OLD TOWN, Maine — Helen Shearer liked what greeted her when she woke up Saturday morning: Sunshine and a forecast that called for temperatures in the mid-70s.
Even though she was going to run a total of 6,000 competitive meters (3.73 miles) encompassing four different races at the Penobscot Valley Conference Large School Track and Field Championship at Old Town High School, the petite Hampden Academy junior welcomed the challenge.
“I definitely run better in warmer weather,” Shearer said.
Shearer won the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 15.56 seconds, took the 800 in 2:23.42 and won the 3,200 in 11:32.61 before capping her day by running a leg for the triumphant 4×400 relay team along with Eliza Parker, Amelia McLaughlin and Grace Bracciodieta.
Shearer was chosen the Most Outstanding Performer by the coaches.
Bangor High School took home the team championship, registering 142 points, 26 more than runner-up Brewer. Old Town was third with 95 followed by Hampden Academy (86.5), Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (79), Presque Isle (29.5), Ellsworth (19), John Bapst of Bangor (14) and Hermon (8).
After winning the 3,200, Shearer admitted that the heat did impact her.
“I didn’t feel the best, I was a little tired,” Shearer said. “It was difficult because I wasn’t used to it [this spring]. I just tried to pace myself and run a good time.”
She called her performance a blessing.
“God blessed me with the gift of running,” Shearer said.
“Mentally, she’s one of the strongest athletes I’ve ever encountered. She did that 4×40-0 right after the 3,200,” Hampden Academy coach Jason Kash said. “She loves the heat but that was a test today. It was hot, for sure.”
Leading the Bangor girls to their championship was sophomore Alyssa Elliott. She won the long jump (17 feet, 1/4 inch), triple jump (35-11 3/4) and 200 (27.71) and placed third in the 400 (1:04.43).
“I’ve been preparing for a few days and I’ve been really excited. I was ready to compete,” Elliott said. “I improved my [personal record] in the 200 by seven-tenths of a second. That’s a big gain for me.”
Two of the other top performances in the girls meet belonged to a pair of Old Town teammates.
Senior Emma Hargreaves won the discus (107-8) and the shot put (41-10 1/2) and freshman Izabelle Trefts eclipsed the 10-year-old PVC record by six seconds with her time of 7:34.55 in the 1,600 race walk.
Hargreaves’ shot put performance broke the 36-year-old PVC record of 41-3 3/4) set by Diane LeClair and also eclipsed the school and the facility record.
“Last week, I faulted on a 42-foot throw and that was the kick in the pants I needed,” Hargreaves said. “I’m capable of more, I can hit more than just a 40-foot throw. I came into today with that in mind. I knew I could hit something big and stay in the circle this time.”
Trefts said she was happy about setting the race walk record even though it wasn’t her best time.
“I’ve really worked on pacing myself this season because I used to go out too fast,” said Trefts, who followed in the footsteps of older sister Elizabeth as a race walker.
One of the more impressive feats in the girls meet had nothing to do with the competition.
Bangor senior Sofia Wittman, who won the pole vault and is a team captain, literally carried teammate Hannah Dunn in her arms more than 20 yards to the awards stand after Dunn collapsed following her third-place finish in the 300 hurdles.
“I lift a lot to get ready [to pole vault] and I coach gymnastics, so I’m used to carrying people of all shapes and sizes. Being a captain, I try to help my teammates when they get hurt,” Wittman said.
The other girls individual winners were Brewer’s Morgan Honey (100 hurdles, 16.37), MDI’s Marilyn Sawyer (100, 13.31), Hampden Academy’s Eliza Parker (400, 1:02.97), Brewer’s Abby Stroup (300 hurdles, 51.33), Ashley Tanguay (javelin, 120-5) and Sophia Inman (high jump, 5-2). The Hampden Academy 4×800 relay team of Moxie Flanagan, Parker, Madison Freeman and Bracciodieta was triumphant in 10:27.50, as was the Bangor 4×100 relay quartet of Maya Elkadi, Dunn, Morgan Rochefort and Kaydence Lux (52.99).
Old Town’s Rod White was named the top girls coach.
Next Saturday’s state championship meets will be held in Lewiston (Class A), Brewer (Class B) and Farmington (Class C).