LEWISTON, Maine — Individual talent and teamwide depth led the Waterville High School girls indoor track team to its second straight Class B state championship at Bates College on Monday.
Junior Bethanie Brown won three events and the Purple Panthers scored in 12 of the 14 events overall to secure their fourth title in the last seven years.
Waterville finished with 118 points, well ahead of second-place Greely of Cumberland (73.4). Fryeburg Academy (44), Lake Region of Naples (33) and Winslow (33) rounded out the top five finishers.
“We set really high goals for our girls, but this was a relentless group of workers through the midpoint of the season when you get tired and sometimes forget why you’re training so hard,” said Waterville coach Ian Wilson.
“It was an inspiration to coach them every day because they brought so much energy to what they were doing.”
Pre-meet favorite York won the boys title with 67.5 points, 11 points better than second-place Waterville. Defending state champion Falmouth (52), Greely (49) and Orono (33) completed the top five.
Brown began her afternoon for the Waterville girls with a state-record performance in the mile.
The junior was timed in 5 minutes, 2.15 seconds, more than eight seconds ahead of runner-up Kirstin Sandreuter of Greely of Cumberland and 1.32 seconds faster than the previous Class B standard of 5:03.47 set by Abby Iselborn of Portland’s McAuley School in 2007.
“I knew I had to go out at a good pace to get [the record], but I also knew I wanted to save myself a little bit for my next events because I knew I had a big challenge in front of me to try to get the wins in three events,” said Brown.
Brown went on to edge Ellsworth’s Aleta Looker by 2.3 seconds to win the 800 in 2:19.09, then capped off her day by winning the two-mile in 10:59.68.
“Bethanie was a little nicked up through the latter part of the season,” said Wilson. “But she was in the pool a lot and not really training as much as she wanted to, but this was her goal from the start of the season. From Day One she just wasn’t going to let anything stand in her way.”
Olivia Thurston earned Waterville’s other individual championship, winning the 55 hurdles in 8.68 seconds. Thurston, who set the Class B state record in the 400 a year ago, was nipped at the finish line of that event by Fryeburg Academy’s Corinn Bedell, who finished in 59.95 to edge Thurston by two-hundredths of a second.
Kate Hall of Lake Region was the only other multiple-event champion in the girls field, winning the 55 dash in 7.27 seconds, the 200 in 26.33 and the long jump with a best of 17 feet, 1½ inches.
Among the other individual champions was junior Kayla Marquis of Orono, who won the pole vault with a personal-best clearance of 9 feet, 9 inches in the first attempt of a jump-off with Jamie Gullikson of Fryeburg.
“It’s like all the practices finally paid off,” said Marquis. “It’s been a lot of practicing. I’d been stuck on the same heights forever.”
Other winners in the girls meet were Carolyn Benner of John Bapst of Bangor in the triple jump (34-11¾), Catherine Fellows of Greely in the shot put (33-4½), Emily Heggie of Fryeburg in the high jump (5-2), the Greely 3,200 relay team (10:08.90) and the Fryeburg 800 relay team (1:50.91).
Madison senior Matt McClintock was the individual star of the boys meet, winning both the mile and two-mile by comfortable margins.
The Purdue University-bound distance standout won the mile in 4:29.86, then pulled away from defending event champion Dan Curts of Ellsworth to win the two-mile in 9:31.63.
“I felt pretty good for the first mile and a quarter and then my legs started tightening up a little bit, but it really wasn’t that bad,” said McClintock of his two-mile effort.
York was led to its team victory by wins from senior Tyler Martin in the high jump (6-4) and the Wildcats’ 3,200 relay team (8:38.90).
Waterville crowned three individual champions, as Nick Margitza won the shot put (53-1), Devin Burgess won the pole vault for the second straight year with a best of 13 feet, and Jordhan Levine (41-5) and Anthony Bellavia (41-0¼) finished 1-2 in the triple jump.
“We were returning only a couple of points from last year,” said Wilson of the Waterville boys team’s second-place finish. “I usually set pretty tough goals for my teams, and they exceeded what I really thought could be expected from them.”
Denzel Tomaszewski of Wells set the lone state record of the boys meet, winning the 55 dash in 6.58 seconds. That was one one-hundredth of a second faster than the previous Class B mark of 6.59 set by Justin Vigeant of Wells in 2005.
Orono senior Miguel Caballero had three top-three finishes, winning the 400 in 51.61, then placing second in the long jump (21-0) and third in the 200 (23.40).
Other event winners were Nestor Taylor of Greely in the 800 (2:01.42), Reid Pryzant of Falmouth in the 55 hurdles (8.10), Jacob Campbell of Belfast in the 200 (23.11), Mike Leeman of Greely in the long jump (21-1¾) and Falmouth’s 800 relay team (1:38.11).