Friday’s Penobscot Valley Conference large-school track and field championships at Hampden Academy featured both dominance and drama.
Both storylines centered on coach Alan Mosca’s Bangor Rams, who won the girls meet by more than 100 points behind senior Alyssa Elliott and sophomore Anna Connors and outlasted Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor by a single point in the boys competition after edging the Trojans in the final event.
“The encouragement from every team, not just mine, coming into that last 200 stretch, just cheering for all the teams, gave me, and I assume every runner who was out there giving it their all, that extra boost to keep going and never give up,” said Bangor senior Andrew Munroe, who held off hard-charging MDI sophomore Walker St. Germain on the final leg of the decisive 4×400 relay.
The Bangor boys edged MDI 124-123, with Caribou (89), Old Town (59) and Brewer (56) rounding out the top five in the 10-school field.
MDI led 114-113 entering the final relay, but junior Daniel McCarthy ran a sub-51-second first leg to put Bangor into the lead. Seniors Colby Hope and Gordon Doore extended the Rams’ lead, leaving Munroe to hold off St. Germain, who already had won the 400 meters in 51.02 seconds.
St. Germain made up ground, but Munroe responded over the final 200 meters as Bangor won the event by 0.51 seconds in 3 minutes, 31.89 seconds.
“I didn’t want to come out too strong and waste all of my energy at the beginning,” said Munroe, who was competing in just his second meet since being sidelined for several weeks with a quadriceps injury. “But around the 150-[meter] mark I could hear the pitter-patter of the MDI guy right behind me.
Clockwise from left: Bangor coach Roger Huber encourages Megan Randall as she heads for the finish line in the girls 4×800 meter relay at the PVC Large School Track and Field Championship Meet on Friday. The Rams clocked a PVC-record time of 9:56.13; Competitors take off at the start of the boys 4×800 meter relay. Bangor placed first and set a new PVC record with an 8:07.59 clocking; Bangor Rams cheer on their teammates competing in the girls 4×800 meter relay; Bangor’s Frederick Oldenburg (right) hands off the baton to teammate Gordon Doore in the boys 4×800-meter relay. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
“As soon as I got to the last 200 stretch, I could hear everybody saying ‘Keep going.’ I’m like, ‘I wasn’t planning on stopping.’”
Munroe also won the 110 hurdles and finished second in the 200, while other individual event winners for the Rams were McCarthy, who captured the 800 in a personal-best 1:58.42, junior Simon Socolow, who teamed with classmate Evan Soucy for a 1-2 finish in the 1,600 race walk, and senior Tyler Reilly in the pole vault.
The Rams also opened the boys’ meet by breaking a 24-year-old PVC record in the 4×800 relay, with McCarthy anchoring teammates James Fahey, Frederick Oldenburg and Doore to an 8:07.59 clocking.
The Rams were aided by additional second-place finishes from McCarthy at 1,600 meters, Fahey in the 3,200 and Maxx Smith in the shot put.
Other MDI victories came from Archer Hill in the discus and shot put, freshman Miles Burr in the 100 and 200, and the Trojans’ 4×200 relay team of Burr, Henry Lester, Baylor Landsman and Ieuan Howell.
Old Town sophomore Corbin Flewelling was voted outstanding performer of the boys meet after sweeping the high, long and triple jumps.
Other event winners were Abbott Valentine of Hampden Academy in the 1,600, Malachai Cummings of Presque Isle in the javelin, Jordan Duplissie of Caribou in the 3,200 and Connor Michaud of Presque Isle in the 300 hurdles.
Elliott, bound for the University of Connecticut on a track scholarship this fall, was named outstanding performer of the girls meet. She won the long jump in a PVC record of 18 feet, 6 inches and also captured the triple jump and 300 hurdles and teamed with Connors, Naomi Noack and Callie Tennett to win the 4×100 relay.
Elliott had long jumped 18 feet even at a regular-season meet in Hampden last weekend and did not wait long to eclipse that personal mark as she jumped 18-4 and 18-6 on two of her three preliminary round attempts.
“One of my former competitors, Camille Kohtala [of Orono], had the record in the long jump of 17-10 3/4 and two years ago she told me to go out and break it,” Elliott said. “I really wanted to do that and I really wanted to jump above 18 feet this week, so I’m really happy with my performance.”
Connors was similarly the class of the field in the sprints, winning the 100 by 0.75 seconds in 12.44, the 200 by 1.6 seconds in 25.96 and the 400 by 1.25 seconds in 59.91 to contribute to Bangor’s 12 event victories.
“I love Anna Connors,” Elliott said. “She is one of my best friends and we have been training all season together and it’s really been great to see her progress the way she has for the past year.
“I told her when I come back from college I can run with her and train with her again, but I’ll be really excited to watch her the next two years. It will be amazing.”
The Rams finished with 195.33 points, while Brewer edged MDI 90-88 for second place and Old Town (73.833) and John Bapst of Bangor (43.83) rounded out the top five.
Other Bangor individual champions were Noack in the pole vault, Megan Randall in the 1,600, Camden Lavoie in the shot put, and Erin McCarthy in the high jump.
The Rams also won the 4×800 relay, with McCarthy, Randall, Meaghan Caron and Sadie Harrow clocking a PVC-record time of 9:56.13.
Second-place finishes came from Randall in the 800, Anna MacDonald in the 1,600 race walk and Noack in the triple jump.
Brewer’s runner-up finish was paced by Olivia Mosca’s victory in the 3,200 and her runner-up finish the 1,600. The Witches also received second-place finishes from Callie Moran in the 100 hurdles, Karessa Anderson in the discus, Ainsley Reed in the pole vault and Abby Stroup in the long jump.
Bella Brown won the discus and Grace Munger claimed the 800 for MDI, which also got a victory by its 4×400 relay team of Munger, Azaria Long, Olivia Johnson and Callan Eason.
Old Town’s Izabelle Trefts continued to lower her state-best time in the 1,600 race walk with a first-place clocking of 7:10.66.
Other event champions were John Bapst’s Georgina LaGrange in the 100 hurdles and Edie Shea of Caribou in the javelin.