BAR HARBOR, Maine — Over the years, high school track and field fans have witnessed many classic confrontations between runners who happen to be close friends off the track.
That was the case again at Saturday’s Mount Desert Island Relays, which featured two of the state’s top sprinters, MDI’s Danielle Hutchins and Brewer’s Kira Giroux battling in three relays.
Giroux managed to get the best of her friend in two of those races, including anchoring the Witches’ co-ed 1600-meter sprint medley team of Jamie Williamson, Rylee Hutchins and Steven Rice to a meet-record time of 2 minutes, 47.88 seconds.
That time eclipsed the record of 2:49.53 set by MDI’s Hutchins, O’Dayne Gaynor, Destiny Kanu and Tucker Smith just last year.
“I love running against Danielle, we’re running against each other but cheering each other on at the same time,” Giroux said.
Hutchins added, “We support each other.”
Giroux’s Witches blew away the rest of the field in the team competition, compiling 181.50 points in winning all but two of the relay events contested on the track.
Caribou finished second with 108 points, MDI third with 101, John Bapst of Bangor fourth with 98 and Orono’s 69 rounded out the top five in a meet which drew 14 Penobscot Valley Conference schools.
The Brewer boys held off MDI and Caribou to garner the team sweep, scoring 151 points.
MDI earned second with 139 while Caribou was right behind with 138.50. Old Town took fourth with 70 and Orono fifth with 43.
In the girls competition, Brewer’s co-ed team wasn’t the only Witches quartet to set a record, as the only other mark that fell was in the 4×100-meter shot put relay, with Carrie Lopez, Jessica Hodsdon, Angelique Greer and Alison Keane finishing in 1:01.37, breaking MDI’s 2008 mark of 1:04.36.
While there were a few individual events contested in the midst of all the relays, Brewer coach Jamerson Crowley elected to save his speed and depth for the events which mattered most, and it certainly paid off.
“We really wanted to do well in those relays, we put some good groups together,” he said. Obviously, I think we have some pretty good depth on the girls side so that shone through today.”
The Witches earned a couple of seasonal personal records in the 4×400 and 4×800, events which will be instrumental to the team’s success at the upcoming PVC championship meet.
Brewer’s 4×800 team of Brooke Madden, Kaitlin Noyes, Katie Snow and Sara Chavarie posted a 10:12.93 while their 4×4 quartet of Madden, Noyes, Bekah Clark and Giroux posted a 4:20.57 in finishing second to MDI’s Kanu, Bliss Weathers, Kailyn Russell and Hutchins (4:17.31).
In that race, the final of the afternoon, the teams were neck-and-neck through the first leg before Weathers gave the Trojans some breathing room.
“It was really fun. She did really good, it was fun,” said Hutchins, who is returning to full stride after missing the first couple of meets of the spring while vacationing in Costa Rica.
Brewer, which has a deep senior class that has experienced success in winning consecutive regional championships indoors, certainly took a big stride in possibly adding a PVC outdoor title to the trophy case.
“I think its just important to keep training the way we have been and keep our attitudes positive, so we have a lot to look forward to,” Giroux said.
Individual field event winners were Shelby Wheeler of Orono in the pole vault, Lisanne Rieker of Calvary Chapel of Orrington in the high and triple jumps, Mackenzie DeGraff of Brewer in the long jump, Haley Prygrocki of Old Town in the discus and shot put and Caitlyn Wilson of Brewer in the javelin.
Individual champs in the open races included Emily Collins of Caribou in the 200 dash, Mary Carmack of John Bapst in the 1,600 run, Katelyn Gerow of John Bapst in the 100 hurdles, Jana Larlee of Mattanawcook in Lincoln in the racewalk and Brewer’s Wilson in the 300 hurdles.
In the boys competition, the Caribou Vikings used their always-quality depth in the distance races and racewalk to build an early advantage, Brewer slowly but surely chipped away with its depth in the relays.
Even though the Witches won only two races on the track — Tyler McCormick, Caleb Woodward, Anthony Jackson and Trey Williams’ 4:12.92 effort in the 1600-meter freshman medley and Josh Stone, Brian Kearns, Dylan Wingfield and Steven Rice clocking a 39.16 in the 4×70 shuttle hurdle race — they pieced together enough quality efforts in the other events to waltz home with the team trophy.
“We had a great meet on the boys side I was very happy with what we did, this boys team’s been gritty all year, they’ve been tough,” Crowley said.
John Bapst’s Chris Fogler annihilated a pair of records in the hurdles, one that was set just last year.
The Crusaders’ senior blew away the mark of 16.45 established by Hampden Academy’s Jadrien Cousens in the 110 hurdles, and later smashed Dan Peterson of Brewer’s 2004 time of 41.04 in the 300 hurdles, clocking a 40.02.
As impressive as both of those times were, the more amazing fact is they were both run into a strong homestretch headwind, and Fogler was running solo in both cases.
In addition to that, MDI showed off its talents in the pole vault, with Tucker Smith — who had the day’s winning vault at 12-6, teaming up with Derek Rothenheber and Ben Cummings for a combined distance of 36 feet, also good for a meet record.
The other meet record broken on the boys side was by Jared sleeper of Caribou, who destroyed former teammate Ian Connolly’s 8:49.46 2008 mark in the race walk with a 7:40.03.
Individual winners on the track were Sumner of East Sullivan’s Anthony Cultrera in the 200, Christian Sleeper of Caribou (1,600), MDI’s Ben Cummings (high jump), Stuart Lenz of John Bapst (triple jump), Nat Hinckley of MDI (long jump), Brandon Winchenbach of Old Town (discus), Blake Ford of Calais (shot put) and Caribou’s Nate Swan (javelin).