ORONO, Maine — While three individual athletes excelled in the University of Maine field house Saturday night at the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League Championship meets, it was one high school that took home both the boys and girls team championships.
For the fifth time since 2000, Bangor high school captured the boys and girls EMITL team championships, as the boys finished with 122 points and the girls 150.
Hampden Academy finished second for the boys with 75.5 points while Old Town and Hermon tied for second in the girls meet with 49 points.
The Brewer girls finished with 43 points and Ellsworth with 32 to round out the top five of 14 competing teams. The Orono boys totaled 61 points to take third while Brewer (39) and Foxcroft Academy (34) rounded out the top five.
“We had a great evening,” said Bangor head coach Jaime Jarvis, who was named the league’s boys coach of the year. “The girls really showed up and performed how they were supposed to. The boys team came in with a job to do and they got that job done. They really bonded as a team.”
Jarvis redirected the credit of her award to her staff.
“The boys team coach of the year isn’t just my award, it’s the entire staff’s award,” she said. “They all make me look good, and that showed tonight.”
Hermon head coach Amy Luce was named the girls coach of the year.
Bangor won both the boys and girls 4-by-880-yard relay, the girls 55-meter hurdles, the boys 800-meter run, the girls shot put, the girls long jump and triple jump and the girls high jump.
As far as the outstanding performance awards, there were three. For the second straight year, Brewer junior Teal Jackson was named co-outstanding performer for girls.
“I’m really excited about how I did,” Jackson said. “I feel like I went out and did what I wanted to. It’s a bonus to get it two years in a row. It let’s me know I’m still improving. There’s a lot that goes into my team meets.”
Jackson won her three events, the 55 meter, the 400 and the 200, which she finished in 25.87 seconds, an EMITL record.
“I just want to improve. It’s mostly I want to make myself proud and make sure I’m still on a good track,” Jackson said.
Jackson shared the award with Ellsworth sophomore Aleta Looker. Looker won all three of her events in a grueling distance triple: the 800 meter, the mile and the two-mile. Looker finished with 30 of her team’s 32 points.
“It means so much after all the work I’ve put into it to come out with this, it’s great,” Looker said. “We do so many repeats [in practice] and after all of them when you’re hurting through each one, to finally get something makes it worthwhile.”
On the boys side, the outstanding performer for 2012 was Orono senior Miguel Caballero, who won all three of his events.
“I feel great, it’s great to come and win against good competition,” Caballero said. “You have to put in a lot of work to get something like this. I have worked really hard and it pays off.”
Caballero won the long jump, the 200 and the 400, crediting his ability to take the meet one event at a time.
“You can’t think about the 200 when you’re doing the 400 — you can’t think about the 400 when you’re doing the long jump. You have to really focus,” he said.
One of the leaders for the Bangor girls team, junior Grace MacLean, picked up her second straight victory in the 55 hurdles, using an jolt of energy from an event just minutes earlier to fuel her.
“This year I had long jump just before hurdles and I set my goal there and I just had an adrenaline rush,” MacLean said. “It was a pretty good day, my coaches helped out a lot.”
MacLean also repeated as the high jump champion, clearing 5 feet 2 inches.
But the highlight in the long jump didn’t come from MacLean, but rather her teammate, sophomore Tiffany Gray. After setting an EMITL record on Jan. 21, Gray broke her long jump record after clearing 17-5. She also finished first in the triple jump, 35-7.75.
“I just tried my hardest,” Gray said. “I wanted to best my record. I just tried to run faster and work on the form.”
Bangor senior Ashley Flint took home first place in the shot put after beating her qualifying mark by almost a foot, throwing 32-2.
“I tried to put as much force behind my legs as I could and all my heart into it,” Flint said.
In the boys mile run, Ellsworth sophomore Dan Curts repeated as champion, besting his last year’s time by more than 10 seconds and defeating second-place runner, Bangor sophomore Jon Stanhope by two seconds. Curts overcame Stanhope on the final turn and outlasted him during the stretch.
“I ran harder this year,” Curts said. “I know that’s his strategy, we’ve been doing this for a long time now. I waited for it and I regrouped for the last surge at the end.”
Hampden Academy junior Andrew Toothaker took first place in the boys 55-meter hurdles, clocking in at just over 8 seconds. His 8.01 seconds beat his opponent, Foxcroft Academy junior Donald Boyer by .22 seconds.
While Jackson walked away easily with a win in the 55-meter dash, the boys final was much closer. Hampden junior Roy Donnelly won the event for the second straight year after edging out Orono senior Joe Claar by eight-hundredths of a second.
“I played football this year, so I got a little stronger,” Donnelly said as to why he improved on his last year’s time. “I knew that I was going to be the top seed and was just hoping to win it.”