Brunswick boys edge Mt. Ararat, Eagles win Class A girls’ title at KVAC Championships

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Edward Little’s Alex Thompson heads for the bar during Saturday’s KVAC meet at Bowdoin. He set a new school record on this jump after vaulting past all the other competitors to win the event. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

BRUNSWICK — In a track meet that featured school records being broken and a shove at the end of a two-mile race, the KVAC Class A boys’ title came down to the last event, the 4×200-meter relay, to determine a victor.

The race lived up to its billing.

Brunswick High School entered the last race with a two-and-a-half point lead.

Coming around the last lap, Mt. Ararat had a strong lead. In order for Mt. Ararat to win the meet, they needed to win, and have someone place in front of Brunswick. In the final stretch, Edward Little’s anchor runner outkicked Brunswick’s and it appeared as though EL had dashed the Dragons’ dreams of a win.

However, after Mt. Ararat celebrated, officials said Edward Little had a handoff in the middle of the race that was outside of the zone, thus disqualifying their team from the relay. Brunswick slid into the second spot in the race, and won the boys’ Class A meet by half a point.

The next closest team race was the Class A girls’ race, in which Mt. Ararat won the 4×200 to solidify its 130-126.5 win over Messalonskee.

Mt. Ararat went back and forth with Messalonskee all meet, beginning with the 4×800-meter race. Mt. Ararat led most of the relay, but Messalonskee pulled away at the end for their first win of the day.

Messalonskee also had the Class A girl athlete of the meet, Katherine Leckbee, who won both the mile and two-mile, defeating Jillian Richardson of Edward Little in both races.

“Going into the two-mile I just wanted to pace off of whoever was leading early because I didn’t want to expend too much energy,” Leckbee said. “That really worked and then the last five laps or so I start to pull ahead. This was my best meet I’ve had for the season so far.”

On the boys’ side, Mt. Ararat was carried by the Class A athlete of the meet Lisandro Berry-Gaviria, who won the mile and two-mile while coming in second in the 800-meter run. Berry-Garviria knew what he had to do to win the mile, where he battled with Oxford Hills’ Dominic Sclafani all race.

“I knew he likes to go out pretty quick,” Berry-Garviria said. “I have raced him before, so I just figured I would be on him until the last lap and then take off.”

The Mt. Ararat sophomore was worried about having enough left in the tank for the 800 and 2-mile that he had on his slate later in the day, and Edward Little’s Russell Allen took advantage of that. Allen outkicked Berry-Garviria in the last 50 meters and defeating the sophomore by .79 seconds, in a time of 2:00.83.

“I didn’t think Lisandro was going to come out as quick a he did,” Allen said. “That kind of surprised me a bit. I saw him at the end I thought I could get him too, so I kind of just went for it and came out with the win. Lisandro said that was the first time he had been out-kicked since seventh grade.”

Allen’s Edward Little teammate, Alex Thompson, was on his way to an important victory himself on the other side of the track at the pole vault. Thompson had already clinched the win, clearing 12 foot 6 inches, so he put the bar up to 13 feet, 1 inch: his personal best.

“I hadn’t PR’d all year,” Thompson said. “But once I cleared 13-1, I was running off adrenaline for the next one.”

Adrenaline was pumping through Thompson’s body as he told the officials to raise the bar to 13 feet, 7 inches: an inch higher than the school record. Thompson cleared it, breaking Edward Little’s indoor school record.

“I’ve always looked at that school record that we have,” Thompson said. “The first meet I put it up to 13-7 just to see how it was. I was glad to see it again. It feels great, now it’s outdoor. The school record is 14 for outdoor so I am going for that.”

Edward Little’s rival across the river, Lewiston, swept the shot put. Laila Bunnitt won the girls’ shot put with a throw of 36 feet, 4.25 inches, while teammate Benedict Citenga finished in second with a PR of 33 feet, 2.5 inches. On the boys’ side, Connor Kaplinger won the shot put for the Blue Devils on a 42 foot, 3.25 inch throw.

“I PR’d almost every throw and didn’t hit under 40 in my last five,” Kaplinger said. “I built off the moment and kept throwing. I came into the season and partially-tore my Achilles so I’ve just been coming back.”

In Class B, the Belfast boys’ team ran away with the KVAC title, defeating second-place Winslow by 41 points.

The athlete of the meet in Class B Boys was sophomore Maximus Spaulding of Winslow, who won the 200 meter, 55 meter hurdles and the 400 meter.

There was drama at the end of the meet in Class B, when at the end of the two mile Belfast’s Eamon Goscinski cut in front of Nokomis’ Beau Briggs 10 meters from the finish line to win. At the line, Briggs shoved Goscinski to the ground, causing a commotion at the line. A Belfast teammate got in the face of Briggs and the meet officials gathered to determine if a disqualification of Briggs, or more, was necessary, but there was none handed out.

Winslow won the Class B girls’ title, defeating Belfast 96-76. Freshman Olivia Tiner of Winslow won athlete of the meet with wins in both the mile and two-mile.

Edward Little’s Alex Thompson heads for the bar during Saturday’s KVAC meet at Bowdoin that he won. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Edward Little’s Barrak Abdraba, middle, leads the field over the first hurdle during Saturday’s KVAC Championship Meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Abdraba won the race. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Waterville’s Sarah Cox releases the shot put during Saturday’s KVAC Championship Meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. She won the event. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Katrina Bolduc flies through the air during Saturday’s long jump event at Bowdoin College in Brunswick where she placed 4th. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Taylor Chamberlain clears the bar en route to a second-place finish at Saturday’s KVAC Championships at Bowdoin College. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Winslow’s Alister Piccini leads teammate Nicholas Tiner during the 1 mile race during Saturday’s KVAC Championships where they finished first and second respectively. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Racers bolt out of the blocks at the start of the 55-meter race during Saturday’s KVAC Championships at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Belfast runner Ricky Smith, center, won the race with Zachary Campbell, to his left, finished second. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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