BREWER, Maine — Timing usually is everything in track and field.
For the Brewer High School girls, great timing for a peak performance and late production in the field events Saturday propelled the Witches to the Class B state championship on their home track at the Brewer Community School.
Coach Glendon Rand’s club used its depth in the pole vault and triple jump to pull away from a three-way tie with York and Cony of Augusta over the meet’s final five events and win the school’s first outdoor state.
“I think our strength at the end of the meet really pushed us,” said Brewer senior Kaityn Helfen, whose best of 9 feet, 6 inches, led her and teammate Maddie Gibbs to a 1-2 finish in the pole vault. “I was taking my first and second vaults, and people were coming over to me and saying, ‘We can win this.’”
Brewer, seeded to score 70 points, totaled 84 to surge past runner-up York’s 70.
“We met our seeds, we exceeded them and the girls really had a good, positive attitude all day long,” said Rand, now in his 33rd year as either a head coach or assistant with the Brewer program.
Cony placed third in the 27-school field with 59 points, with Belfast (53) fourth and Old Town (51) fifth.
That the new champs would exceed their seedings was no certainty, even though the Witches had won the Class B indoor state title in February.
“It was actually hard during the season getting them focused,” Rand said. “It took a long time for us to figure out which events the girls were going to do and how to manage their talents in a big meet like this.”
“Once the (state) seeds were released we knew it was going to be really tight between us, Cony, York, Greely, Old Town and Belfast. Any one of five or six teams could win.”
Helfen’s victory in the pole vault was one of three individual wins for Brewer. Senior Ashley Tanguay helped get the Witches off to a fast start by winning the javelin (123-11) and sophomore Abby Stroup captured the long jump with a best of 16-4 1/2.
Other top performances came from Morgan Honey and Hannah Hopkins, who were second and third in the triple jump and fifth and fourth in the 100 hurdles, respectively. Sophia Inman (second in the high jump), Olivia Mosca (third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600), and the fourth-place 4×100 relay team of Honey, Hopkins, Inman and Stroup also stood out.
“It just finally felt like it started to click this week in practice,” Rand said. “I’ll be honest with you, before that it was kind of a struggle figuring things out and with injuries, you never know what’s going to happen.”
York got victories from Erin O’Donnell in the 400 (1:00.29) and Lexi Brent in the 800 (2:23.47) as well as its 4×400 relay team of Hayley Smith, Brent, Audrey Grimes and O’Donnell.
Cony sophomore Anna Reny set one of two state records as she won the 300 hurdles in 45.12. The Rams also won the 4×800 relay in 10:01.37 behind Julia Reny, Tessa Jorgenson, Grace Kirk and Bri Harriman.
Belfast was led by junior Juune Robertson-McIntire, who won the 100 (12.61) and 200 (26.32) dashes and anchored the Lions’ victorious 4×400 relay team that also included Audrey Lagerbom, Lindsay Bruns and Mackenzie Banks.
Emma Hargreaves captured both the shot put and discus to provide Old Town two of its four event victories.
Her shot put battle against Sarah Cox of Waterville and Christa Carr of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield was one of the more anticipated competitions of the meet. Hargreaves took control early, with her best of 38-10 1/2 coming on her second throw of the preliminary round.
“It felt great,” said Hargreaves, who late in the meet added the discus title at 108-1. “Shot putting is really quick. I’m in the actual circle for about seven seconds, but I can feel it when I put it together. When you move your foot the right way and have the right timing it really feels good, and I hit a good one.”
Old Town freshman Izabelle Trefts added the second state record of the meet, breaking the mark set 10 years ago by 10 seconds while winning the 1,600-meter race walk in 7:26.07. Teammate Grace Sanborh won the high jump at 5-0.
Other event winners were Darcy Cochran of Cape Elizabeth in the 100 hurdles (15.15), Marin Provencher of Greely of Cumberland Center in the 1,600 (5:19.27), Kahryn Cullenberg of Mt. Blue of Farmington in the 3,200 (11:29.09) and Winslow’s Carly Warn in the triple jump (34-6 3/4).