THE PLAYOFFS Deering runner-up to Bonny Eagle at SMAA boys' track championships Cheverus fifth in girls' meet

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By Michael Hoffer
Another year of indoor track at the Portland Expo came to a close Saturday with the boys’ and girls’ SMAA championships.
The Deering boys continued their stellar season by posting 94 points to finish second to Bonny Eagle (112.33). Cheverus was fifth with 46.5. Portland came in ninth out of 11 teams with 21 points.
In the girls’ meet, won by powerhouse Scarborough with a stunning 197 points, Cheverus came in sixth with 44 points, Deering was seventh with 37, McAuley placed 10th with 8 and Portland tied South Portland for 12th with 3 points.
SUBHEAD-First loss
Deering’s boys didn’t lose during the regular season, but they couldn’t catch Bonny Eagle Saturday. The Rams certainly made their share of noise, however.
Freshman Renaldo Lowry was named the John Casavola Trophy winner as the junior division’s standout after taking the junior 40 in 4.97 seconds and placing second in the junior 300 (37.1). Deering won the junior 560 relay in 1 minute, 6.8 seconds and was first in the 840 relay (1:40.2).
Sophomore Charlie Dupee was second in the junior 600 (1:27.0). Tilman Stenger was runner-up in the junior 45 hurdles (6.5). Sophomore Sam Balzano was second in the 200 (25.6) and placed third in the senior 40 (4.98). Jeremy Turner finished third in the 800 (2:11.5). Senior Seth Neuts placed third in the mile (4:52.5). Junior Anthony Villarreal had the fourth-best time in the 400 (57.5). Senior Michael Tifiano finished fifth in the senior 45 hurdles (6.37). Tom Hart came in fifth in the junior 40 (5.18). Jamiel Kidd was fifth in the junior 300 (38.2). Tony Sen finished sixth in the junior 45 hurdles (6.55). Tom Dean placed sixth in the mile (5:19.6).
The Rams also placed fifth in the senior 1,120 relay (2:21.4).

“The team performed according to the seeds except for the junior hurdles where we were seeded for three of the top four spots, but instead went second and sixth,: said Deering coach Dick Kress. “That was the turning point. The relays did very well. Deering is an Expo team that covers both divisions well. The junior division generally is not a factor in the state meet. Deering is not projected for many points in the state meet.”
For Cheverus, junior Andrew Snyder won the 800 (2:06.2) and junior Taylor Dundas was first in the two-mile (10:25.0).
Sophomore Jack Terwilliger finished runner-up in the mile (4:37.3). Senior Josh Reali was fourth in the senior 600 (1:24.5). Junior John White placed fourth in the senior shot put (46 feet, 7 inches). Junior James Rutter finished sixth in the senior 300 (37.7). Junior John Richardson tied Thornton Academy’s Steve Roberge for sixth in the 400 (57.7).
The Stags were second in the 840 relay (1:40.3) and placed sixth in the junior relay (1:09.7).
Portland was led by sophomore Imadhi Zagon, who was third in the high jump (5-10), third in the 200 (25.7) and fifth in the senior 40 (5.02). Senior Nate Buck finished fifth in the 800 (2:13.3) and sophomore Nemanja Jankovic placed sixth in the junior shot put (37 feet).
The Bulldogs also came in fourth in the junior relay (1:08.1).
SUBHEAD-New record
The biggest local highlight on the girls’ side came from Cheverus sophomore high jumper Caroline Summa who set a new record in her event by coming in first with a top leap of 5 feet, 6 1/4 inches. Freshman Fiona Hendry won the mile (5:23.50).
Junior Liana Rubinoff was runner-up to Hendry in the mile (5:37.80). Summa was also third in the junior 200 (29.1) and sixth in the junior 40 (5.4). Junior Alexandra Kane finished fourth in the senior 400 (1:05.20). Junior Abby Norbert placed sixth in the 800 (2:39.30).
The Stags also finished fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:18.20).

“I am still feeling a high when reflecting upon Saturday’s performances,” said Cheverus coach Valerie Guillet. “The sigh of relief and the smile on Caroline’s face (after breaking the record) will be printed in my memory for a long time. It was another fantastic day in this great indoor track season.”

Deering’s best showing came from freshman Veronica Mitchell, who was third in the junior 45 hurdles (7.1) and third in the junior 800 (2:37.20). Sophomore Kristin Pollard was fourth in the two-mile (13:49.80). Senior Brooke Durgin had a fourth-place showing in the senior 200 (29.10). Senior Angela Balzano was fifth in the high jump (4.1). ? Donain finished fifth in the junior 800 (2:40.70). ? Stearns was sixth in the junior shot put (27 feet).
The Rams were third in both the junior (1:59.10) and senior 840 (1:56.4) relays.
McAuley’s points came from junior Allina Verrillo, who was second in the senior shot put (37-11).
Portland’s points came from sophomore Abby Daggett (sixth in the junior 400, 1:08.60) and its sixth place junior 840 (2:03.20) and senior 840 (2:01.70) relay teams.
The indoor track state championships are Monday, beginning at 10 a.m. Cheverus, Deering and Portland will travel to the University of Southern Maine in Gorham to compete in the Class A meet. McAuley goes to Bates College in Lewiston for the Class B championships.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at


Jason Veilleux photo

Portland’s Imadhi Zagon, Cheverus’ John Richardson and Deering’s Mike Cowie battled in the ? at Saturday’s SMAA championships at the Expo.