Track and Field: Eddies easily extend KVAC streak

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BATH — After eight consecutive Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference outdoor track and field championships in eight seasons since joining the league, maybe adjectives are hard to come by.

“We had a really solid day,” Edward Little boys’ coach Ryan LaRoche said. “They showed up today. I’m really proud of how they performed. How many events did we have three or four kids on the podium?”

More than the competition would care to recount.

EL annexed more than double the points of its closest challenger — 189.5 to riverside rival Lewiston’s 94 — at McMann Field.

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Not to be outdone, the Edward Little girls won their fifth consecutive championship, enjoying a less staggering but plenty comfortable 134-107 advantage over Mt. Ararat.

“Five in a row. That’s impressive,” EL girls’ coach Rebecca Hefty said. “Who does that? And the crazy thing about it is our sophomore and junior classes are so strong. Some of that is their growth and a lot of it is their confidence.”

Individual sweeps and seas of red on the podium were the rule for EL boys.

Connor Harris wore the triple crown in jumps, bagging the blue ribbon in high, long and triple. Harris matched his personal best in triple jump (42 feet, 3 ½ inches) but was less enthused about his long jump measurement of 20-5.

“It seems like everybody on every team is doing not what they expected. They’re still doing decent,” Harris said. “I really don’t know. I guess it’s the whole KVAC pressure.”

Pressure? Imagine the pangs everyone else experienced from seeing the Eddies’ Darnell Hairston, Michael Lucas and Bryan Ring go 1-2-3 in the 300-meter hurdles.

Twice, Hairston was second to a teammate: Lucas in the 110 hurdles; Harris in high jump.

“It’s awesome. This is my last year doing the hurdles with Mike (a senior). We always push each other,” Hairston said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t even be doing the hurdles.”

And the hits kept coming.

Keith Tremblay won the racewalk (EL’s Adam Robinson was second) and was runner-up in discus and javelin.

Lucas, Taka Ranucci, Connor Twomey and Roger Charest teamed up to win the 4×100 relay.

Nobody’s day went from dreary to dynamic more quickly than Faisal Noor.

After fading to fourth behind Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd and EL teammate Hussein Mohamed in the 1,600, Noor summoned a sensational finishing kick out of the final turn to edge Ladd in the 3,200 with a season’s best time of 9:54.33.

“I wanted to rebound even though I had a bad mile, so I released my anger before the two-mile,” Noor said. “Coach told me, ‘You’ve been working for this all season. You’ve got to pump yourself up. You’ve got to do this.’ So that’s what I did.”

The other beneficiary of well-placed aggression was Lewiston’s Ali Hersi.

Hersi graciously accepted his runner-up laurels but couldn’t conceal his disappointment after giving up the 800-meter lead to Brunswick’s Mitchell Black in the final straightaway.

“I just didn’t go out well, and it really killed me,” Hersi said. “I have the 4×400 left, and as pissed as I am right now, I can’t wait.”

Seeded sixth entering that relay, Lewiston won, with Hersi spurring teammates Tyler Hartman, Luke Olehowski and Kyle Palmer to victory.

Rudy Pandora won the shot put for the Blue Devils, with teammate Leo Gaghan third. Hartman was second in the 400. Palmer took third in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles.

Lewiston’s 4×800 relay tandem of Hersi, Mohamed Barre, Kevin Lavertu and Hussein Ibrahim snagged second.

The EL girls celebrated their share of winners, as well.

Avery Chisholm and Emily Hartnett went one-two in the 100 hurdles. Frankie Lally and Kelly Philbrook matched that feat in javelin, with Philbrook obliterating her personal best.

“My timing was off. It just didn’t really click. I still threw fairly far, just not where I wanted it to be,“ Lally said. “Freshman and sophomore year I never really threw well here, either, even though I won every time.”

In the triple jump, traditionally an EL showcase, Lexi Clavet won with Danielle Demers third and Emily Grund fourth.

Demers competed for the first time in three weeks due to a hamstring injury. Grund is new to the event after playing softball throughout high school.

“I’m like a freshman,” Grund said.

“A lot of our seniors from last year left, “ added the sophomore Clavet, “but we’ve still got it.”

Other highlights for EL included a 2-3-4 run of Marie Dufresne-Dixon, Clavet and Lauren Bennett in the pole vault and Abby Dunn’s racewalk victory.

Lally (discus) and Hannah Carrier (shot put) each took second place. Mary Kate Masters ran third in the 100 and 200.

“It was a win but not our greatest performances,” Hefty said. “It leaves a lot of room for improvement for next week. We had champions. We scored in most of our events. We scored in every field event.”

McKenzie Gary was a triple winner (100, 200, 400) for the Mt. Ararat boys. Erzsebet Nagy picked up four victories (800, 1,600, 3,200 and 4×400 relay) for the Lawrence girls

Waterville achieved an expected sweep in Class B.

Leavitt’s boys finished ninth and its girls 12th. Keith Lemelin was second in the 800 and Elliott Wiegman second in the javelin for the Hornets.

koakes@sunjournal.com

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