Houlton’s Natalie Johnson leads the pack in the first leg of the girls 4x800 meter relay at the Penobscot Valley Conference small school track and field championship Friday at Orono High School. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Orono High School welcomed the rest of the Penobscot Valley Conference’s small-school track and field teams to its new athletic complex Friday, and while the Red Riots were gracious hosts they also took home both the boys’ and girls’ team championships.

The Orono boys won comfortably, outscoring second-place Bucksport 142-110 with Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (77), Sumner of East Sullivan (67) and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill (65) rounding out the top five in the 13-school field.

The Red Riots won the girls title by the 0.49 seconds that Foxcroft edged Bucksport by for third place in the final event, the 4×400-meter relay.

Orono entered that event with a five-point lead over Bucksport and needed to finish within two places of the Golden Bucks or have Bucksport not score a top-three finish in the relay to pass the Red Riots in the team standings.

Orono placed a non-scoring seventh in the relay, but Bucksport’s fourth-place finish in 4:42.14 — just behind third-place Foxcroft’s time of 4:41.25 — netted the Golden Bucks just four points in the event, one short of what they needed to forge a tie atop the standings.

Orono edged Bucksport 134-133 in the girls’ meet, with Houlton (86.5), Central of Corinth (66.5) and George Stevens (61) completing the top five.

Orono won just two events in the girls’ competition, with Emerson Walston capturing the shot put title with a best of 30 feet, 2 ½ inches and classmate Mo Tyne teaming with senior Megan Brewer to provide the Red Riots a 1-2 finish in the 1,600 race walk, Tyne winning in 9:58.05.

The Red Riots also got 24 points from sophomore distance runner Ruth White, who finished second in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Houlton freshman Teanne Ewings edged White at the finish line by .06 seconds to win the 1,600 in 5:04:08 as both runners finished less than a second off the PVC record for the distance.

Ewings then edged Ruth White and older sister Nora White to win the 800 in 2:29.65 before GSA junior Thea Crowley won the 3,200 in 11:03.80, comfortably ahead of the White sisters in second and third places, respectively.

Ewings also finished fourth in the 400 and was part of her team’s victorious 4×400 relay quartet  to help the Shiretowners to their third-place finish. Houlton also won the meet-opening 4×800 relay.

Bucksport won seven events in the girls’ meet, with Angelina Cotoni (pole vault and 100 hurdles), Johanna Stiles (100 and 200 dashes) and Natasha Monreal (long jump and triple jump) each winning two individual events while Monreal, Cotoni and Stiles also teamed with Carly McHale to capture the 4×100 relay.

GSA’s Kathleen Stephens was another double winner in the high jump and 400, while other event champions were Luna Perry St. Peter of Deer Isle-Stonington (javelin), Loran McAlpine of Central (discus) and Ada Fisher of Sumner in the 300 hurdles.

Orono’s depth was even more pronounced on the boys’ side in support of individual victories by Hayden Rollins (discus), Owen Conner Self (110 hurdles) and Ben Arsenault, who led a 1-2-3 finish in the 1,600 race walk with teammates Owen Beane and Zane Roggenbuck.

The Red Riots got additional second-place finishes from Conner Self in the 300 hurdles, Alex Maheu in the pole vault, Kyle McClellan in the 3,200 as well as from their 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.

Bucksport was led to its runner-up finish by individual champions Will Hileman (3,200), Colin Simpson (long jump) and Nathan Paulauskas (high jump).

The top individual performer of the boys meet was Sumner sophomore Kaleb Colson, who swept the 400 (53.05), 800 (2:07.82) and 1,600 (4:30.84), with his 400 and 1,600 efforts both producing personal-best times.

Jesse Drury of Foxcroft Academy was another multiple-event champion, capturing the 200 and javelin and anchoring the Ponies’ victorious 4×100 relay squad, while Washington Academy of East Machias’ Cameron Bowser won the triple jump and placed second behind teammate Kenori Simmons in the 100 dash.

Other boys’ champions were Caleb Willett of Sumner in the 300 hurdles, Searsport’s Ellis Braga in the pole vault, Lucas Gustin of Central in the shot put and the George Stevens 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...