BATH — Carley O’Brien circled McMann Field’s 400-meter track with the Class C state trophy high above her head, but admitted the championship feeling will take a while to absorb.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” the Traip Academy senior said. “I can’t believe it. I have no words for it.”
O’Brien had plenty of reason to be happy Saturday, as she racked up 28 individual points and anchored a winning relay to lead the Rangers from Kittery to their first Class C track and field championship since 1994.
Traip finished with 79 points to hold off three-time defending state champion John Bapst of Bangor, which compiled 76.
Sacopee Valley of Hiram took third with 52 points, with Orono (47.5) and Lisbon (45.5) rounding out the top five.
Maranacook of Readfield used depth to claim the boys title with 75 points, besting a talented Orono club which took second with 69.
Sacopee was third with 68 points, followed by Lisbon (41) and Boothbay (36.5).
In the girls meet, O’Brien was Traip’s lone individual champ, taking the 100 hurdles (15.88 seconds) and the long jump (16 feet, 8.25 inches) while anchoring the Rangers’ winning 4×100 relay and taking second in the triple jump.
“We knew we had a chance but we knew everyone had to perform almost perfectly or better,” said O’Brien. “And our 4-by-400 came through.”
They certainly did, as the Crusaders were seeded second in the final relay and Traip ninth, but Jocelyn Lorrey, Hailey Frisbee, Selena Lorrey and Mary Lambrecht stepped up and won the second section with an impressive run of 4 minutes, 27.19 seconds, eight seconds below their seed time.
That enabled the Rangers to finish third in the event, and even though Bapst came in second, it was enough as Traip led 73-68 heading into the 4×400.
“We pumped them up beforehand, so I knew that they would come through,” O’Brien said.
Traip’s triple jumpers came through as well, with O’Brien and Jocelyn Lorrey finishing 2-5, while O’Brien responded after Bapst’s Carolyn Benner, who finished third, had jumped 35-3.25 on her opening leap of the finals.
“None of us were expecting that at all, because she was seeded with like 33 feet, and out of nowhere she just popped that off,” O’Brien said. “
Washburn’s Carsyn Koch capped off what has been a remarkable freshman year athletically, as she won the 800 in 2:26.94 and added a second-place effort in the 1,600.
The 800 didn’t start out all too well for Koch, as she got boxed in and had to work her way through the pack, which isn’t easy in a two-lap race.
“I was running and some girl, she bumped my shoulder and jumped right out in front of me,” Koch said. “I just sort of waited it out.”
Koch was able to use her speed to her advantage in the last 400, gradually catching up to Foxcroft Academy’s Chelsie Oldfield and eventually passing her on the homestretch.
“The thing that soccer and basketball and track and cross country has taught me this year is you can’t just be an endurance runner, you have to have some sort of sprint to you,” Koch said. “When I saw she was that far ahead of me I said, I can catch her, I can catch her. I knew even if I couldn’t catch her I had to try my hardest.”
Other individual champs in the girls meet were Jen Daley of John Bapst, who cleared 5 feet to win the high jump; Foxcroft’s Emily Panciera’s 1:02.98 finish in the 400, and Central of Corinth’s Bekah Campbell’s heave of 111-3 in the discus.
Also winning were: Katie Hatch (Old Orchard, 100), Lindsey Whitney (Lisbon, 1600 race walk), Abby Mace (Maranacook, 1600 and 3200), Danielle Bumman (Monmouth, 300 hurdles), Bri Crisci (Hall-Dale, 200), Madeline Nazar (Maranacook, triple jump), Amberle Bennett (Seacoast Christian, javelin), Briana Moore (Lisbon, shot put) and Evelyn Staples (Sacopee Valley, pole vault).
In the boys meet, Orono got two wins and a runner-up finish from Miguel Caballero and a first and a third by Nick Peterson, but Maranacook was able to use its depth to overcome that.
Taylor Watson led of the Black Bears’ winning 4×800 relay team, which won in 8:28.75, while winning the 300 hurdles and finishing fourth in the 110 hurdles despite falling early in the race.
“First of all, the kids did a great job,” Maranacook coach Ronn Gifford said. “It was up and down. That 4-by-800 victory was just phenomenal.”
Evan Vincent also earned a first place for Maranacook in the 1600 racewalk while Chris Pelletier won the triple jump and added a second in the long jump and fifth in the 100.
Gifford pointed to Pelletier’s 100 effort as a huge one, as the Red Riots scored 12 points in that event, with Caballero and Phil Holmes going 2-4.
“We got some points in the 100 meter we didn’t anticipate,” Gifford said.
When Gifford seeded the meet out, he figured it would come down to his team and defending state champ Sacopee, but the Red Riots’ talent in the sprints gave them a chance.
“When I looked on paper going into this, they were a possible spoiler (but) I didn’t think they had enough guns to get all the way, and they came close,” said Gifford. “But they certainly had the guns to match up against Sacopee’s sprinters.”
Orono’s other individual champ was Nick Peterson, who won the javelin with a heave of 166-10, and he added a third-place effort in the shot put.
The Riots’ Kody Stockley, Holmes, Joe Claar and Jamie Normand added a winning effort of 45.80 in the 4×100 relay.
Other individual champs were Madison’s Matt McClintock in the 1600 and 3200; Islesboro’s Gerard Scherr in the high jump; John Bapst’s Chris Desmond in the shot put, and MCI of Pittsfield’s Craig Reazor in the pole vault.
Also posting victories were: Mohamed Dahia (North Yarmouth, 110 hurdles), Tyler Fitzgerald (Hall-Dale, 100), Kevin Desmond (Monmouth, 800), Gerard Scherr (Islesboro, high jump), Morgan Reeves (Lisbon, long jump), and Travis Hutchins (Winthrop, discus).