AUGUSTA – Mindy Sullivan knew her throw was good, but only after it landed. And when throwing coach Dan Sylvester started pleading for the throw to be longer than 102 feet, she knew exactly how good it was.
“It’s kind of a lot to take in at one time,” said Sullivan after her throw. “Throwing it that far to beat Winthrop is definitely a good feeling.”
The Lisbon senior broke her own school record by more than three feet with a throw of 104 feet, 6 inches in the discus, her third individual event win of the afternoon, to help lead the Lisbon girls to their first MVC title in 14 years in Augusta on Friday.
“The girls’ team was a surprise,” said Lisbon coach Dean Hall. “You just can’t predict freshmen, and they came through for us today.”
The win for the girls capped off an impressive – and rare – double win by the Greyhounds, who also snagged the boys’ title in dominating fashion, 167-130 over Class B Mountain Valley.
“I think we did the best we could possibly do,” said Mountain Valley coach Al Cayer. “Dean and Hank (Fuller) have done an excellent job with (Lisbon) again. Every year, they come back strong, strong and strong.”
The girls’ meet was the biggest surprise for Lisbon, which figured to be in a dogfight with the Ramblers all afternoon. Part of the reason the results swayed toward the Greyhounds was a few surprise finishes in the distance events by freshman Kelly Bourgoin.
“I don’t really have energy, I don’t think,” said Bourgoin. “But if I see someone ahead of me, I just sprint at the end. It works. I was nervous at first today.”
For Winthrop, Melissa Nguyen was outstanding. She won all three individual events in which she ran (the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the pole vault) and helped win the 4×400-meter relay in the last race of the afternoon to cap her MVC career with four blue ribbons.
“I was seeded first, which adds more pressure always,” said Nguyen. “My times were good, but there’s always that doubt. Last year, I was seeded well and I hit one.”
Her finish in the 300 hurdles was particularly flashy. She led runner-up Katie Frett by inches at the last hurdle, and instead of floating over the final obstacle, she knocked it over and drove right through it.
“The last race I was in, it came down to the last hurdle,” said Nguyen. “I don’t know what I was thinking, I just kicked it over. It worked, but it wasn’t pretty.”
“She’s been doing this for four years,” said Winthrop coach Norm Thombs. “Her and Kim (Toothaker) and Emily Knight, we started lifting weights and doing conditioning the first of July last year, and it’s really paid off.
“What that meant when she kicked that hurdle, it meant she was attacking the thing. That’s what won it for her.”
Lisbon’s depth proved to much for the Ramblers and a surprising Livermore Falls team to overcome. The Andies pulled ahead of Winthrop with one event to go Friday, but had to withdraw their second-seeded 4×400-meter relay team from the final event due to injury.
“We needed to think smart,” said Livermore Falls coach Bill Biliouris. “The MVC would have been nice, but the state meet’s nice, too, and we wanted to live another week.”
Still, Biliouris’ daughter Kelsey and Rebecca Leclerc had solid days in the sprints and in the jumps to keep their team in contention.
“We got together before the meet and we knew (Lisbon) was favored to win,” said Leclerc, “but we always had the attitude that we’d do it.”
Madison High School and Hall-Dale rounded out the top five, with Dirigo, Telstar, Mt. Abram and Mountain Valley falling in close behind.
In the boys’ race, the Falcons would have had to run a perfect meet and hoped for a minor miracle to catch Lisbon with all of its depth.
Cayer’s son Dylan did his best, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes and helping the 4×100-meter relay to a resounding win in a conference-record time.
But performances like Tyler Clark’s MVC record in the 3,200-meter run and a lengthy win in the 1,600 meters, as well as a gutsy double in the 4×400-meter relay following the two-mile race, ultimately did the Falcons in.
“We did the things we had to do,” said Hall. “We beat an excellent Mountain Valley team.”
Elijah Treffts, who heads to Northeastern University in the fall to play football, anchored the Lisbon throwing team with solid finishes in the shot put (champion) and discus (third place).
“The thing was, our coaches weren’t focusing on personal bests or anything today,” said Treffts. “We were focused on placing. Today, it’s not about the times and distances, it’s about the places.”
Winthrop, behind solid outings from Kyle Feeney in the sprints and jumps, and Dan Soltan in the distance events, took home third with a distant 76 points. Telstar nabbed fourth with 63, followed by Hall-Dale, Livermore Falls, Dirigo and Boothbay.
Mountain Valley continues on to next week’s Class B state meet at Mount Desert Island High School, while the rest of the MVC schools will head to Morse High School of Bath for their state meet.