Howling good time for Greyhounds

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AUGUSTA — The Lisbon High School track and field team prefers victory parades to pity parties.

You won’t catch anyone affiliated with the Greyhounds lamenting who graduated, who’s ineligible or injured or which Mountain Valley Conference schools might have a superior facility.

Excuses aren’t tolerated. Championships are expected.

“As a senior,” said George Clement, “I definitely didn’t want to be on the team that let the streak end.”

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If the MVC passed out championship rings, Clement and his cronies would have one for the thumb. Lisbon’s boys and girls swept the league showcase in overwhelming fashion for the fifth consecutive year Friday at Cony High School.

By any measurement, it’s an unprecedented feat.

“Nobody’s done this in our league. Of course Winthrop’s girls had a stretch where they won it, what, 19 out of 20 years, probably. But nobody has ever done it like this, boy-girl, boy-girl, boy-girl,” said Lisbon coach Dean Hall.

Looking at the final team scores, it’s hard to imagine that there were even whispers about this season being the possible end of the Greyhounds’ run.

Lisbon’s boys beat Madison by 36 points. The girls topped Winthrop by 46.

Others ran faster, but few jumped longer or threw farther. Lisbon won 10 of the 14 non-running events, sweeping first and second place in four of them.

Morgan Reeves and Clement went one-two in the triple jump and long jump. Reeves also ruled the pole vault.

“It definitely helps when you have someone who’s a friend and can almost beat you, and it’s friendly competition,” the sophomore Reeves said of his relationship with Clement, a four-year multi-event medalist at the conference meet.

Clement led his own one-two sweep with Ethan Audie in the high jump. He also finished second to Madison’s Jacob Hartigan in the 110-meter hurdles.

Joe Doughty unleashed a throw of 41-3 in the shot put, outdistancing Travis Hutchins of Winthrop by eight inches.

“Morgan, George, Tara (Metzger) and Joe all did what they do,” Hall said. “Joe did more than OK. That’s the best throw he’s had since April 15.”

Metzger won 34 of a possible 40 points for the girls, producing a personal record in all four events. She matched Reeves by winning the long and triple jumps.

“My goal was to not foul out. I’ve had a lot of fouls this year,” Metzger said. “My quadriceps has bothered me, so I hoped that wouldn’t start again.”

“It’s amazing,” she added, “mostly because we lost a lot of seniors and we weren’t really sure how good we would be at the beginning of the year. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores step up.”

Sophomores Briana Moore (discus, shot put) and Angelica Bulgin (javelin) were individual winners.

Lisbon also enjoyed a surprise runner-up finish in the shot put from Justice Fraser-Gagnon, who was not seeded among the top seven entering the meet.

“We held our seeds. We had people do a little bit better,” Hall said. “What more could you want? We get to spend time with kids who work hard, and I get to play with (assistant coaches) Dan Sylvester, Doug Sautter and Hank Fuller every day.”

Winthrop was second in the girls’ meet on the strength of its runners. Karen Rice (100, 200), Grace Burnett (400), Kenzie Hill (800, 1,600) and the 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams were winners.

Emily Chase of Dirigo was named girls’ athlete of the year and led the Cougars to third place. Chase won both hurdle events, smashing the meet record (15.94 seconds) in the 100 hurdles.

“I had no idea what the record was,” Chase said. “I just felt like it was my best race of the year.'”

Chase also finished second in the 100 meters.

Ali Desjardin was the first MVC individual champion for St. Dom’s new team, edging Lisbon’s Caity Gamache in the racewalk.

Freshman Sadie James of Mt. Abram sprang the upset of the day, winning only the second start of her life in the 3,200-meter run. James overtook pre-race favorite Anna Doyle of Winthrop in the final 200.

“I didn’t know how far behind she was,” said James, “so I did look back once.”

Jeff Ryder of Livermore Falls was named boys’ top performer. He dominated the 100 and 200 and led the Andies to victory in the 4×100 relay.

“At our school,” said Mountain Valley’s Zach Taylor, who finished fourth in the 100, “that’s what they call (Ryder) when people don’t know his name: ‘The kid who runs 10.9s.'”

Ryder settled for an 11.04, winning by nearly a half-second.

“I wanted a 10.8,” he said. “I ran a 10.75 once, but it was hand-clocked. Really I just wanted to win because I was second last year.”

Livermore Falls was the top local team behind Lisbon, placing fifth.

Monmouth’s Elliott Kahl was a double winner, taking the individual 800 and sharing the glory in the 4×800 relay.

“This was my last chance,” said Kahl, a senior. “This is exactly how I wanted today to go.”

Hutchins captured the discus for Winthrop. Second: You guessed it, Lisbon’s Doughty.

“They’ll get to take their victory lap and that’s it. They’ll be champions. Nobody can ever take that away from them,” Hall said. “They can add that to their resume. For a lot of these kids this will be the highlight of the season.”

koakes@sunjournal.com

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