The Belfast girls and Waterville boys had similar approaches, mixed in with some standout performances, to capture Class B team titles.
The Eagles girls beat out Mt. Ararat for the top spot in Class A by a 105-90 margin. Lawrence, Lewiston, Brunswick and Edward Little followed after that for top-six spots.
The Messalonskee boys had a closer margin, beating out Brunswick 101-93.5. The Dragons took second by 0.5 points over Lewiston. Lawrence, Edward Little and Mt. Ararat rounded out the top six.
The Belfast girls ran away in Class B, beating second-place Lincoln Academy 114-87. Waterville edged out the Belfast boys 94-91.
“We started back in November and really saw that we had a lot of good, strong kids,” Messalonskee coach Matthew Holman said. “And the best part is we were spread out really well. If you look at the scores, we had people scoring in almost all the events, and that’s really key. In this league, you have to cover all the events. We had many, many of our athletes step up today and overperform their seeds.”
Holman singled out Zach Hoyle on the boys’ side, who scored 28 points by himself with wins in the 400- and 800-meter runs and a runner-up finish in the 2-mile. Tanner Burton helped out with a win in the 55-meter hurdles and a second-place showing in the 200-meter dash.
Emma Concaugh won the 800 and the triple jump for the Eagles girls.
“We had fortunate triple jump scores, and that kind of pushed us over on the girls’ side,” Holman.
Kylie Nelson stood out for the Belfast girls, as did Nick Dall for the Waterville boys.
Nelson was the girls’ Class B recipient of the Dave Martin Award, given to the outstanding performer in that division. The senior won three events: the long and triple jumps and the pole vault.
Brunswick’s Seth White had a similarly good day, and also brought home the Dave Martin Award for Class A boys. White was a winner in the boys’ 55 and 200 dashes and the long jump.
“I wasn’t expecting the 200, but I was training for it, so I knew it would be close,” White said. “I turned up the gear (at 100 meters). When I knew Tanner was right next to me, I had to speed up, and that’s when I did it.”
White was most happy with his 55 dash win, in which he set a new personal record.
“It feels good,” White said. “It makes me confident for states, but I still got to stay humble.”
Kiana Letourneau of Lawrence won the Dave Martin Award for Class A girls. She won the 55, 200 and 400 dashes, including beating Lewiston’s Jenny Martin in the 200.
“She’s a very good competitor,” Martin said. “I haven’t gone against her yet, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but she’s definitely an amazing athlete.”
Martin finished top-three in two other events: a win in the 55 hurdles and a third-place showing in the 400 dash. She was happy with her hurdles win, and was also OK with her other two performances.
“I felt really good about it,” Martin said of the 55. “I finally went under (8.9 seconds), and that’s what I’ve been trying to do all season.”
Freshman Jack Hansen was the Class B boys’ recipient of the Dave Martin Award. He won the 55 hurdles and both the long and high jumps.
Katherine Leckbee helped pace the Mt. Ararat girls to a runner-up finish, winning the 1- and 2-mile runs and placing second in the 800.
“It’s very hard because I’m not sure exactly what the turnout’s going to be, and it’s really nerve-wracking,” Leckbee said. “But I just go out there and I do the best I can, and I just kind of see what I can do. It’s always up for grabs, I never know.
“It’s always an awesome feeling when you finish and you go, ‘That was a good race.'”
Leckbee’s Mt. Ararat teammate, Cameron Meier, mirrored her performance on the Class A boys’ side.
“Sometimes I’ll try and keep up with him a little bit (in practice),” Leckbee said.
Benjamin Musese was a top performer for the Lewiston boys, who coach Paul Soracco said had a good meet. Musese finished third in the long jump, then later won the Class A triple jump with a new personal record.
“Last year, I came in fourth place, and I wasn’t proud of it,” Musese said. “I was like, ‘This year I got it.’ I PR’d by like 2 feet.
“I went all out.”
The Blue Devils swept both the 4×800 and 4×200 relays.
Last year’s top two Class A girls’ teams — Lewiston and EL — had trouble repeating their performances. The EL girls won the Class A state title last year, but like the Blue Devils girls, graduated some big point-producers.
One of the Red Eddies’ returners, Lauren Berube, was hoping to have a better showing herself.
“I could have done better, but it was still a pretty decent meet,” Berube said. “I’m hoping to take what I did today and do better in states.”
Berube was second in the pole vault, having to rally after faulting on her first two attempts, and also finished fifth in the 55 hurdles and third in the long jump.
Some smaller teams had some standout performances as well. Sydney McCarren won the Class B girls’ 1-mile and 800 for Morse. Marah Black finished on the podium in the Class A girls’ 55 dash for Mt. Blue, with a third-place showing.