BANGOR, Maine — While the sun finally broke through for Saturday’s Penobscot Valley Conference large school track and field championships, the Bangor and Brewer girls lived up to the pre-meet hype.
The two closely seeded teams were tied with two events remaining Saturday at Cameron Stadium with the Witches and Rams each having two competitors remaining in the pole vault with the bar at 9 feet, 6 inches.
Bangor’s Katie Porter cleared 9 feet, 6 inches for perhaps her biggest individual win of the spring, which helped vault her team into a 10-point lead heading into the 4×400 relay as she led teammates Jen Tsang and Anna Hayden with a 1-3-4 finish.
The Rams won the 4×4 comfortably and clinched their fifth consecutive title, finishing with 154 points to Brewer’s 139.
Mount Desert Island wound up third with 105 points among the nine teams, while Old Town (48) was fourth and Caribou fifth (43).
Hampden Academy, a 40-point favorite in the boys competition, held off a formidable challenge from Ban-gor to win with 139 points. The Rams tallied 132, Brewer 85, Caribou 78 and MDI 62.
MDI’s Danielle Hutchins and HA’s Matt Toothaker earned Outstanding Performer honors.
In the girls competition, Rams junior Brittney Chapman crossed goals Nos. 2 and 3 off her season-long checklist.
Having already broken the 27-second barrier in the 200 meters, she eclipsed the one-minute plateau in the 400, placing second behind MDI’s Hutchins in 59.35 seconds while finishing second in the 200 and 100 and anchoring Bangor’s winning 4×400 relay.
“Last year when I came close [then] I was like my junior year my goal is to either break 27 or break a minute and I did both this year,” said Chapman, whose third goal was to help her team retain its hold on the conference title.
She and Deanna Wilbur were the big factors for the Rams, as Wilbur set the tone early in breaking a 10-year-old record in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.66 clocking.
Wilbur, who also won the 300 hurdles in 47.08 and ran the third leg on Bangor’s 4×400, snapped Lori Hannan’s 1996 record.
As fast as Wilbur and Chapman were, the Rams gen-erated valuable points from athletes in different areas. They included sophomore Hillary Throckmorton, who just took up the javelin this year and finished second, and junior Megan Hogan, who cleared 5-2 to win the high jump.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure who stepped up, we had a lot of kids who did step up in some of the events,” said Bangor coach Joe Quinn, also pointing out a key fourth-place finish from Leila Musavi in the triple jump.
Brewer held up its end of the bargain, as the Witches placed three girls in the dash and hurdle finals while getting key wins with Caitlyn Wilson’s heave of 99-11 in the javelin and Brooke Madden’s winning effort of 2:26.99 seconds in the 800. In that event, she emerged from a tight pack that included Chelsea Pratt of Bangor, Darien Lewis of Ellsworth and Old Town’s Erin St. Peter.
But Bangor’s vaulters wound up being the deciding factor, with Porter easily clearing 9-6 on her first at-tempt after Kaitlin Noyes of Brewer had missed on hers.
MDI’s Hutchins, one of the greatest sprinters ever in the PVC, broke one more league record, this time in the 400, where she clocked a 58.21, beating out Lindsay Burlock’s 58.38 (2004).
“The 400 was a painful race, I couldn’t see who was behind me and all I could hear was footsteps behind me,” said Hutchins, who pulled away from Chapman down the homestretch.
Hutchins swept all three sprinting events (100, 200, 400) and won the long jump as well.
Classmate Heather Spurling was the meet’s other double-winner, winning both the 1,600 and 3,200.
Caribou’s Hannah Saunders finished the 1,600 race walk in 7:40.67, breaking the 2003 conference mark of 7:59.39 set by Mahala Stewart.
The victory was a sweet one for Saunders, whose senior season of cross country for the Vikings was plagued by hip tendinitis.
In the boys competition, Hampden also relied on some key events late in the meet to make its champion-ship charge.
The Broncos compiled 19 points in the long jump, 18 more in the high jump and 16 in the 800 to help build an almost insurmountable 11-point cushion heading into the 4×400.
While coach Bill Schall got the big efforts he’s accustomed to seeing out of Darik Frye, Toothaker and Jadrien Cousens, he had some others pivotal contributors as well.
“A couple key athletes really stepped it up — Corey Grover in the jumps, Greg O’Donnell in the 400 — it’s performances like that really helped our team accom-plish that,” Schall said.
O’Donnell wound up scoring six more points than he was seeded for in the 400 in placing second while Grover finished second in the high jump and sixth in the LJ.
“Everyone stepped it up today, in the hurdles and high jump and long jump especially,” Toothaker said. “Everyone had a great meet.”
Toothaker was victorious in the triple jump at 41-6½ and 300 hurdles in 41.28 while earning second in the high jump and long jump.
Cousens took first in both of those events while earning a second in the TJ and third in the 110 hurdles.
But perhaps no effort was bigger than that of Frye in the 800. He rebounded from a disappointing fifth in the 1,600 to win going away in 2:00.75.
“The 800 was a pivotal event and probably a lot of teammates were looking at that; can he do it and bounce back; and I think that set the tone for the rest of the meet,” said Schall.
Bangor’s Sam Nisbett completed a tough distance double, winning the 1,600 and 3,200. He reeled in Frye, who charged to the lead right from the gun in winning his first event in 4:33.73, and cruised to a 10:36.19 in the 3,200.
“I was shocked because I haven’t raced [Frye] all year,” Nisbett said of the 1,600. “I wasn’t sure if he was going to keep that up for a while or what was going on. I just tried to reel him in as fast as I could.”
Bangor’s other double-winner was Tyler Pembroke in the 100 and 200 while Joey Quinn won the discus.
“We [just] ran out of bodies. For what we had for kids here we did very well,” Joe Quinn said.