Alex Thompson of Edward Little pole vaults during the Maine Class A Track and Field Championship on Monday in Gorham. (Joel Page/Portland Press Herald)
GORHAM — Five state records fell Monday at the Class A indoor track state championships in a meet marked by young talent, as sophomore Jarett Flaker powered Scarborough to its third straight boys’ crown, while Cheverus sophomore Emma Gallant lifted her team to a tie with Scarborough for the girls’ title.
Flaker broke state records in the 55 and 200 meters and just missed a third record in the 400 as the Scarborough boys won with 79 points, ahead of Deering (66) and Thornton Academy (47).
The Cheverus girls were leading going into the final 800-meter relay, but Scarborough placed second in that event to tie the Stags with 67 points. Gorham finished third with 41.
“We only have one senior, 11 girls, and nine of them competed here. That’s pretty good for a small team,” said Cheverus Coach Steve Virgilio, whose squad won the Class A outdoor title last year but had never won an indoor championship.
The Stags were fueled by Gallant and freshman sprinter Victoria Bossong. Gallant was second in the 55 (7.34 seconds) behind Scarborough’s Molly Murnane (7.23), and won the 200 (25.94) and 400 (57.80). Her time in the 400 broke the record of 57.88 set by Brunswick’s Clare Franco in 2008.
Bossong finished third in the 55 (7.39) and second in the 200 (25.96) and 400 (58.51).
Gallant said she was only thinking about getting the lead in the 200 and 400 and scoring as many points as possible.
“I love training with Victoria and racing against her,” Gallant said. “I’m excited to see what we can do outdoors. I think we will do a lot.”
Westbrook junior Nyagoa Bayak improved on her own state record in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches. Her previous record was 5-7.
Bayak was hoping to push the record to 5-10 after clearing 5-9 at the Dartmouth Relays in January (Maine state records can only be set at the state championships). But she had to run back and forth between events, as she also won the triple jump at 36-51/2.
“Last year, 5-8 was a barrier, but once I cleared it I didn’t think about it after that,” Bayak said. “It will be that way with 5-10. It’s such a mental game. But I know I can jump it.”
Gorham’s 3,200 relay team of Kate Tugman, Iris Kitchen, Meadow Fortier and Anna Slager also set a record with a time of 9:43.02, erasing the mark of 9:45.51 set by Scarborough in 2006.
South Portland senior Juliana Selser was another double winner, in the 800 (2:21.12) and mile (5:12.15).
Locally, Lewiston’s Laila Bunnitt won the shot put with a heave of 35 feet, 3 inches. Benedict Citenga also placed in the event, earning a fourth-place finish. Taylor Chamberlain was sixth in the high jump.
Jillian Richardson earned the lone points for Edward Little with a pair of sixth-place finishes in the mile and two-mile races.
In the boys’ meet, Flaker won all three of his events by a sizeable margin.
“I just was thinking about my form and staying focused,” Flaker said. “After running at bigger meets last year – at nationals and New Englands – I’m not as nervous this year. Coach said my 200 was the best he’s seen me run all year.”
Flaker won the 55 in 6.50, erasing the 2013 mark of 6.53 set by Denzel Tomaszewski of Wells. His time of 22.32 in the 200 broke the 12-year-old state record of 22.65 set by Colby Brooks of Edward Little and was an all-time Maine best, beating the time of 22.35 by McKenzie Gary of Mt. Ararat at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2011.
In the 400, Flaker dipped under 50 seconds for the first time, finishing in 49.87.
Afterward, Flaker looked ahead to the New England Championships in Boston, where he hopes tougher competition will help push him to an all-time Maine best in the 55. Tomaszewski still holds that record – 6.46.
“He did these things without running on a banked track. When he does, he’ll go even faster,” said Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux. “He’s a special athlete. And he likes competition.”
Westbrook senior Dominic Creenan and Mt. Ararat sophomore Lisandro Berry-Gaviria also won two events each. Creenan won the 55 hurdles (7.78) and long jump (22-0), while Berry-Gaviria won the mile (4:22.72) and 2-mile (9:58.80).
Locally, Russell Allen won gold in the 800 meters. Barrak Abdaraba was third in the 55-meter dash, Fabrice Mpoyo took sixth in the 200, and Alex Thompson and Spencer Frahn placed fourth and seventh in the pole vault, respectively.
Lewiston’s 4×800-meter relay nabbed fourth position, while the Devils’ Kamandula Crispin placed fifth in the long jump.
Emma Gallant of Cheverus, runs in the 200 meter dash during the Maine Class A Track and Field Championship on Monday in Gorham. (Joel Page/Portland Press Herald)Michael Gray of Edward Little pole vaults during the Maine Class A Track and Field Championship on Monday in Gorham. (Joel Page/Portland Press Herald)Emma White of Cheverus jumps in the triple jump during the Maine Class A Track and Field Championship on Monday in Gorham. (Joel Page/Portland Press Herald)