AUGUSTA — While two of Eastern Maine’s best track and field athletes closed the book on their high school careers in fine fashion, another continued to write what has been an outstanding opening chapter.
Bangor senior Joey Quinn and Brewer classmate Steven Rice both shined in their respective individual events at Saturday’s Class A state championships at Cony High School, each winning one, while Rams’ freshman Denae Johnson continued her strong rookie campaign in the hurdles.
Rice won the boys 110-meter hurdles in 15.06 seconds, capping off an undefeated spring in that event, while Quinn, son of Bangor head coach Joe Quinn, heaved the discus 151 feet, 8 inches to edge Cheverus of Portland’s John White, who threw 149-6.
“Going into the finals, I was second behind John White, and on the second throw I jumped in front of him,” Quinn said.
Despite all the outstanding individual efforts by Eastern Maine’s best, it wasn’t enough to overtake the West, as the Scarborough girls and Brunswick boys walked away with team championships.
The Red Storm girls edged reigning champ Edward Little of Auburn 91 points to 83, while Thornton Academy of Saco tallied 62.5 points to finish third in the 24-team field.
The Bangor girls finished a solid seventh with 35 points while Brewer scored four to come in 24th.
Brunswick’s boys racked up 82 points behind Will Geoghegan’s distance-triple sweep while Cheverus was 16 points back in second.
Bangor finished tied for sixth with Windham with 39 points while Brewer’s 30 was good for ninth in the 22-team field.
In the girls competition, Bangor’s Johnson put down the fastest time in the trials at 15.51 seconds, and backed it up by ripping a 15.29 in the final, pulling away from Thornton’s Hannah Wiley over the middle hurdles.
“I was so nervous, because there were very fast girls,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know how I was going to do.”
As it turned out, teammate Grace Maclean, who finished fifth overall, clocked the second-quickest time in the trials, meaning the two Rams would be placed next to each other in the final, which worked to Johnson’s advantage.
“It always helps when she’s there next to me, because she’s a really good teammate and I feel confident when she’s running with me,” Johnson said.
Johnson later teamed up with Maclean, Laken Thomas and Anna Hayden to help Bangor finish fifth in the 400 relay while Maclean took fifth in the 300 hurdles and second in the high jump.
The Rams’ other points came from Hayden, who finished in a three-way tie for seventh in the pole vault, clearing 8-3, while the 1600 relay team of Thomas, Emma Hardy, Brittney Chapman and Ally Vanidestine claimed fifth place. Vanidestine was also fifth in the open 400.
The team competition came down to the final three events, and after Edward Little picked up a whopping 26 points in the triple jump, Scarborough countered by winning the 1600 relay while Christy Manning finished second in the discus to sew up the championship.
Manning also recorded a second place in the javelin and finished sixth in the shot put. Nicole Kirk and Emilia Scheemaker also provided some pivotal points for Scarborough as Kirk placed first in the 200 and second in the 100 while Scheemaker finished second in the long jump and third in the triple jump.
Brewer’s points came from junior Michelle Haluska, who came out of the unseeded section of the 1600 to place seventh, finishing in 5 minutes, 30.17 seconds while the Witches’ 400 relay group of Chelsea Gillies, Rylee Hutchins, Olivia Gould and Rachel Craig was seventh, and Jackson a freshman, later earned sixth in the 400.
Kennebunk sophomore Abbey Leonardi annihilated two state records, blazing to a 4:51.57 finish in the 1600 and 10:42.32 in the 3200.
In the boys meet, Geohegan turned in an outstanding effort with first-place finishes in the 1,600, 800 and 3,200 to lead the Dragons. He finished the 1,600 in 4:12.57, the 800 in 1:56.11, and the 3,200 in 9:26.26 — all below his seeded times.
Brewer’s Rice had to come from behind to win the 110 hurdles, as he stumbled out of the blocks slightly, but used his speed to gain ground and eventually took over halfway through the race.
“I had a bad start, everyone in the whole line beat me to the first hurdle, so I was completely playing catch-up,” Rice said.
Rice showcased those abilities again in the 300’s, reeling in South Portland’s Jamison Esquibel and Jeremy Collins of Bonny Eagle to finish second in 40.62 seconds, just behind Cony’s Richard Orio.
“I’ve run against Rick since I was a freshman,” Rice said. “He’s actually a kid I’m glad to lose to, he’s a great guy. I’m just really glad I had the opportunity to run. Getting here is an experience on its own.”
Rice later teamed up with Jamie Williamson, Trey Williams and Anthony Jackson to finish fourth in the 1600 relay, and the Witches set a school record of 3:30.92 in the process, with Williamson anchoring.
“The guy up in front of me, he wasn’t going at a very fast pace and I was trying to close the gap,” said Williamson, who was also seventh in the open 400 race. “I just wanted that record so bad.”
Bangor’s Quinn also had sort of a rebound in the discus, finding his form in the finals after morning rains had made the circle slick for trials.
“The wetter it is, the slipperier it is, you’ve just got to slow down and be more cautious on your steps and make sure you don’t hit the rim or fault,” said Quinn.
Bangor’s Ben Sinclair capped off a great high school career by finishing third in the 100, 200 and 400 and helping Bangor’s 400 relay earn fifth. Josiah Hartley came in fourth in the 110 hurdles and shot put.
Brewer’s Tristan Wortman placed third in the pole vault.