.28) and a sixth-place finish from Matt Malcom in the two-mile (10:20.67).

The Falcons had a sixth-place 4×800 relay team (Henry Jacques, Erik Brobst, Chandler Vincent and James Saucier, 8:57.92) and placed Vincent sixth in the 800 (2:06.90).

Skiing

Local ski teams won state titles in all three classes last week.

The Falmouth juggernaut won almost every possible title in Class A, as the girls won Alpine, Nordic and combined crowns, while the boys won Nordic and combined, but didn’t have enough scorers to qualify for an Alpine title.

The girls set the tone by winning the Alpine slalom, as Krysia Lesniak had the top finish (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 18.97 seconds). Alex Shapiro was third (1:26.01). Margaret Coster (15th, 1:37.29) and Audrey Morin (20th, 1:41.69) also scored. In the giant slalom, Shapiro came in fourth (1:45.94). Coster was seventh (1:48.84). Caroline Keller finished 10th (1:51.01) and Morin was 25th (1:55.61).

On the Nordic side, in the classical, London Bernier was first in 19:26.7. Lucy Mahoney (fourth, 19:58.5) and Anna Morin (fifth, 20:05.5) also placed in the top five. Juliana Baranowski was 13th (21:27.3). In the freestyle, Morin (16:59.7) and Mahoney (17:25.9) went 1-2. Also scoring were Bernier (fourth, 17:50.8) and Emily Rioux (10th, 18:14.9).

Falmouth wound up with 125 points combined, easily outdistancing Oxford Hills (393).

“The girls are very excited,” said Yachtsmen coach Tip Kimball. “We started the season with six girls and only two boys. There was even some talk early about cutting the program altogether due to lack of members. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and actually may have helped fuel their fire. Their strategy, considering their lack of depth, was all about team skiing and putting four solid finishes on the board. It worked. Krysia hammered both runs of slalom and took first by a full six seconds over her nearest competitor. In the GS, Krysia made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out in the second run, putting pressure on her teammates to salvage the win. Alex, Maggie, Caroline and Audrey all stepped up and actually increased their lead over Edward Little for the championship.”

Falmouth didn’t score as a team in Alpine, but featured the individual excellence of Thomas Lesniak, who won the slalom in 1:13.72 and came in fourth in the GS (1:27.91).

“Since the boys only had two skiers, there would be no team score, so the focus for them was individual results,” Kimball said. “Tom easily took first in slalom by over 2.5 seconds, and fourth in giant slalom, missing the podium by 1/100th of a second. Freshman Owen White took a respectable 22nd in slalom and 28th in giant slalom.

“Krysia Lesniak, Tom Lesniak, Alex Shapiro and Caroline Keller all went on to the Maine High School EHSC Alpine Shootout the following Sunday to secure a berth on the Maine Team. Krysia and Tom both qualified first overall, while Alex Shapiro qualified third. They will represent Maine at the Eastern High School Alpine Skiing Championships at Cannon Mountain on March 7th and 8th.”

The Nordic squad held off Leavitt for the top spot.

In the classical race, Gabe Mahoney won going away in 14:48.5. Iain Kurry was sixth (16:24.4), Devin Ventura (ninth, 16:42.8) and Ethan Cantlin (10th, 16:45.0). Mahoney won the freestyle as well in 13:15.1. Kurry was sixth (14:15.0), Cantlin ninth (14:26) and Ventura 10th (14:33.3).

Greely’s girls’ Alpine team has set the standard for several years, but this winter, the Rangers placed third behind Falmouth and Edward Little. Jeannette Cunningham won the GS in 1:38.12. Jackie Perlmutter came in fifth (1:46.48) in the GS. Kelsey Otley was fourth in the slalom (1:26.41).

The Rangers were eighth in Nordic action. Emily Follett was 22nd in the freestyle (19:41.2) and placed 25th in the classical (23:34).

Combined, Greely’s 448 points left it third.

In the skimeister competition, Jessie Hoffman placed fourth.

The Greely boys were fourth in Alpine, seventh in Nordic and fourth combined.

In the slalom, Axel Lindsay was fifth (1:21.02). He was 13th in the GS (1:33.30).

On the Nordic side, in the classical, Tim Adams came in 15th (17:29.5). Adams was 21st in the freestyle (16:00.2).

In the skimeister competition, Adams was third.

Yarmouth’s girls remained the gold standard in Class B, while Freeport was also impressive.

The Clippers were first in Nordic and combined and third behind Cape Elizabeth and Camden Hills in Alpine.

In the classic, Yamouth had five of the top nine finishers, but only four girls’ scores are taken into account. Grace Cowles was fourth (19:17.9), Emma Torres placed fifth (19:18.0), Sophia Laukli was seventh (19:45.6) and Lucy Alexander finished eighth (19:46.6). In the skate, Torres moved up to third (17:02.2), Cowles was fifth (17:52.5), Alexander sixth (17:58.5) and Laukli 10th (19:06.0).

On the Alpine side, in the GS, Margaret Elder had no peer, winning in 46.51 seconds. Abby Condon also placed in the top 10 (eighth, 50.76). In the slalom, Elder came in fifth (48.29). Anna Bouton was seventh (49.41).

Condon won the skimeister, tallying 59 points, 12 better than the runner-up.

“States was an amazing adventure,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Bob Morse. “It was very cold and very windy when we arrived in Presque Isle. I think what made this year’s state meet an extra challenge is that we had skiers that were sick, injured, or recovering from sickness. The Alpine girls had an amazing state meet, placing a very close third. Abby Condon had to race three races in one day to win the skimeister championship. Depth this season in both Nordic and Alpine made a huge difference.”

Freeport’s girls were second in Nordic, sixth in Alpine and third overall behind Yarmouth and Maranacook.

In the classic, Lizzy Martin (18:55.8) and Lily Johnston (19:16.9) finished second and third, respectively. Martin was runner-up again in the skate (16:48.1), while Johnston came in fourth (17:15). Jasmine Olins finished eighth (18:44.6).

In the Alpine slalom, Wynne Cushing was the top finisher (eighth, 50.40). She was 14th in the GS (51.62).

On the boys’ side, Freeport came in second in Nordic, second in Alpine and second overall.

In the classical race, Bennett Hight (sixth, 17:05.1), Yacob Olins (seventh, 17:09.2) and Kyle Dorsey (ninth, 17:23.8) all placed in the top 10. Hight placed third in the skate (15:14.0). Olins came in sixth (16:04.0).

In Alpine competition, in the GS, Blake Enrico came in third (46.05). He was also third in the slalom (42.27). Ryder Bennell came in sixth (44.76).

Yarmouth was fourth in Alpine, third in Nordic and third overall.

John Lane won the freestyle (14:20.20) and placed third in the classic (16:33.3).

“A great moment at states was having John place third in classic day one and then having the fastest time of the day by winning the skate race day two,” Morse said.

Jacob Inger was ninth in the Alpine GS (47.38). John Diggins came in ninth in the slalom (47.44).

In Class C, the Merriconeag-Waldorf school from Freeport swept the Nordic titles.

The girls placed Samantha Pierce at the top of the heap in the classic (18:29.4). Fiona Ahearne was runner-up (18:58.2). Also scoring were Olivia Skillings (fourth 19:38.7) and Louise Ahearne (eighth, 22:05.8). Fiona Ahearne won the skate (17:08.3). Also scoring were Pierce (third, 17:37.7), Skillings (fourth, 18:06.6) and Louise Ahearne (10th, 20:26.4).

On the boys’ side, Forrest McCurdy won the classic (15:50.6) and the skate (14:30.5). Tucker Pierce was right behind in both the classic (16:23.4) and the skate (15:01.1). Lars Gunderson was fifth in the classic (17:38.9). Zachary Neveu finished fifth in the skate (15:41.7) and ninth in the classic (17:52.8). Nick Neveu was seventh in the skate (16:08.2).

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

Greely’s Izzy Evans runs to a victory in the girls’ mile at the Class B state meet.

Yarmouth’s Sam Gerken finishes second in the boys’ 800.

Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere runs the mile.

Greely’s Jocelyn Mitiguy is fourth in the girls’ 55 hurdles.

Sidebar Elements


Yarmouth’s Emma Egan sets a new record in winning the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 4.5 inches at last week’s Class B state indoor track and field meet.

Greely’s Ben Ray ties for third in the Class B boys’ pole vault.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.