GORHAM, Maine — While one of the deans of track and field finished an accomplished career, one of Eastern Maine’s best young stars took center stage at Monday’s Class A state championships at the University of Southern Maine.
Brewer junior sprinter Ben Sinclair won two events and was second in another to lead his Witches to a fourth-place finish, their best finish in a state meet since placing third in 2004.
The meet also was a farewell for longtime Bangor coach Maynard Walton, who coached his final meet.
Walton’s girls finished fifth with 40.5 points, much more than they were seeded to score.
“They came down to run, they did,” said Walton. “I was very pleased, we had a lot of personal bests today.”
Maine’s top track and field dynasty reigned supreme over the field, however, as Scarborough won its fifth straight girls’ championship with 77 points.
Edward Little of Auburn finished second with 56.5 points while Brunswick (54) was third, Bonny Eagle of Standish (43) fourth and EMITL champ Brewer ninth with 25 points.
The Scarborough boys made it a sweep, holding off Brunswick 56-48. Bonny Eagle was third with 45 points while Brewer scored 35 and Bangor 31 to place seventh.
In the boys meet, Sinclair won the 55 dash in 6.63 seconds and the 200 in 23.19 while placing second in the 400 at 50.45.
Sinclair had some issues with his starting blocks in the 55, but that didn’t slow him.
“I stumbled out of the blocks, was having some shoelace problems also but I went out there and ran well,” said Sinclair, who admitted the spikes on the bottom of the blocks were fairly shaky.
Gorham’s Cam Stevens out-kicked Sinclair in the 400, setting a Class A state record with a 50.37 clocking, but the Witches’ speedster came back to win the 200 and cement a top-five team finish.
“I’m proud of my team and proud of myself for what I did,” Sinclair said.
Steven Rice, another Brewer junior, was fifth in the 55 hurdles and seventh in the 400 while senior Chase Daniels took sixth in the high jump and classmate Dylan Wingfield seventh in the pole vault.
“On the boys side I was happy, a top-five finish for our boys is a great finish,” said Brewer coach Jamerson Crowley.
Sean Seekins of Bangor cleared 6 feet, 2 inches to win the high jump while placing fifth in the pole vault (11-6) and third in the triple jump (42-2).
Also for the Rams, Lonnie Hackett and John Moore finished 4-5 in the 400 while the 4×200 team of Kyle Lawson, Moore, Kevin Hanselman and Hackett placed sixth and the 4×800 quartet of Moore, David Gamble, Sam Nisbett and Shea Patterson came in fourth.
Scarborough’s depth in the triple jump was enough to overcome a 1-3 Brunswick finish in the 2-mile, with Sam Chick and Ian Ramsdell going 4-5 in the triple jump.
Depth fueled the Red Storm’s title run, as Brad Nakanashi (pole vault) and Chick (800) were their only individual winners.
In the girls meet, several Bangor participants had personal-best efforts — like senior Dee Wilbur, who ran a career-best 8.78 to finish second in the 55 hurdles to Emily Dodge of Edward Little of Auburn.
“I was so excited and if anyone was going to beat me I would just want it to be Emily,” said Wilbur.
Wilbur also shaved a few hundreths of a second off her 400 time, clocking a 1:01.42 to finish fourth behind teammate Brittney Chapman, who took third in 1:01.29.
Other Rams with top finishes included Megan Hogan, fourth in the high jump; Jen Tsang, second in the pole vault; Kendra Lenz, seventh in the long jump; and Cote Theriault, seventh in the shot put.
“I’m very impressed on how we did today. Everyone stepped up and we got a lot of PR’s and stuff,” said Chapman, whose 400 effort was a personal best.
Both Bangor relays earned top-seven finishes, with the 4×800 crew of Jenny Leach, Kendall Lunn, Rachel Huber and Chelsea Pratt finishing fifth and Laken Thomas, Jade Baumrind, Wilbur and Chapman finishing fifth in the 4×200.
Bangor’s efforts helped Walton end his career on a high note.
“This is wonderful, I couldn’t have asked for any more from the kids, they’ve been very good,” said Walton.
Brewer, a contender for a top-three finish, had a number of athletes at less than 100 percent physically. In particular, top sprinter Kira Giroux, who spent Saturday in the hospital with bronchitis, came back and ran a 1:01.96 to place seventh in the 400 and led Brewer’s 4×200 team to a seventh-place finish.
“She’s a champ, total fighter, A lot of kids would’ve just not have tried to go for it but she tried,” said Crowley. “She worked hard, ran a great split for us in our 4×200, she’s a pretty special kid.”
Mackenzie DeGraff had a solid day for the Witches, earning fourth place in the triple jump with a best of 34-4½ while placing sixth in the long jump at 16-0¼.
Brewer’s 4×800 relay team of Brooke Madden, Sara Chavarie, Lily Sund and Michelle Haluska clocked a 10:08.90 to finish third. Kaitlin Noyes was third in the pole vault, clearing 9 feet and barely missing on her final attempt at 9-6, while Alison Keane took seventh at 8 feet.
Jenny Snyder helped Scarborough to the title, earning third in the 55 hurdles and 55 dash while Whitney Chamberlain won the 800 in 2:19.33 and Catie Funk threw 39-10 to win the shot put.
Scarborough’s other individual champ was Lauren Blaisdell at 17-2¾ in the long jump while the Red Storm captured both relays, setting a state record in the 4×200.