BANGOR, Maine — It didn’t take long for the Bangor High School girls to demonstrate why they’re strong candidates to earn the program’s eighth straight Penobscot Valley Conference outdoor track and field title.
Tiffany Gray won three individual events and ran on a first-place relay Friday afternoon as the Rams opened the season with a victory at Cameron Stadium.
Gray won the 100 meters (13.46 seconds), long jump (16 feet, 5 inches) and triple jump (36-1 1/2) and joined Abby Reynolds, Denae Johnson and Grace Maclean in taking the 4×100 relay in 51.40 seconds.
Bangor scored 195.5 points to ease past runner-up Orono (131), with Fort Fairfield (68), Hampden Academy (65.5 ) and Mount Desert Island (43) rounding out the top five in the first of three season-opening PVC meets.
Numerous teams converge on Brewer and Bucksport for 1 p.m. meets Saturday.
In the boys meet Friday, David Correale claimed the 800 in 2:03.75 and Tyler Grindle won the shot put (39-3) as the only individual champs in Bangor’s hard-fought victory over Hampden.
The Rams scored 131.5 points to edge the Broncos (128), while Orono (66) and Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (64) were third and fourth, respectively.
The Bangor girls are looking to claim their eighth consecutive PVC girls championship. They showed off their front-line performers Friday.
Johnson was victorious in the 100 hurdles (15.51) and 200 (28.56), placed second in the long jump and ran the 4×100 relay. Angelyn Masters won the 1,600 (5:43.86), Courtney Lizotte soared to first in the pole vault (9-7) and Cassie Braithwaite took the 300 hurdles (51.73).
Maclean contributed a second in the 100 hurdles, third in the long jump and added the relay effort. Lexie Achorn was second in the 200 and 400 and third in the 100.
Katy Donovan of Fort Fairfield claimed the discus with a throw of 94-4.
The Brewer boys, coming off the program’s first outdoor championship since 1997, are in action Saturday. Coach Glendon Rand’s team rode a tremendous performance by graduated Tristan Wortman to the title last spring.
In Friday’s meet, Bangor spread out its scoring. Peter Manuel was second in the 200 and 400 and third in the 100; Grindle added a third in the discus; and Cody Blier wound up third and fourth in the 110 and 300 hurdles, respectively.
Isaac Ocana of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln was on stride in the opener, winning the 110 hurdles (16.77) and the 300 hurdles (43.94) along with a fourth in the 200. He also sparked the Lynx’s 4×400 relay (with Jacob Pelkey, Jake Levangie and Matt Guiod) to a win in 3:44.90.
Hampden’s Roy Donnelly sped off the blocks to take the 100 (11.84) and the 200 (24.22) and ran on the Broncos’ first-place 4×100 quartet with Sam Donnelly, Cam Blood and Ryan Faircloth (46.39) and their second-place 4×400 team.
Miguel Caballero of Orono won the 400 (52.70) and the long jump (19-1/4) and was on a runner-up 4×100 relay. George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill fielded individual winners in Baxter Forrest (1,600 racewalk, 12:12.63), River Plouffe Vogel (1,600, 4:45.95) and Sam Stahmke (3,200, 10:33.80).
Andrew Lewis of Fort Fairfield turned in four top-four performances. He won the discus (132-10), was second in the triple jump, took third in the shot put and was fourth in the high jump.
Orono’s David Frederick soared over the competition to win the pole vault at 12 feet, while Penquis of Milo had winners in Shane Emery (high jump, 6-2) and Jason Durant (javelin, 147-4).
UMaine teams back on road
As is their familiar routine, the University of Maine track and field squads are headed back on the road for their Saturday meet.
Coach Mark Lech’s Black Bears will be in Worcester to compete in a meet at Holy Cross against the host Crusaders, along with American International College, Bryant, Central Connecticut, Colgate, Hartford and Stonehill. The event should provide UMaine with even more competition after a couple of smaller meets at the University of New Hampshire.
Sprinter Jillian O’Brien and distance star Corey Conner have been the Bears’ top performers thus far, with O’Brien coming off victories in the 100 and 200 at UNH and Conner continuing to excel in the 800 and 1,500.
Carolyn Stocker (3,000 meters), Allison Fereshetian (hurdles), pole vaulter Angela Nelligan-Smith, hammer thrower Robyn McFetters and shot putter and discus thrower Lauren Heulitt also have been consistently strong in their efforts.
On the men’s side, the Bears’ throwing contingent has continued to set high standards early in the season. Justin Gagne of Biddeford broke school records in the shot put (55 feet, 8 1/4 inches) and the discus (166-9) a week ago to establish himself coming off an injury that forced him to miss the indoor campaign.
Frank Del Duca of Bethel is coming off a 10.83 clocking in the 100, the sixth-best time in UMaine history, while Taylor Phillips turned in the sixth-fastest time in program history with a 9:24.43 effort in the steeplechase.
Well-rounded Nathaniel Meade is coming off a meet during which he took second in the long jump and placed third in the triple jump (44-6 1/4), which ranks among the top 10 leaps at UMaine.