WINDHAM — John Wilkinson spent 27 years as the Gorham High School boys cross country and track and field coach, but after his daughter, Rachel Wilkinson, graduated from Gorham last year and headed to the University of Maine in Orono to run cross country and track for the Black Bears, he decided he needed a change as well.
He joined his brother, Greg, the longtime boys and girls cross country and boys track and field coach at Bonny Eagle as an assistant, forming a sibling coaching tandem that has deep roots in cross country, track, and field.
“It’s been very enjoyable,” John Wilkinson said. “The kids have been great.”
The sibling theme continued on Saturday for Bonny Eagle as two sets of brothers and sisters — senior Joey and junior Jeremy Collins, and senior twins Peyton and Amber Dostie — helped the Scots capture both the boys and girls Class A track and field state titles at Windham High School.
“This year’s title was a lot more meaningful for us because we were able to contribute more than two years ago,” said Joey Collins, who helped win a state championship for Bonny Eagle in 2009 with his brother.
The boys team totaled 94 points to edge Edward Little, and the girls put up 82 points outlasting Scarborough, as both championships were decided by the last event of the day — the 4×400 relay, with the girls taking second and the boys placing third.
The EL boys finished with 90 points, followed by South Portland (59), Cheverus (52) and Sanford (44) to round out the top five. The Scarborough girls finished second with 78, followed by Edward Little (50), Cheverus (49) and Thornton Academy (48).
Jeremy Collins won one individual state championship and was a member of 4×100 and 4×400 teams that both came in third. Joey Collins joined his brother, senior Ben Thomas, and junior Kyle Bailey on the 4×400 team.
Bonny Eagle sophomore Tyson Goodale was also a key contributor to the Scots’ state title as he won the triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, 11.50 inches, edging Edward Little sophomore Connor Harris. Goodale also finished second in the long jump and third in the 110-meter hurdles.
Bonny Eagle junior Shane Corbett won the discus with a throw of 139-0, and Joey Collins also came in second in the 200 and 400 dashes.
In the girls meet, Peyton Dostie set a state record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.67 seconds, breaking the previous record of 44.92 set by Jesse Labreck in 2007. Amber Dostie also won a state championship in the 800, and came in third in the 1600.
The sisters also played crucial roles in the Scots’ relay teams, with Amber anchoring Bonny Eagle’s second place 4×800 team, and Peyton running second on the second-place 4×100 team.
The Dostie sisters use each other’s competitiveness to push themselves and work harder.
“It’s been great being on a team with Peyton,” Amber Dostie said. “We’re really close and it motivates us.”
Peyton Dostie credited motivation and encouragement from her sister and other teammates as a catalyst for her success.
“Having the pressure on you isn’t cool, but having people there to support you definitely helps,” she said.
The Wilkinson brothers and Scots’ girls coach Stephanie Beattie spoke highly not just of the siblings and their other upperclassmen, but also of some of their underclassmen who placed and contributed to the championships.
“It just goes to show you that if you dedicate yourself and work hard, good things will come,” Beattie said.
“It’s surreal,” said Greg Wilkinson. “It was an overall great performance for both teams today, and we’re very proud of our kids.”
Scarborough junior Nicole Kirk was a four-event winner, claiming individual titles in the 100 and 200 dashes, setting a state record in the 200 at 25.49, breaking the previous record of 25.74 set by Kristin Slotnick. Kirk also anchored the Red Storm’s first-place 4×100 team with Morgan Rodway, Emilia Sheemaker, and Andrea Tolman (state record, 49.65), and ran third for the first-place 4×400 team along with Rodway, Andrea Tolman and Emily Tolman.
Sheemaker also won the triple jump with a jump of 35-8.75.
Biddeford senior Maria Curit jumped 18-1.75 inches in the long jump, breaking a 22-year-old state record of 18-1 inch set by Angela Chrichton in 1989. Curit also won the 400 and her classmate, Keila Grigware, claimed the state record in the javelin with a throw of 131-10.
Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk dominated the 1600 and 3200 runs with times of 4:55.39 and 10:42.63, respectively, just shy of breaking the records she set in both events last year.
Also recording wins were Sarah Perkins of Gorham (100 hurdles), Abby Dunn of Edward Little (1600 race walk), Caroline Summa of Cheverus (high jump), Katie Shapiro of Cheverus (discus), Abigail Huntress of Gorham (shot put), Marie Dufresne-Dixon of Edward Little (pole vault), and Cheverus’ 4×800 relay team.
Denae Johnson of Bangor earned a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles and a fifth in the 300 hurdles while Brewer’s Teal Jackson took second in the 400 and fourth in the 100.
For the boys, Cheverus senior Jack Terwilliger won the 800, 1600, and 3200. Also recording wins were Alex Shain of Sanford (long jump), Portland’s Amadhi Zagon (100), South Portland’s Adrian Reid (200), Edward Little’s Harris (high jump), Keith Trembley (1600 race walk), and Michael Lucas (100 hurdles), Mount Ararat’s Jamie Rosenberg (javelin), Deering’s Bryan White (shot put), Brunswick’s Mike Slovenski (pole vault), Westbrook’s Emmanuel Vincent (400), South Porltand’s 4×100-meter relay team, Sanford’s 4×400-meter relay team, and Scarborough’s 4×800 relay team.
Brewer’s Tristen Wortman took home second in the pole vault and third in the 100-meter hurdles.