ORONO, Maine — Aleta Looker and Dan Curts of Ellsworth High School went the distance during Saturday’s Penobscot Valley Conference-Eastern Maine Track League Championship.
Looker closed out a stellar league career by three-peating in the 800, mile and two-mile, while Curts won the two long runs in the boys meet while setting a league record in the mile.
Each earned Outstanding Performer honors and Looker shared the distinction with triple winner and record-setter Synclaire Tasker of Brewer.
Bangor claimed its fifth straight girls team crown, while Hampden Academy won the boys title at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House.
Coach Jaimie Jarvis’ Rams received a strong effort from senior Tiffany Gray on the way to 85 points, edging runner-up Hermon (72), Hampden Academy (67), Brewer (62) and Ellsworth (49).
“They performed over and above [expectations],” Jarvis said of the Bangor girls. “Our 4×2 [relay] girls were seeded in the slow heat and they came out and took first, which is pretty incredible.”
In the boys meet, coach Dave King’s Broncos received good scoring balance across the board to tally 83 points. A shorthanded Bangor team finished second with 65, followed by Brewer (60), Old Town and Mount Desert Island (57 each) and Ellsworth (52).
“Our throwers got points; jumpers, distance runners, sprinters,” King said. “They did well. Everybody really performed.”
Rod White of Old Town was named the boys coach of the year, while Hermon’s Amy Luce claimed the girls honor.
In the girls meet, Looker won the distance for the third straight year. The senior took the mile in 5 minutes, 11.90 seconds, then cruised to a 14-second victory in the 800 (2:20.88) before capping her day with an 11:54.94 in the two-mile.
“Now that it’s over and I have nothing to worry about, and the whole team had such a great day, it’s just a great feeling,” Looker said.
Tasker, a versatile senior, kicked off her day by setting a PVC-EMITL record of 8.47 in the 55-meter hurdles. She then took the triple jump (36-5 ¾) and sped to a win in the 200 (26.85).
“The hurdles I’m definitely the most happy with,” Tasker said. “I was brought to tears. I wanted that so bad.”
Two years after knee surgery, Gray was the catalyst in Bangor’s effort. She won the long jump (16-8 ¼), placed second in the triple jump and anchored the first-place 4×200 relay (1:54.01) that included Rihan Smallwood, Abby Reynolds and Felicity Palmer.
Reynolds defended her title in the pole vault at 10 feet and was fifth in the hurdles. Senior Angelyn Masters also shone with a second place in the mile, third in the 800 and fifth in the 2-mile.
Olivia Wallace and Felicity Palmer each had a third place, while Tessa Condon, Vaso Turlla, Bayley Smith, Claire Tobin, Emma Barnett and Georgia Moir all scored.
“We expected to do good in our competitions and it all came together in the end,” said Gray, who is working to regain her old form after a 2012 soccer injury required surgery.
“After two years, it’s not my best, but I think I did OK for not jumping in a while,” she added.
Other girls event winners were — 55: Krystal Grant (HA) 7.70, 400: Kaitlin Saulter (Hermon) 1:00.54, high jump: Colleen McMoran (Mattanawcook) 4-8, shot put: Elizabeth Perry (Ellsworth) 36-4¾, and 4×800 relay: Sarah Tatgenhorst, Paige Rainford, Ashley Woodside, Elizabeth Labun (HA) 10:49.03.
Fern Morrison of Foxcroft Academy was the runner-up in the 400 and 800, while Saulter added a second in the 200 and fourth in the long jump.
In the boys meet, Hampden Academy placed 13 competitors in the scoring column to win the program’s first boys title since 2011.
Senior Sam Donnelly led the way, taking third in the 55 and the 400 and leading off the Broncos’ first-place 4×200 relay entry, which clocked a 1:35.72. Caleb Lord was second in the mile and third in the two-mile and Josh Hoch was the runner-up in the 200.
Jonathan Seymour, Hoch and Robert Frye (3rd pole vault) also ran on the 4×200 unit. Other scorers included Clark Bjorn (2nd hurdles), Cam Prescott (2nd shot put), Spencer Canham, Paul Casavant, Oakley Kilgour, Jarid Leonard, Tyler Moore and Kurt Speed.
“We weren’t going to win every event, but we were going to have points and have a good performance from everybody,” Donnelly said.
The Broncos overcame Bangor, which was without three key performers. Seniors Peter Manuel, Jon Stanhope and Caleb Halvorson-Fried were sidelined by injury or illness.
Ellsworth’s Curts established a standard in the mile in 4:16.38. Former record-holder Louie Luchini, who set the mark of 4:17.66 in 1999, saw his record fall.
“I saw him as I started and I gave him a smile and at that point I kind of said I’d like to try to get it,” Curts said.
“I was excited about that. I knew it was within reach,” he added.
Curts also dominated the 2-mile (9:27.24) and ran the anchor leg of the Eagles’ winning 4×800 relay that included Frank King, Braydon Beardsley and Robert Looker.
Alec Wortman of Brewer and Nicholas Boutin of Old Town also won two events each.
Wortman, a senior, leapt 41-9¾ in the triple jump and cleared 12-6 in the pole vault. Coyotes junior Boutin sped to wins in the 55 (6.71) and the 200 (23.74).
“We moved up to a bigger pole and that’s really what today was about, trying to get on that and get ready for states,” Wortman said. “It’s still a little stiff, brand-new. We broke it in a little bit.”
His triple jump was a personal best, despite dealing with a hernia.
Other event winners — 55 hurdles: Brandon Crocker (Orono) 8.35, 400: Austin Comeau (Old Town) 53.02, mile: Ben Salinas (Bangor) 2:03.72, high jump: Aaron Miller (MDI) 6-0, long jump: Matt Cullens (Hermon) 19-8, shot put: Chapin McFarland (MDI) 47-10¼.
Correction: An earlier version of this story requires correction. Hampden Academy’s most recent boys team title came in 2011.