DOVER-FOXCROFT — Championships in track and field can be won in a variety of fashions.
But the one formula that has worked for the John Bapst girls over the years has been depth. And lots of it.
Coach Bruce Pratt’s Crusaders didn’t field any individual winners Wednesday, but they took home the more coveted prize — the team championship — as Bapst captured its third straight Class C state title and eighth since 2002 with 79 points at Foxcroft Academy’s Oakes Field on Wednesday.
Sisters Mary and Adrienne Carmack put Bapst on top for good with a 3-4 finish in the 3,200.
The Crusaders survived a valiant effort by Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Orono, with the Red Riots finishing second with 67 points and the Huskies third with 60.
Maranacook of Readfield scored 53 to finish fourth behind distance runner Abby Mace’s impressive 1600-800-3200 sweep while Traip Academy of Kittery rounded out the top five with 45 points.
Sacopee Valley of Hiram won the boys’ meet in dramatic fashion, finishing third in the 1,600 relay to hold off Maranacook of Readfield 66 points to 58.
Sacopee was up by two points entering the relay.
North Yarmouth earned third with 50 points, followed by Elan School of Poland with 47, Traip Academy with 40 while Orono earned sixth with 37 points.
In the girls’ meet, Bapst junior Maggie Bryan wasn’t feeling too well, but still helped give the Crusaders 26 points by anchoring a second-place 3,200 relay, a first-place 1600 relay and finishing second in the open 800 in 2 minutes, 27 seconds.
“I stayed up really late last night because I had two finals today. I didn’t know how I was going to do,” said Bryan.
But Bryan was focused on helping her team win that illusive state title and turned in a strong performance.
“The team comes first,” she said. “It was closer than ever.”
Close enough to make Pratt scratch his head frequently throughout the day, as the Huskies and Red Riots used depth in the field events to challenge the Crusaders.
But the Carmack sisters’ finish in the 3200 coupled with Carolyn Benner and Jen Daley scoring fifth and sixth in the triple jump and Nikol Harris’ fifth-place effort in the pole vault gave Bapst just enough.
“We saw MCI earlier this season at a meet at Lawrence and I was real impressed. Coach [Jason] Allen, he’s a good coach, he knows what he’s doing,” Pratt said. “This reminds me of the first time we won a state championship (2002), we won by 5-6 points.”
That day, the Crusaders had just one individual champ, but their depth was pivotal then and in Wednesday’s title quest.
“We won two relays and that was it,” Pratt said. “It just goes to show you the team makes the difference.”
Bryan, Maggie Lynn, Amanda Martin and Brianne Robertson posted a 4:23.85 in the 1,600 relay while Saskia Zimmerman, Martin, Lynn and Stesha Rudnicki were clocked in 52.55 in winning the 400 relay.
Central of Corinth’s Kimber Thomas had a strong day, blasting to a personal-best of 1:01.95 in the 400 while also placing third in the 200 in 27.80.
Thomas was surprised when coming down the homestretch and noticing how fast she was running.
“I felt a full adrenaline rush by the time I got to the last corner here, and I had no idea where I got the energy from,” said Thomas. “I didn’t think I’d get it until I got to the last corner, then I went for it and just got it.”
Thomas had been running in the 63-64 range this spring, and couldn’t have been more excited with her PR.
“I started out kind of slow and by the time I got to the back corner I figured I had more in me so I gave it all I had and came out and got lucky in the end,” she said.
Orono’s depth in the pole vault helped catapult it into second, as Shelby Wheeler, Julianne LaBrecque and Kayla Marquis finished 1-3-4, with Wheeler clearing 9 feet, 6 inches for the win.
Coach Chris Libby’s other individual champs were freshman Analies Dyjak, who took the 1,600 racewalk in 9:01.58 while junior Alex Crocker took the 300 hurdles in 48.93.
Maranacook’s Mace was timed in 5:07.44 to take the 1600, 2:21.69 in the 800 and 12:00.42 in the 3200.
MCI was fueled by junior Meghan Hughes, a double-winner in the discus (104-8) and shot put (32-3) while teammate Natasha Wallace was third in the discus and second in the shot for the Huskies.
The Western Maine schools dominated the boys’ team competition, but Bucksport senior Vinny Tymoczko did what he was favored to do in the 400.
The Golden Bucks’ speedster hammered out a 50.38 to win his best race while pulling away from Traip Academy’s Nigel Ayer along the backstretch.
“I just tried to finish up with all I had left,” said Tymoczko, who was later second in the 200 in 22.83 while anchoring Bucksport’s 1,600 relay to a second-place finish.
“The 400’s a tough race, you’ve just got to gut it out the last 200, give it all you have,” added Tymoczko.
Tymoczko teamed up with Jonathan Grindle, Bobby Alvarado and Hanes Thibodeua on the 4×4.
George Stevens of Blue Hill came away with a 1-2 finish in the 800 courtesy of Ben Plohr and Pierre Dillon.
Plohr was clocked in 2:01.94 while Dillon was right behind in 2:03.00.
Orono’s Nick Peterson was Eastern Maine’s other standout, winning the javelin with a heave of 160 feet, 6 inches while also taking second in the shot put with a toss of 43-1.50.
The Red Riots’ 400 relay quartet of Joe Claar, Miguel Caballero, Kody Stockley and Phil Holmes earned second, covering that race in 45.39.
Schenck of East Millinocket’s Jared Waite, Bucksport’s Whalen and John Bapst’s Stuart Lenz finished 2-3-4 in the 100 dash.
Sacopee’s winning effort was fueled by a 1-2-3 finish in the pole vault, courtesy of Nick Vacchiano, Dustin Comeau and Carlton Lawrence.
Sacopee’s third-place 4×400 quartet of Eli Thompson, Mitchell Watson, Liam Nee and Logan Nee was timed in 3:36.01.