(Ed. Note: Due to space and time restraints, we’ll recap the swimming and skiing state meet results in next week’s edition).
We’re in the midst of the busiest stretch of high school sports championship meets all year.
Wrestling crowned its champions Saturday. Indoor track did the same Monday and swimming and skiing were being contested when this edition went to press. Boys’ hockey’s postseason is drawing ever closer.
Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred:
Scarborough’s unrivaled indoor track program added more hardware at the Class A state championships Monday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
The girls made it eight championships in a row, holding off Thornton Academy (66-61.5). South Portland (19.5) placed 10th.
Scarborough’s lone victory came in the 800 relay, where Morgan Rodway, Jessica Meader, Avery Pietras and Nicole Kirk set a new record with a time of 1 minute, 48.13 seconds.
Marisa Agger, Katherine Kirk, Karli-An Gilbert and Maggie Smith were second in the 3,200 relay (9:59.21). Nicole Kirk was runner-up in the 200 (26.03 seconds) and placed third in the 55 (7.4). Emily Tolman was second in the long jump (17 feet, 2.5 inches) and finished third in the 400 (58.47). Catherine Bailey was the runner-up in the pole vault (10-6).
“The moves I made with the kids paid off,” said longtime Scarborough coach Ron Kelly. “Our kids continue to step it up when needed. I did not feel that Eastern Maine would get what they were seeded and thought it would be close with 60-plus points winning.”
South Portland was s led by Nyajock Pan, who was third in both the 800 (2:23.24) and the mile (5:21.04).
The Red Storm boys’ team won its second title in a row with 46 points, edging Deering by a single point. South Portland (11 points) placed 16th.
Alec James was the lone individual winner, taking the pole vault (12-6). The meet came down to the final event, the 800 relay, which Scarborough had to win to take the title.
The Red Storm did that very thing as Austin Doody, Greg Viola, Ryan Jamison and Nick Morris finished in 1:34.99.
“We knew going into the meet it would be low scoring,” said Scarborough coach Derek Veilleux. “That the first team to 50 points would be in the driver’s seat. It turned out no one would get that many. This win was all about team, we didn’t have one or two standouts getting all the points. We had 12 athletes score in the meet. This meet was full of ups and downs throughout. We were down nine points going into the final event and the only way to win the title was to finish first in the relay.
“I was confident that our relay could finish first. Those guys knew the meet was riding on them. We had talked about the meet coming down to the final relay for two weeks and those guys were prepared mentally for this situation. We made the decision last week to switch the order of the relay, with Morris being able to run for the first time since December. The move paid off as we passed the stick first on all three exchanges. Every guy did their job and Morris showed some incredible toughness as he ran the fastest leg for us and used his lean to hold on for the win. The kids will remember that finish for a long time.”
Scarborough’s boys and girls have combined to win 11 of the possible 16 state titles (including seven of the last eight) over the past eight years, making the program without a doubt, pre-eminent in the state.
“I think that success breeds success,” Veilleux said. “The tradition of both programs is as strong as any in the state. The boys and girls support each other. It’s great to see both teams achieving the level of success they have. One thing that is constant is that we have great kids that know how to win.”
“We have great kids that are willing to work hard,” Kelly said. “The kids believe in what they can do, everyone supports each other. Having 100 kids every year in our summer program continues to pay huge dividends. The kids believe in what the coaches are doing to get them to the top. Improvement is the most important thing even for those that do not score in the championship meets. We continue to have excellent role models with the upperclassmen.”
South Portland was paced by its third-place 800 relay team (Daniel Medici, Nick Genesio, Ben Michaud and Wamokanzi Alognon had a time of 1:38.2).
In Class B, Cape Elizabeth’s boys were seventh with 17 points (York won with 67.5). The Capers were second in the 800 relay (Deven Roberts, Conor Maguire, Thomas Bottomley, Billy Brooks; 1:38.80).
On the girls’ side, the Capers tied Camden Hills for 10th with 12 points (Waterville was first with 118). Hannah Newhall was third in the long jump (15-10) and fourth in the pole vault (9 feet).
The New England championships are Friday, March 2 in Boston.
The Class A state wrestling championships were held Saturday in Windham.
Scarborough (12 points) finished 11th. Marshwood (167) was the champion.
The boys’ hockey regular season ended just after this edition went to press.
It appears that Scarborough will be either the No. 2 or the No. 3 seed for the Western A playoffs. The Red Storm beat host Portland, 2-0, and lost at defending state champion Thornton Academy, 7-2, last week. Jake Gross and Jack Rousselle scored in the victory. Cam Loiselle had both goals in the loss. Scarborough (12-3-2 and third as of Wednesday morning) closed at No. 2 Falmouth Thursday.
South Portland will fall short of the postseason. The Red Riots were 4-13 and 13th (only the top 11 teams qualify) after a 10-4 loss at Kennebunk, a 6-5 overtime at Westbrook and a 10-1 home loss to Cheverus. South Portland closed at home with Biddeford Wednesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth took a 9-5-3 record and the No. 2 ranking into Thursday’s finale, at home, versus No. 1 Greely. The Capers lost at home to York (4-0) and settled for a 1-1 home tie with Gardiner last week.
The playoffs begin Tuesday with the quarterfinal round. Games will be played on the home ice of the higher seeds.
Cape Elizabeth’s Connor Maguire finishes fourth in the boys’ long jump at Monday’s Class B indoor track and field state championships.
Cape Elizabeth’s Hannah Newhall competes in the girls’ 55 at Monday’s state meet. Newhall didn’t score in that event, but was fourth in the pole vault.