HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD
By Ryan McLaughlin
Of the NEWS Staff
ORONO — While two teams synonymous with Eastern Maine Indoor Track League success reached the pinnacle of team success after one- and two-year absences, respectively, two others recorded their best finishes in recent memory.
The Bangor girls won their first league championship for the first time since 2007 with 103 points while the Bangor boys annexed their first since 2008, tallying 107 points, but it was the Orono girls and Hermon boys teams that put on impressive shows with small numbers but big talent.
The Red Riots came in second, their highest finish in a league championship meet since winning it all in 1995, scoring 67 points. Rounding out the top five were Old Town with 59, Brewer (52) and John Bapst of Bangor (38).
The Brewer boys came in second with 71 points with the Hawks finishing third, registering 63. The rest of the top five included Old Town (49) and Orono (30.5).
In the girls meet, Orono’s Shelby Wheeler eclipsed what had been a five-year old EMITL record in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 2 inches. The previous standard was 10-1, established by another Red Riot, Rachel Bergman, back in 2005.
Prior to Saturday, Wheeler’s personal record was 9-6, but after clearing 9-9 to set up three attempts at 10-2, the Riots’ junior became even more confident. After missing on her first two cracks at 10-2, Wheeler soared over the bar on her third and final attempt and vaulted her way into Eastern Maine track and field lore. She missed on three attempts at 10-6.
Wheeler and Holli Kenison helped fuel the Red Riots’ efforts.
Wheeler was also second in the 55 hurdles while Kenison was third, and Kenison also won the long jump and took second in the triple jump.
Bangor was actually behind Orono near the halfway point of the meet, but the Rams picked up 13 points in the high jump and 14 more in the 200 to give themselves some breathing room.
Freshman Grace Maclean was Bangor’s lone individual champ, winning the 55 hurdles in 9.04 seconds
Outstanding Performer honors were shared by Old Town’s Katie DeShane and Destiny Kanu of MDI, as the two competed against each other in two outstanding races.
DeShane would finish third in the 55 dash while Kanu was second to OT’s Kayla Brooks. DeShane won the high jump and 200 dash with Kanu taking second in the 200 and winning the 400.
Brooks was the other double-winner on the girls’ side, also capturing the triple jump.
Orono coach Chris Libby won Coach of the Year honors.
Other individual champs were: Sara Chavarie of Brewer in the mile, Hampden Academy’s Alley Becker in the 800, Michelle Haluska of Brewer in the 2 mile and the Witches’ Colleen Gilley in the shot put.
In the boys meet, Bangor rode the individual efforts of 28-point scorer and Top Performer Sam Nisbett, who won the mile in 4 minutes, 51.84 seconds, the 800 in 2:00.01, and he was second in the 2 mile to Ellsworth’s Ben Chapman.
Bangor’s Ben Sinclair compiled 24 points in winning the 55 and 200 dashes in 6.76 and 23.29 in the 200 while adding a fourth-place effort in the 400.
Jonathan Belanger also gave Bangor coach Jaime Cooke a solid effort in the distance races, finishing second in the mile and third in the 2 mile.
Ryan Feeney helped spearhead Hermon’s third-place effort with a win in the long jump, jumping 20-8 while he was second in the TJ at 41-0.50.
Feeney, Nick Byers, Jesse Graffam and Justin Cullens also teamed up to run 1:35.41 in the 4×220 in leading the Hawks to a win.
Other individual champs included Steven Rice of Brewer in the 55 hurdles at 7.77, the fastest time in Class A, Vincent Tymoczko of Bucksport in the 400, MDI’s Nat Hinckley in the shot put, Stuart Lenz of John Bapst in the triple jump, Old Town’s Jake Leithiser in the high jump and Tristan Wortman of Brewer in the pole vault.
Winning coach of the year honors was Amy Luce of Hermon.