GORHAM, Maine — With one event left Monday afternoon, the Bangor High School girls clung to a tenuous lead at the University of Southern Maine field house.
Thornton Academy was a half-point back and Bonny Eagle lurked 2.5 points behind. With the Rams entered in the third of five heats and their closest competitors in the last two groups, all they could do was run hard and wait.
Seniors Lexie Achorn and Cassie Braithwaite, junior Katerina Dagher and sophomore Abby Reyhnolds made it count in the 4-by-200 relay. The Golden Trojans and Scots couldn’t match the Rams’ season-best time of 1 minute, 55.36 seconds and none figured in the scoring as Bangor secured its first-ever Class A indoor track and field championship.
“It was the scariest thing I ever did,” said Braithwaite, who ran the third leg. “We just ran like we were on fire. We just did our best. I’m really proud of us.”
Senior Grace MacLean won three individual events to propel coach Jaime Jarvis’ Bangor team (70.5 points). It was just enough to hold off runner-up Thornton Academy of Saco (70) and Bonny Eagle of Standish (68).
Cheverus of Portland was fourth with 41 points, followed by Brunswick (36) and Brewer (31).
Scarborough had won eight consecutive girls’ titles.
“I didn’t want to put too much pressure on them,” Jarvis said. “This year, we just came down to do our best and show them that we’re a great team in Bangor, and they did it.”
In the boys’ meet, Scarborough finished second in the 4-by-200 relay to claim a four-point victory over Cheverus, 61-57.
Lewiston wound up third with 36 points, followed by Edward Little of Auburn (34), Brunswick (29) and Brewer (27).
MacLean capped off a stellar indoor career by winning the long jump, the 55-meter hurdles and the high jump.
Her leap of 17 feet, 5¾ inches in the long jump, which came on her next-to-last attempt, won by nearly a foot. Her 8.43 time in the hurdles was a personal best and she was not challenged in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches).
“Today was definitely the most relaxed I’ve been in a state meet, so I think that helped,” MacLean said.
“I just knew if I had a good day, I could do it [win three events].”
Brewer senior Teal Jackson finished her indoor career in style, speeding to victories in the 55 meters (7.26), the 400 (58.22) and the 200 (26.16). The wins were her first at the indoor state meet.
“Last year, I was second in two and third in the other, so I’m excited,” said Jackson, who credited former teammate Tristan Wortman with providing some good advice.
“He would tell me, everything you do, do it for yourself and your own goals, not for what people are expecting out of you.”
Achorn and Braithwaite said MacLean aided the 4-by-200 team as it waited for its race by helping the runners stay calm and confident.
“We didn’t even think we had a chance [to win the meet],” Achorn said. “It just came down to our 4-by-2. It was our race that did it.”
Bangor dominated the pole vault, claiming four of the top five spots. Senior Courtney Lizotte won with a vault of 10 feet, while sophomore Abby Reynolds was second, senior Morgan Johnson third and junior Danielle Clark tied for fifth.
The Rams were seeded for 17 points, but scored 26.5 when the top seed did not complete a successful vault.
“It was a good surprise,” Lizotte said. “We’ve all been working really hard, switching poles, lots of practice. It’s been great.”
Bangor also got points from junior Angelyn Masters, the runner-up in the mile, and senior triple-jumper Casey Modery, who took third.
Thornton was paced by Charlotte Pierce, who won the mile (5:06.33), was second in the two-mile and was fourth in the 800. Tori Daigle posted three scoring finishes, including third in the hurdles, while Amanda Arnold (2nd long jump) and Carly McKenna (3rd long jump) also scored in three events.
Audrey Weyand led Bonny Eagle, notching runner-up efforts in the 400 and 200 and a third in the 55. Samantha Cox got third in the mile and the 800 and fifth in the two-mile.
Kristen Glennie was third in the two-mile and joined Alexandra Vayda, Marty Szatkowski and Kyaunna Libby) on the Scots’ victorious 4×800 quartet (9:55.95).
Amanda Knight of Messalonskee in Oakland claimed second in the 55 and fifth in the 400, and Sarah Letourneau of Lawrence in Fairfield grabbed third in the 200.
The Scarborough boys took home their third straight title behind a well-balanced effort.
“We’ve been working all year to win it and we did it. It’s been our goal since Day 1,” said senior Ryan Jamison.
Coach Derek Veilleux’s Red Storm won it in the last relay as Jamison, Jake Alofs, Greg Viola and Cameron Langlois finished a close second to the state-record 1:32.96 run by the Cheverus quartet of James Campbell, Brady Foshay, Jake Dixon and Jackson McMann.
“We knew we had to place at least third,” Jamison said. “We came in second, but we’ll take that any day because we won the state championship.”
Jamison added a fifth (55) and a sixth (200) for Scarborough, which won only one event. Senior Greg Viola cleared 13-6 in the pole vault — in his first season trying the discipline.
Senior Robert Hall ran to second in the mile and third in the two-mile, freshman Colin Tardiff gained fourth in the mile and sixth in the two-mile and Alec James was second in the pole vault.
Scarborough finished third in the 4×800 with Ben Farino, Will Fowler, Jacob Bloom and Alex Karam), while Hugh McSorley added a fifth in the shot put and Merrick Madden was seventh in the hurdles.
Jeremy Bissell of Brewer garnered the long jump title with a PR of 20-9 and placed third in the triple jump — in his first season competing in those events.
“I know there was tough competition out in the West. I just jumped my best today,” he said. “It was my first jump.”
Justin Tracy of Mt. Blue in Farmington won the mile (4:26.18) and was seventh in the two-mile, while Hampden Academy senior Andrew Toothaker placed second in the hurdles and fifth in the 400.
Cheverus’ bright spots included Ethan Beaulier’s record-setting 6.60 run in the 55 and Foshay’s victory in the 800 (1:57.47), along with the Stags’ winning 4×800 team of Elijah Yeboah, Colin Grove, James Campbell and Foshay).
Alex Nichols of Brunswick was a two-event winner in the 400 (a Class A-record 49.93) and the 200 (23.11).
Bangor’s unit of Joseph Belanger, Paul Rudnicki, Jake Archer and Jon Stanhope was second in the 4×800 and the Rams’ Peter Manuel placed fourth in the 400.
The HA team of Roy Donnelly, Toothaker, Josh Hoch and Sam Donnelly) was fourth in the 4×200.