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LEWISTON, Maine —The Waterville High School girls track team took yet another state championship winning meet Monday at Bates College with their fifth straight state title.
The Purple Panther have won seven of the last nine state crowns.
Waterville senior Sarah Shoulta beat her pole vault score from last year’s state meet by six inches when she registered a 9-foot, 6-inch vault to help her team win. She also beat out Lauren Stoops of Orono in the 55-meter hurdles race with a time of 8.79 seconds.
Shoulta was also able to assist teammates Sophie Anich, Katherine Vince and Lydia Roy in the 4×200 meter relay to get yet another first-place finish (1 minute, 54.42 seconds).
“Amazing athlete,” Waterville head coach Jonathan Alexis said. “She does the pole vault, and that is not an easy event. The pole vault and hurdles are not easy and she does them always with a smile on her face, she’s amazing.”
Greely of Cumberland Center finished second in the meet with 59.33 points and was followed by Orono (58), Lake Region of Naples (30) and Belfast (26) among 28 scoring teams.
York captured the boys state title with 71 points and Old Town placed second with 59. Belfast was third (47), followed by Mount Desert Island (46) and Waterville (35) among 29 scoring teams.
In the girls meet, Shoulta wasn’t able to accomplish the team’s win alone. Shouldering some of the load was Kellie Bolduc who won the triple jump with a winning distance of 36 feet, and 6 ½ inches. Bolduc also placed second in the high jump and third in the 55-meter hurdles.
Alexis, a first-year coach for the Purple Panthers, expected nothing less than a win from his dominant team after both his boys and girls swept last year’s state meet.
“We had them sitting at different places,” Alexis said of his girls. “A few times one or two athletes would drop down, but another couple would catch up from where they were at. Amazing team effort, and everybody contributed. It was good, very good.”
Kate Hall of the Lake Region Lakers put together another historic state meet when she beat two of her own state records and tied another. On her way to Iowa State on a Division I scholarship, the senior dominated her three events.
Hall managed an impressive performance in the long jump where she bested last year’s 19 feet, 3 ¾ inches record with Monday’s 19 feet, 6 ½ inches.
She also broke her own 200-meter run time by 0.19 seconds after putting together an impressive 25.17-second run time.
Hall couldn’t top last year’s 7:05 second 55-meter dash, but she ran hard enough to tie it.
“It feels pretty good,” Hall said. “I’ve been working towards that all season and my main goal coming into this meet was to break my state records and I accomplished that. I’m really happy.”
Hall’s total number of points for the meet allowed the Lakers to reach fourth place. After finishing this year on top, Hall looks forward to moving on to Iowa State.
“I’m really confident about my decision and I know I’m in good hands and that I can improve there, so it feels great,” she said.
In the boys meet, Tucker Corbett won the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.69 to help secure the win for York. Colt Santoro also contributed to the win with his 8.04-second 55-meter hurdle time.
Corbett also placed second in the 200 dash in 23.84, just 0.33 seconds behind first-place finisher Nicolas Boutin of Old Town. York also finished second in the 4×200 relay in 1:37.75.
“We did great today,” said York coach Ted Hutch, whose team has won a state title three out of the last four years. “We had some kids that won like Tucker Corbett. I think we had 15 kids scoring, a point here and two points there. We nickel and dimed our way to the top. It means so much because we aren’t just counting on two people, we’re counting on almost a full squad to win it.”
Boutin was a large factor in the second place finish for the Old Town boys with his first places in the 200 (23.51) and in the 55 (6.73). He was also instrumental in the 4×200-meter relay in helping his team win the event in 1:36.85.