Teanne Ewings is all business when she steps onto the track.
Quiet and rocking a pre-wrap headband, the sophomore — who attends Greater Houlton Christian Academy, which has formed a co-op team with Houlton — ran the 4×800 relay, the 1,600, 800 and 3,200 meter races at Cameron Stadium in Bangor on Saturday.
For the 1,600-meter, Ewings had a specific goal in mind: break 5:15.
Days earlier, Orono’s Ruth White ran a 5:15.8 in the 1,600 in her opening season track meet. Three days later, Ewings ran a 5:14.03 largely on her own.
Ewings said she’s always keeping track of White’s times.
“I like running with her. She’s great competition and she really pushes me,” Ewings said of White.
White is regarded as the best distance runner in the state. The junior has won the past two Class C cross country state championships and New England titles, which earned her two straight Maine Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year awards. But Ewings, Houlton’s star sophomore distance runner, is the only runner to ever beat White in a state track and field or cross country meet. And this year, she’s getting in position to win yet another Class C title in the 1,600.
Last year at the Penobscot Valley Conference’s small school championship meet, Ewings defeated White, a two-time New England cross country champion, in both the 800 and 1,600-meter races. In the 1,600, Ewings edged White by just six-hundredths of a second with a time of 5:04.08.
The following week, Ewings won the 1,600 at the Class C state championship, once again defeating White, now a junior, with a time of 5:02.47.
That time was good enough for third best in the state last season, regardless of class.
White’s only other loss in a track or cross country meet in Maine was to Thea Crowley of George Stevens Academy in the 3,200-meter run at the PVC championship last year. White got her revenge against Crowley in the race at the Class C state meet.
“I tried to just race the clock if there’s not going to be many people here, so that’s what I tried to do today.” Ewings said after the 1,600. “I was hoping for under 5:15 and I’d be happy with anything other than that. “
Ewings also ran a personal best in the 3,200 (11:21.67), beating her teammate Natalie Johnson in second by 1:25.43. She’s been working on running by herself and against the clock.
“This is probably her best race where she’s had to race the clock,” Houlton track coach Chris Rines said. “We have a county meet and sometimes you don’t have a quality opponent or someone of that same caliber, so as a freshman she wasn’t always going from the front but would stick at second and kick at the end. This year we’re all about racing the clock and hitting targets.”
Rines said that Ewings works hard at everything she does. Ewings participates with a youth border patrol group in the area, does some alpine skiing on her own in the winter and is a top cross country runner in Maine, finishing 19th at last year’s New England championship. She is also always helping team fundraising events.
In 2020, Ewings and three teammates from GHCA won the “Fastest Students” title in the U.S. National Toboggan Championship in Camden, Maine.
She can do it all.
“She’s awesome,” Rines said. “She has a running background, a wonderful family and one that supports everything she does. She takes the same attitude into everything she goes into and she brings the same intensity to everything she does.”
Ewings began running track in eighth grade when GHCA started a team, but has been running cross country since fourth grade.
Right now she is running around 40 miles a week but will be tapering down soon as the championship races inch closer.
This season, her goal is to break 5 minutes in the 1,600, but is “not really sure of what else yet.”