June 18, 2018
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Pole vault postponed by rain; Class A team titles still undetermined

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

WINDHAM, Maine — Despite persistent rain, cool temperatures and wind, there were some sunny smiles Saturday at the Class A outdoor track and field state championship meet at Windham High School.

Tiffany Gray of Bangor, Harlow Ladd of Messalonskee in Oakland and Teal Jackson of Brewer were among Eastern Maine’s top individual performers in the meet, which did not produce a team champion.

Wet conditions led meet officials to postpone the pole vault competition. That event is scheduled for Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

The team races are too close to call with the pole vault pending. Edward Little of Auburn clings to a 75-74 lead over Scarborough in the girls meet and Bangor (50) is third but is unlikely to catch the leaders. Bonny Eagle of Standish (47) and Gorham (42) round out the top five.

The Sanford boys hold a 69-65 edge over Cheverus High of Portland. Each team has one pole vaulter qualified while Bonny Eagle (55.5) is still mathematically alive with two pole vaulters entered.

Gorham (45) and Brunswick (41) are fourth and fifth, respectively.

Saturday’s rain drenched the facility and chilled the participants while the wind intensified as the meet progressed.

“It was a miserable day,” said coach Joe Quinn of Bangor, whose team had a weather-beater in Gray.

The Rams’ sophomore captured state titles in the long jump (16 feet, 11¼ inches) and the triple jump (36-0) and also was a member of Bangor’s runner-up 4×100 relay squad.

“[The rain] got in my face a little bit, but I still tried to push through, so it was fine,” said a smiling Gray. “It was an OK day. It wasn’t my best, but it was good.”

Ladd motivated himself in the face of foul weather by keeping the meet in a broader perspective.

“I had expectations going in and then I realized that this is the last time I’m going to run a state championship as a high schooler,” said Ladd, who won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 23.44 seconds and took the 3,200 in 9:40.51.

“I just wanted to have as much fun as possible,” he added. “I think the best part about track is not only the competition, but making friends along the way.”

On the girls’ side, Jackson of Brewer claimed her first individual state championship by winning the 400 in 58.42 seconds. The junior also sped to second in the 200 and third in the 100.

Jackson, who conceded it was difficult to get loose and stay loose, said the 400 title was special for her.

“It’s the first time I’ve won at states, so I’m really excited,” said Jackson, who added running into the gusty wind during the 400 was challenging.

Erzy Nagy of Lawrence High in Fairfield won the 800 (2:16.69) and placed second in the 1,600.

Nicole Kirk of Scarborough sped to a Class A record of 12.25 seconds to win the 100 and also claimed the 200 in 25.80. Sarah Perkins of Gorham won the 100 hurdles (15.02) and 300 hurdles (35.43) and took fourth in the high jump.

Distance phenom Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk showed that she has overcome an early season injury, legging out wins in the 1,600 (4:56.87) and the 3,200 (10:45.49).

Edward Little’s leaders included four-time 1,600 racewalk state champion Abby Dunn (7:21.71), Lexi Clavet (2nd triple jump), Kelly Philbrook (2nd javelin), Jaclyn Masters (2nd in the 100), and Hannah Carrier (3rd shot put). The Red Eddies also won the 4×100 relay (50.57).

Emily Tolman aided Scarborough in the 400 (second) and the 200 (third), while Haela Booth-Howe was second in the discus. The Red Storm won the 4×400 relay and took second in the 4×800 and third in the 4×100.

Edward Little has three of the top seven (scoring) seeds in the pole vault, while Scarborough has three in the top 10. That should make for a spirited competition to determine the team champ.

Bangor junior Grace Maclean wound up third in the long jump and fourth in the 100 hurdles. Teammate Denae Johnson was third in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles.

“It wasn’t the ending to the season we wanted, but the girls had a great year and we’re happy about that,” Quinn said.

In boys action, Bangor High bested the field in the 4×800 relay as Jonathan Belanger, Joseph Belanger, Jonathan Stanhope and David Correale clocked an 8:05.58.

“They missed a school record by a second,” Quinn said. “They had a great race to start off the day.”

Correale, a senior, also ran a personal-best 1:58.77 to take third in the 800.

Boys double winners were Dan Webb of Sanford in the 200 (22.88) and the 400 (49.93) and Alex Shain of Sanford in the 100 (11.33) and the triple jump (42-6¾).

Sanford also won the 4×100 relay (44.81) and got fourth-place efforts from Jimmy Chaisson (800) and Bryant Perkins (3,200), along with a second in the 4×400.

Cheverus was sparked by javelin champion Matt Cushing (158-6), long jump winner Joe Slattery (20-6¼) and its first-place 4×400 squad. That group included Brady Foshay, who was second in the 800, and Slattery. Michael Orne was third in the high jump.

Pole vaulter Nick Wall, the No. 4 seed, could guarantee Sanford at least a share of the team crown by finishing third or higher. Cheverus will need a top effort from freshman Jacob Schott and an off day from Wall for the Stags to win the title.

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