BREWER, Maine — It was a matter of Purple Reign at the State Class B track meet Saturday.
Coach Ian Wilson’s Waterville High School girls and boys track teams continued their dominance of Class B track as the Waterville girls won their eighth straight state title and the boys won their third in four years and sixth in nine seasons under ideal conditions at the Brewer Community School Track.
Junior Sarah Shoulta paced the Waterville girls by winning the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the pole vault. She also ran a leg for the 4-by-400 meter relay team that finished fourth.
The Waterville girls racked up 108 ¼ points to beat runner-up Greely of Cumberland Center by 21 ¼ points.
Rounding out the top 10 were York (64), Lake Region High of Naples (40), Camden Hills (39), Belfast and Hermon (32), Mount Desert Island (30), Erskine Academy of South China (27) and Ellsworth (25).
In the boys meet, Waterville tallied 92 ½ points to outdistance Belfast by 12 points. Completing the top 10 were Ellsworth (69), Old Town (69), York (55) Mount Desert Island (46), Gray-New Gloucester (38), Fryeburg Academy (35), Cape Elizabeth (24) and Freeport (22).
“Everything came together and we showed how good a team we really are,” said Shoulta. “Greely got close at times and it was tense for a few minutes. But I knew the pole vault would help us pull away and, when we did the math, we knew we would eventually have this.”
Shoulta’s teammates, junior Monicah Paquette and senior Gabby Bridger, finished second and third behind her in the pole vault.
Shoulta turned in her sparkling performance despite a problematic left hip that requires physical therapy and has sidelined her at times.
Lake Region junior phenom Kate Hall won four events and set state Class B records in three of them: the 100-meter dash, the 200 (24.36) and the long jump (19-0 ½). She also won the triple jump (36-5 ½) in just her second competition participating in the event. Her record time of 11.81 seconds in the 100 occurred in the prelims and then she won the event in the finals in 11.83.
Hall’s margin of victory in the 100 was 1.07, it was 1.48 in the 200 and nearly three feet in the long jump which exhibits her remarkable talent and dominance.
Her time in the 200 was the fastest ever registered by a girl in the state as was Hermon senior Kaitlin Saulter’s time of 56.95 in the 400.
“My time in the 200 was completely unexpected,” said Casco native Hall, who admitted that she exceeded her expectations. I had been running in the mid-25s. I was hoping the break the state record. I told myself I needed to relax. If I push too hard in the first 100, I always hit the wall in the second 100. But I never hit the wall today. I felt really good.”
Rod White, Old Town’s track coach for the past 32 years, said Hall is “the best girl [track athlete] I have ever seen, by far. She blows away records that had been set by really talented kids.”
Making her feat that much more remarkable is the fact she has Type 1 diabetes as well as celiac disease which is a digestive disease and autoimmune disorder.
Saulter was pleased to register the best time in state schoolgirl history in the 400.
“I like hearing that,” said Saulter. “I went out harder than usual today. My goal was to start out hard and keep [the lead]. When I try to pace myself, it doesn’t work.”
Her second-place time in the 200 (25:84) was nearly a second faster than her previous best.
Greely’s Kirstin Sandreuter won the 1,600 and 3,200.
The other winners in the girls meet were Medomak Valley of Waldoboro’s Nicole Nicholls (high jump), Greely’s Alyssa Casarez (discus), Waterville’s Rachel Bergeron (shot put), Ellsworth’s Aleta Looker (800), Morse of Bath’s Savana Simmons-Grover (javelin), Winslow’s Audrey Jones (1600 race walk) and the relay teams from Erskine Academy (4-by-100), York (4-by-400) and MDI (4-by-800).
In the boys meet, Waterville tallied 92 ½ points to top Belfast by 12 points. Completing the top 10 were Ellsworth (69), Old Town (69), York (55) Mount Desert Island (46), Gray-New Gloucester (38), Fryeburg Academy (35), Cape Elizabeth (24) and Freeport (22).
Senior Jordhan Levine led the Purple Panthers to their title as he won both hurdles, the 110 (15.46) and 300 (40.54) and the triple jump (44-0 ¼) and placed second in the long jump (20-10).
“I felt very good today. I had a good night’s sleep. I set personal bests in the 300 and long jump,” said Levine. “We didn’t achieve our point total based on our seeds but, at the end of the day, we pulled through.”
Ellsworth High School senior Dan Curts won the 800 (1:56.41), the 1,600 (4:09.88) and the 3,200 (9:42.51). He broke his own state record in the 1600.
“I didn’t feel good today. But it was a pretty good day,” said the Iowa State University-bound Curts. “I wish I had a quicker time in the mile but my legs didn’t have it today.”
He used late-race kicks to win the 800 and 1,600 but had an easier time of it in the 3,200.
“I didn’t want to have to kick and I felt if I got far enough ahead, I wouldn’t have to worry about it,” said Curts.
Old Town junior Nick Boutin captured the 100 (11:17) and 200 (22.85) and ran a leg for Old Town’s triumphant 4-by-100 meter relay team.
“I didn’t expect to do this well. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Both of my times [100 and 200] were personal bests by quite a bit,” said Boutin.
The other winners were MDI’s Chapin McFarland in the shot put; Belfast’s Drew Nealey in the pole vault; Belfast’s Marcus Riley in the long jump; Ellsworth’s Dan Cox in the discus; York’s Jack Bouchard in the javelin; Gray-New Gloucester’s Zack Haskell in the high jump; Spruce Mountain of Jay’s Samuel Brenner in the 1,600 race walk and the relay teams from MDI (4 by 400), Old Town (4 by 100) and Ellsworth (4 by 800).
East sportsmanship awards were given to the Old Town boys and girls teams while the York boys and girls teams won the West awards.