BATH — There are two tried-and-true ways to win a conference or state track and field championship meet.
One, dominate with depth. Two, win a fistful of blue ribbons.
Edward Little covered all those bases Saturday, snagging its sixth consecutive KVAC girls’ title at McMann Field.
The Red Eddies ruled two relays, a race walk, one hurdle event, two jumps and two throws in crafting the ultimate team triumph. EL finished with 163 points, far ahead of runner-up Brunswick (122) and third-place Lawrence (99).
“We had more (individual) champions than we’ve had since 2009. We won a lot of events,” EL coach Rebecca Hefty said. “It’s going to be a huge boost for us (at next Saturday‘s state meet in Windham). Last year we were not very good. Honestly, we won two relays, we won the hurdles, and then a lot of seconds and thirds.”
This year's Eddies were equally good on the track, in the cool grass and in the hot sand on what was a banner day for the nearby state parks and beaches.
Led by twin sisters Jaclyn and MaryKate Masters, EL swept the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Jaclyn and MaryKate were second and third, respectively, in the 100-meter dash, with MaryKate taking a runner-up turn in the 200.
“It feels so nice to actually be standing on the No. 1 podium. It’s definitely different,“ MaryKate Masters said. “I’ve been coming to KVAC since I was a freshman and watching people get up on the podium and only being like seventh or sixth, and now being first or second is a much better feeling.”
Lexi Clavet made multiple visits to the top step.
She won the triple jump by more than a foot, with teammates Danielle Demers and Kelly Philbrook also solidly in the top five.
“Last year we had that triple jump sweep, one through seven, but we lost them. Almost all of them were seniors,” Clavet said. “I’ve been so stuck. Everyone on our team, we’ve been working more on technique and we haven’t been practicing the full-out approach.”
Clavet also led the long jump.
Hartnett topped the 300-meter hurdles, a discipline she actually gave up as a junior.
“I’ve been playing around with some events,” Hartnett said. “I haven’t done much of this since freshman and sophomore year. I started up again and it’s been going pretty well, so hopefully it will continue into next week.”
As a sophomore, Hartnett’s time in the hurdles usually fell between 52 and 53 seconds. She broke 49 Saturday to beat Lawrence’s Katie Dudley by a stride.
“I was a little behind until the last stretch, and then I picked it up the last 50 meters,” Hartnett said. “I just pushed. Finishing is my favorite part of the race.”
Philbrook (javelin) and Hannah Carrier (shot put) took throwing firsts for the Red Eddies. Carrier’s distance of 33-10½ was a personal record.
Carrier also was less than a foot away from the discus victory. She led Haley Roderick and Eraleena Hairston in a 2-3-4 pack that strengthened the Eddies’ grip on another team title.
“I like throwing in the heat,” Carrier said. “Once (the overcast) burned off it got hot, but my events were before that.”
Abby Dunn completed a four-year sweep of the KVAC race walk, amazingly matching her own league record by posting the exact time (7:33.14) she achieved as a junior.
“That was weird,” Dunn said. "I wanted to break it.”
It was a minor disappointment on a day of few complaints for the Eddies.
“The whole year has been focused on two goals, one being six in a row and the other obviously being next weekend,” Hefty said.
Lewiston finished seventh with 29 points, ahead of Oxford Hills (ninth, 12 points) and Mt, Blue (10th, 10 points).
Erzsebet Nagy of Lawrence won three events — the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
In Class B, Waterville defended its title with ease, defeating runner-up and rival Winslow by nearly 150 points.