Bangor High School’s Anna Connors has been named the state’s Gatorade Girls Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.
The junior won the 100-meter dash, the 200 and the 400 in leading the Rams to their second-straight state Class A outdoor track and field championship.
Gorham High senior Andrew Farr, who won those same three events at the boys state meet, was selected as the state’s Gatorade Boys Track Athlete of the Year.
The 17-year-old Connors said she “hasn’t had time to absorb” the honor yet, which is given annually to one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states for high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field.
“It’s incredible to have the coaches and teammates like I had this year. They really helped me have success this season,” said the daughter of Joseph and Marsha Connors.
Connors overcame a quad injury to nip Gorham senior Emma Green by three-hundredths of a second in the 100, registering a time of 12.21.
She posted a time of 25.10 to win the 200. Green was second in 25.74.
Her time of 56.01 in the 400 was 1.85 seconds faster than Scarborough freshman Emerson Flaker.
Connors, who had her upper left leg wrapped, was held out of the meet’s final event, the 4×400 relay, because the Rams had already sewn up the state title.
She said her coaches and teammates were especially helpful as she dealt with her quad injury.
“I had teammates who had injuries like mine and they helped me understand what I could and couldn’t do,” Connors said. “They helped me push through it.”
She also credited Bangor High School boys basketball coach Brad Libby for the role he had in her success.
Libby is a licensed physical therapist who owns Performance Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation facilities in Bangor and Brewer and worked on her quad, which helped enable her to compete in the state meet.
“She is very special. I am so proud of her,” said Bangor track head coach Al Mosca.
“She is an incredible athlete. She is so powerful and explosive. She is so kind and caring but she is also such a tough competitor. She is respected by all of her teammates and her coaches. She is a leader.”
He recalled watching her run for the first time just before she started her eighth grade year.
“She ran the 200 meters and she made it look so effortless,” Mosca said.
The Class A state meets were held on the new track at Bangor’s Cameron Stadium earlier this month. Connors said winning the state meet on their own track made it even more special.
“It was incredible, amazing. It was a great experience for the whole team,” Connors said. “It was a great atmosphere.”
It is the second state title this season for Connors and most of her teammates, since they also won the Class A indoor track meet for the second straight time.
Connors won the 55-meter and the 200-meter dashes and the 400 to pace the Rams to the indoor title.
She set state records in the 55 (7.16 seconds) and 200 (25.20).
Connors also owns the outdoor record in the 200 — 24.51 — which she set a year ago.
Mosca said Connors gets better every season thanks to her work ethic and determination.
“I had a setback with my quad injury but I do feel I’m getting faster every year,” said Connors, who added that Mosca and sprint coach Garrett Johnson have played instrumental roles in her development.
Mosca said Connors and Johnson work very well together.
Connors is currently coaching youngsters and making sure her quad injury heals. She intends to enter a few meets later this summer and is also preparing for the soccer season.
Connors is a right winger for the Ram soccer team.
She hasn’t decided on where she plans to attend college but said she will focus on track.
Farr won the 100 in 11.03 which was .13 seconds faster than Cheverus of Portland’s Frank Morang and then captured the 200 in 22.41 and the 400 in 49.06. He beat Bonny Eagle of Buxton’s Aidan Walcott by .21 in the 200 and Cheverus’ Brendan Rogers by 2.15 in the 400.
Farr also ran a leg for the 4×400 relay team, which finished second to Cheverus.
Farr followed his state meet success with an exceptional performance at the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Willow Brook Park in New Britain, Connecticut, where he won the 200 in 21.95 and was second in the 100 (11.00) and the 400 (48.27).
Farr will run for Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in the fall.