BAR HARBOR — After his indoor track and field season ended with an injury, Brewer High School’s Tristan Wortman was eager for the outdoor track and field season to begin and it showed Saturday when he helped guide the Witches to their first Penobscot Valley Conference title since 1997.
The Brewer senior set a conference record in the pole vault while also winning the 110 hurdles and finished second in the triple jump to lead coach Glendon Rand’s club to PVC supremacy at Mount Desert Island High School.
Brewer compiled 121 points to outdistance runner-up Old Town (96).
Bangor finished third with 82.6 points, followed by Hampden Academy (77) and Ellsworth (60).
The Bangor girls edged Old Town to win their seventh straight championship, coming up big in the final few events to pull out a 137-133 triumph.
Caribou wound up third with 95 points, followed by Brewer (90) and MDI (61).
Redemption was sweet for Wortman in the boys meet, as his indoor season ended with a knee injury in the Class A state meet.
“I was warming up for long jump and on my first jump I completely hyper-extended my knee,” said Wortman, who had put down the fastest time in the hurdle trials that day.
He would have no such bad luck on Saturday, and cleared 13 feet, 3 inches on his second vault to break a record that was set before he was even born.
“It feels really good, coming into outdoor I saw the PVC record was 13-2.50, that was my biggest goal,” Wortman said, who broke Ben Conrad’s record that was set in 1992.
Wortman was also timed in 16.13 seconds in winning the 110 hurdles, and he was one of the centerpieces of a Brewer triple jump surge which all but clinched the meet for the Witches.
Ray Bessette, who had never participated in track until this spring, led the trio with a first-place finish, while Tristan Wortman and his brother, Alec, finished 2-3, giving Brewer 24 points.
Bessette, who was also second in the high jump and fifth in the 100 dash, leaped to a distance of 40 feet, 4.75 inches in the TJ, which is remarkable for first-year competitor.
“This was my second time doing it so I’m still starting to pick it up,” said Bessette, who plans to walk on to the track team at the University of Maine. “I’m trying to get the hang of it.”
Bessette and Wortman were the Witches’ lone individual winners, but the 4×400 relay team of Anthony Jackson, Josh Stone, Spencer Valley and Trey Williams claimed that race in 3 minutes, 39.56 seconds. Valley was also third in the 110 hurdles and Williams second in the 800.
Top Performer honors in the boys meet went to Old Town senior Jake Leithiser, who won the 300 hurdles (39.33 seconds, an MDI facility record), the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches) and long jump (20-2.00) while finishing second in the 100-meter dash.
Other individual champions in the boys meet: Chrisshawn Fluker of Ellsworth in the 100, Caribou’s D.J. Flynn (racewalk) and Christian Sleeper (1600), Old Town’s Jacob St. Peter (400, 200), Nick Byers of Hermon (800), Dan Curts of Ellsworth (3200), Jared Winchenbach of Old Town (javelin), MDI’s Ryan Lynde (discus), and Tyler Grindle of Bangor (shot put).
In the girls meet, Bangor was able to use its talent in the hurdles, jumps and throws to offset that of Old Town’s in the distance events.
Trailing the Coyotes by nine heading into the pole vault, Morgan Johnson, Anna Hayden and Ally Vanidestine finished 2-3-5 to give the Rams a large enough cushion heading into the 4×400 relay.
It also helped that many athletes exceeded their seeds.
“Ashley Flint wasn’t supposed to place in the shot or the disc and she ended up third in the disc and fifth in the shot,” said Bangor coach Joe Quinn. “It’s people like that that made a big difference.”
The Rams’ top guns did what they were expected to do, as Grace Maclean wound up with two first-place finishes (high jump, 100 hurdles) while Denae Johnson claimed the 300 hurdles and long jump.
Johnson also finished second to Maclean in the 100 hurdles, while Hayden, Johnson, Lexie Achorn and Laken Thomas covered the 4×100 relay in 53.24 seconds.
Brewer sophomore Teal Jackson went on to claim Outstanding Performer honors, sweeping the sprinting events while also placing third in the long jump.
Jackson was timed in 12.80 seconds in the 100, 26.20 in the 200 and 58.64 in the 400.
She narrowly missed conference records in all three events, but put down an MDI facility record in the 400.
“I wanted to try to get another 59 just so I could be consistent, and I got a 58 so that was awesome,” said Jackson.
Jackson was pushed by Old Town’s Kelsey Maxim in the 400, but she managed to pull away down the homestretch, and looked even stronger as she crossed the finish line.
“It just gives me because I don’t really like to lose, but if I do I do,” Jackson said.
Old Town’s Dacie Manion was the only other double-event winner in the girls’ meet, as she won the 1600 in 5:13.49 and the 3200 in 11:34.19.
Maxim went on to win the 800 in 2:23.93.
Other individual champs: Caribou’s Emily Soderberg (racewalk), Kayla Brooks of Old Town (triple jump), Hampden’s Julia Snyder (discus), Haley Prygrocki of Old Town (javelin), and Chelsea Curran of MDI (pole vault).