BANGOR, Maine — It certainly was well worth the wait.
A mere second before the girls 4×800 meter runners took to Cameron Stadium’s track, which signaled the start of Saturday’s Penobscot Valley Conference large school (Class A and B) championship meet, the sun finally peeked out of the clouds.
As Mother Nature blessed the area’s top track athletes with some gorgeous running weather, it seemed fast times and long distances were contagious, with personal and conference records falling all over the place, and two memorable team battles shaping up.
With the Bangor and Brewer girls tied 123-123 with the pole vault still in action, the Rams out-scored the Witches 20-10 in that event, thanks to the 1-3-4 finish of Katie Porter, Jen Tsang and Anna Hayden to give the team a comfortable 10-point cushion heading into the 4×400 relay.
Bangor cemented its fifth straight PVC crown with a win in that event, finishing with 153 points while Brewer had 139.
Mount Desert Island was third in the nine-school field with 105 points, followed by Old Town’s 48 and Caribou’s 43.
The Hampden Academy boys, 40-point favorites in the pre-meet seedings, found themselves in a dogfight with Bangor, which would not give up its stranglehold on conference supremacy without a fight.
The Broncos would persevere and take the title with 139 points, while Bangor had 132. Brewer finished third with 85, while Caribou took fourth with 78, and MDI fifth with 62.
In the girls meet, Bangor was led by top guns Deanna Wilbur and Brittney Chapman.
Wilbur, a senior, broke a 13-year-old PVC record in the 100 hurdles with an impressive time of 15.66, easily eclipsing the old mark of 15.83 set by Lori Hannan in 1996.
She also went on to win the 300s in 47.08, while running third leg on Bangor’s 4×400 relay.
Chapman, a junior, checked off the second of her two personal goals this spring, as she cracked the illusive 1-minute barrier in the 400, earning second in 59.35 seconds, behind MDI’s Danielle Hutchins, who broke Lindsay Burlock’s 2004 league record of 58.38 with a 58.21.
Chapman, who also accomplished her goal of breaking 27 seconds in the 200 earlier this year, was second in that race in 27.13, while taking third in the 100 dash in 13.27 and anchoring the Rams’ winning 4×400.
Hutchins, who won the meet’s top performer honor, won the 100 (12.79), 200 (26.66) and long jump (15 feet, 9 inches) in addition to the 400.
The competition’s other double-winner was MDI’s Heather Spurling, who took the 1,600-and 3,200-meter runs.
Caribou’s Hannah Saunders set a PVC record in the 1,600 race walk, clocking a 7:40.67.
On the boys side, Hampden picked up 19 points in the long jump, 16 in the 800 and 18 more in the high jump to pull away for the win.
The Broncos were led by Outstanding Performer Matt Toothaker, who won the triple jump with a mark of 41-6½, and 300 hurdles in 41.28 while finishing second in the long jump and 200.
Jadrien Cousens also had a big day for Hampden, taking first in the high jump, clearing 6-2 while also winning the long jump and finishing second in the TJ. Corey Grover earned a pivotal sixth in the LJ and a second in the HJ.
Darik Frye sparked HA’s 800-meter attack, bouncing back from a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 1,600 to post a 2:00.75 in winning the 800, where Michael Bommarito earned second.
Bangor had a pair of double-winners in Sam Nisbett and Tyler Pembroke.
Nisbett won both the 1,600 and 3,200, while Pembroke claimed the 100 and 200 dashes.