June 19, 2018
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Brown leads Waterville girls to third straight ‘B’ state title; Foxcroft’s Boyer a triple winner

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

LEWISTON, Maine — It wasn’t a perfect day for Waterville High School senior Bethanie Brown — but it wasn’t far from it.

The Purple Panthers’ distance running standout set two state records and finished a close second in a third race Monday to lead Waterville to its third straight Class B girls indoor track state championship at the Merrill Indoor Gymnasium on the campus of Bates College.

Coach Ian Wilson’s club finished with 112 points to outdistance second-place Greely of Cumberland Center (69.6). Traip Academy of Kittery (38), Lake Region of Naples (30) and Ellsworth (27) rounded out the top five teams.

“It’s been a great day,” said Brown, who will attend the University of Connecticut on an athletic scholarship beginning next fall. “It’s been really fun to be a Waterville team member.”

York won its second straight boys title, finishing with 76 points. Foxcroft Academy, led by triple-event winner Don Boyer, scored 46 points to edge Waterville (44) and Falmouth (42) for second place. Ellsworth was fifth with 30 points.

Brown began her day by besting her own 2012 state record in the mile by nearly two seconds with a winning time of 5:00:31.

Then, in one of the more exciting races of the day, Brown finished second to top-seeded Aleta Looker of Ellsworth in the 800, with Looker timed in 2:18:96, 0.34 seconds ahead of the defending race champion.

Looker and Brown left the rest of the field behind after the first of the four 200-meter laps, with Looker remaining on Brown’s right shoulder until taking the lead at the start of the final lap. Looker stretched out her lead to about 10 yards at one point, then held off the charging Brown to the finish line.

“There was so much thought going into this race because this whole season for me has been based on this race,” said Looker, a junior. “Basically I went for time, so I just wanted to make sure I ran a fast pace no matter what. I know Bethanie was trying to triple so she may have wanted to slow down a bit, but I wanted to go fast.”

Brown capped off her day by breaking an 8-year-old record in the two-mile, with her clocking of 10:46.95 edging the 10:48.28 set in 2005 by Cassie Hintz of Old Town.

“I felt kind of tired at the end, I was feeling the effect of having two other fast races,” said Brown. “But I wanted it so much that when I went through the mile at 5:20 I meant to come through a little faster and thought, ‘I feel pretty strong, I think I can do a pretty even double,’ so that’s what my goal was.”

Waterville got additional individual victories from Kellie Bolduc in the triple jump (36-3½) and Lydia Roy in the 400 (1:01.85).

Lake Region sophomore Kate Hall was a three-event champion, setting Class B state records in the 200 (25.62) and long jump (17-11½) while also winning the 55 dash in 7.17 seconds.

Other event winners were Ashleigh Roberts of Traip in the 55 hurdles (8.90), Gwen Sawyer of Greely in the shot put (36-10½), Tia Jackson of Old Town in the high jump (5-2) and Kelsie Barnes of Traip in the pole vault (10-6).

Also victorious were the Mount Desert Island 4×800 relay team of Caroline Driscoll, Emma Fernald, Kayla Ray and Nora Hubbell and the Hermon 4×200 relay tandem of Mollie Roy, Kaylin Rogers, Gabby Bryant and Maddie Page.

In the boys meet, York won just three events but used superior depth to outclass the rest of the 27-school field.

The Wildcats opened the meet with Schaefer Rees, Tony Ruest, Brandon LeBlanc and Tucker Corbett combining to win the 4×800 relay in 8:43.56. Josh Brooks added a victory for York in the 400 (51.52) while Tom Reid won the long jump (20-9¾) and finished second to Boyer in both the 55 hurdles and the triple jump,

Boyer was seeded just fourth in the triple jump, but his personal-best effort of 41-9½ on his first attempt withstood all challengers

“I just really wanted to place higher than my seed,” said Boyer. “I knew I wasn’t going to keep increasing my distance after that first jump because of all the pounding it puts on your legs, so I knew the first jump would be real important.”

Earlier in the day Boyer won the high jump with a best of 6-0, then set a state record in the 55 hurdles with a time of 7.68. Alan Baldwin of Hampden Academy established the previous mark in 1987 with a hand-held time of 7.5 seconds for 60 yards, which translated into 7.74 for an electronic time at 55 meters.

“Getting out of the blocks is the hardest part, especially for me because I’m tall,” said Boyer, who a week earlier broke the Penobscot Valley Conference record in the 55 hurdles with a time of 7.66. “I didn’t have a great start today, but I just have to stay tall going over the hurdles and not get too far ahead of my own feet.

“I didn’t get ahead until the second hurdle, but after that the lead grew a little and got better and better.”

Denzel Tomaszewski of Wells set the only other state record in the boys meet, besting his winning time at last year’s event with a time of 6.53 seconds in the 55 dash despite injuring his right hamstring as he crossed the finish line.

Ellsworth junior distance star Dan Curts won two events, edging Ben Trapani of Camden Hills of Rockport by 0.07 seconds to win the mile in 4:39.80 and following that up by winning the two-mile in 9:55.87.

Other individual-event champions were Azad Jalali of Falmouth in the 800 (2:03.47), Jacob Buhelt of Falmouth in the 200 (23.23), James Ferrar of Greely in the shot put (47-6) and Devin Burgess of Waterville, who won the the pole vault for the third straight year with a best of 13-6.

Falmouth also won the 4×200 relay, with Buhelt, Jalali, Thomas Fortier and Andy Clement timed in 1:36.60.

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