DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — It’s not unrealistic to think that when teams gather for the Penobscot Valley Conference small school track and field championships each spring, one of the more popular utterances is “Anybody but Bapst.”
In a sense, it’s the sincerest form of flattery, because the John Bapst of Bangor girls squad has dominated not only the conference meet for the last decade, but Class C outdoor track and field throughout the state.
Based on Saturday’s PVC meet at Oakes Field, nothing has changed.
The John Bapst girls, winners of seven of the last eight Class C state titles, had too much depth for the other 14 schools in the PVC field while rolling to their ninth straight conference crown.
Coach Bruce Pratt’s Crusaders amassed 196 points, well ahead of runner-up Orono (108). Central of Corinth was third with 57.5 points, followed by Fort Kent (31), George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill (28.5) and host Foxcroft Academy (28).
“I know that winning begets winning, it always has,” said Pratt. “But we’ve got a culture here of girls who like track. They like to run, they like to jump, they like to do these things and they’re real smart kids, too. They’re a lot of fun to be around.”
Orono won the boys title with 106 points, besting John Bapst (81) and Bucksport (79). George Stevens (66) was fourth, followed by Dexter (58) and Central (46).
Named outstanding performers of the meet were seniors Gabby Naranja of Fort Kent and Vincent Tymoczko of Bucksport. Naranja won both the 800 (2:29.05) and 1,600 (5:30.45) and placed fourth in the 3,200 (12:50.18).
Tymoczko just missed the 15-year-old conference record in the 400 while winning the event for the second straight year. He finished in 50.44, just off the mark of 50.38 set by Mount Desert Island’s Lincoln Mills in 1995.
“I think at a championship meet it’s always a lot more intense and I loved the atmosphere, especially with the record there,” he said. “I just missed it, but hopefully I’ll improve my time at the states.”
Tymoczko also won the 200 (23.60), finished second by one-thousandth of a second to Schenck of East Millinocket’s Jared Waite in the 100 with a time of 11.59, and anchored Bucksport’s first-place 4×400 relay team.
Pratt and Orono boys coach Chris Libby were named PVC coaches of the year.
The Orono boys shook off a false start by their top-seeded 4×100 relay team to earn the title, thanks in part to their success in the throwing and jumping events.
“We thought we’d be competitive coming in, we thought we’d contend for a team championship,” said Libby. “We had some ups and we had some downs, but the boys certainly showed guts and a lot of heart in different events.”
The Red Riots were led by junior Nick Peterson and senior Conor O’Donnell.
Peterson won the javelin (157 feet, 9 inches) and shot put (44-7¾). O’Donnell won the discus (109-7) and placed second in the javelin.
Kody Stockley added a victory for the Red Riots with a best of 9-3 in the pole vault, while teammate Phil Holmes won the long jump (19-1).
John Bapst featured sophomore Stuart Lenz, who won the triple jump (39-4¾) while placing second to Tymoczko in the 200 and third in both the 100 and 400. The Crusaders’ 4×800 team of Kevin McConnell, Dylan Norris, Alex Beals and Derek Whitehead also was victorious.
Tymoczko led Bucksport’s effort, and was aided in the 4×400 by teammates Jonathan Grindle, Bobby Alvarado and Hanes Thibadeau.
George Stevens sophomore Ben Plohr won the 110 hurdles (17.01) and the 300 hurdles (42.17).
Teammate Pierre Dillon won the 800 in 2:03.31, and River Plouffe Vogel added a fourth win for the Eagles in the 3,200 (11:14.96).
Dexter’s Shawn Goulette won the 1,600 race walk in 10:28.02, while the Tigers’ Nathan Wyman was the 1,600 champion in 4:31.60.
Other winners were Schenck’s Waite in the 100 (11.59), Foxcroft freshman Donnie Boyer in the high jump (5-8) and the Central 4×100 relay team of Cody Weaver, Tyler Healy, Matt Kelley and Kevin Connolly (47.98).
The John Bapst girls won all three relay races. Kim Spencer, Mary Carmack, Laura Donovan and Maggie Bryan opened the meet by winning the 4×800 in 10:34.55, while Maggie Lynn, Sashia Zimmerman, Amanda Martin and Stesha Rudnicki won the 4×100 in 53.33 seconds.
Lynn, Carolyn Benner, Brianne Robertson and Bryan capped off the competition by winning the 4×400 in 4:23.93.
Mary Carmack (12:13.85) and Adrienne Carmack finished 1-2 for the Crusaders in the 3,200, while Jen Daley won the high jump with a best effort of 5-3 and led a 2-3-4 finish by Bapst in the triple jump.
Benner’s winning effort of 14-7¾ sparked a 1-3-4-5 Bapst dominance of the long jump, while Sara Wardell (18.08) and Amy Haskell finished 1, 3 in the 100 hurdles.
Orono was led by senior Holli Kenison, who fell while leading the 100 hurdles but rebounded to win the 300 hurdles (49.14) and triple jump (32-2¾) and led the Red Riots’ 4×400 relay team to a second-place finish.
“I was pretty upset right when it happened,” Kenison said of her fall, “but I had to just accept that it happened and move on and do my other events. I couldn’t let the team down because I was upset.”
Shelby Wheeler of Orono won the pole vault with a best of 9-3, while Red Riot freshman Analies Dyjak won the 1,600 race walk in 9:25.11 — a time faster than the first-place boys finisher.
Central got victories from Bekah Campbell in the discus (107-11) and Kimber Thomas in the 200 (27.90).
Mary Bridges led George Stevens with a win in the 100 (13.55) and Emily Panciera paced Foxcroft by winning the 400 in 1:02.70.
Other winners were Sarah Bradshaw of Searsport in the javelin (96-11) and Ashley DeSilva of Washington Academy of East Machias in the shot put (33-½).