LEWISTON – The way Hussain Naji and Husayn Carnegie were dancing around the infield at Bates College’s Walter Slovenski Track on Monday afternoon, you’d think their feet were on fire.

Seeded 11th and 12th in the triple jump, the two Lewiston athletes popped off a pair of jumps exceeding 41 feet to place second and fourth in the event, capping a solid day and a fourth-place overall finish for the Lewiston boys’ team.

“I practice here; this is our home track, so that helped, I guess,” Naji said.

After his 42-foot, 3-inch jump temporarily gave him the lead, Naji nearly fell over. His eyes got big as he ran around looking for Carnegie, who to that point had been in first with a 41-foot, 8-inch jump.

“We had promised each other we were going to jump 40 feet last week at KVACs,” Naji said. “We didn’t hit it, but we did it again for this meet.”

“I was so confused,” admitted Carnegie. “At first I was questioning whether they were measuring to the right board. I thought it was a fluke.”

The 2-4 finish gave Lewiston 39 points, good for fourth place.

On a day in which meet records fell more quickly than last week’s snow, the Bangor boys got an unexpected challenge from the over-achieving Gorham Rams. Seeded lower than Bangor by 41 points, Gorham closed the gap to just six by the end of the meet, falling 84-78.

Casey Quaglia of Bangor edged Tim Millet of Gorham by .02 seconds in the two-mile run, and Cam Cormier of Bangor outsprinted Gorham’s Josh Maxwell by .03 seconds in the 200-meter dash in two of the highlight races.

“If we don’t win those two events, and they do, that’s the meet for them,” Bangor coach Maynard Walton said.

Quaglia and teammates Cormier and Riley Masters accounted for 70 of the Rams’ 84 points, including the meet-opening 4×800-meter relay.

Aside from Carnegie and Naji’s finishes in the triple jump, Lewiston got solid performances from its 4×800-meter relay (2nd), George Foster in the 400-meter dash (2nd), Jeff Lucier in the 800 (3rd), Carnegie in the high jump (4th) and Jared Turcotte in the long jump (6th).

Turcotte was less than satisfied after fouling by less than an inch on a jump that would have put him into first place.

“I can’t go out like that,” Turcotte said. “Now, I’ll get ’em in outdoor season. I wasn’t going to run outdoors, but I can’t go out like this – on a foul.”

Edward Little’s John Alexander, a first-year track athlete as a senior, nearly caught state record holder and former EL star Colby Brooks in the 55-meter dash, running the third-fastest time ever – 6.62 seconds – to take second place.

Thrower Brian Despres took third in the shot put for the Eddies, who finished in a tie for fifth, and the school’s 4×200-meter relay placed a surprising second with four different runners from last year’s winning team.

“It was a good ending to a good day,” EL coach Ryan Laroche said. “At the beginning of the year, we were seeded to get eight points based on returning athletes and their places from last year, so to finish in fifth with 29 points, that’s great.”

Two meet records fell on the boys’ side, with Cormier setting the 400-meter-dash record in 50.41 seconds and David Slovenski breaking his brother Steve’s record in the pole vault with a jump of 14 feet, 7 inches.

Jesse LaBreck of Messalonskee put on a show on the girls’ side. LaBreck broke two meet records and nearly eclipsed a third in earning 30 points for Messalonskee as the school’s only scoring girl.

“I wanted all three coming into the day,” LaBreck said.

LaBreck ran an 8.35-second 55-meter hurdles, and soared 36 feet, 11 inches in the triple jump.

In the high jump, after winning the event, officials placed the bar at 5 feet, 5 inches. On her third attempt, she cleared the bar, but as she exited the mat, the bar fell behind her.

Kaitlynn Saldanha of Scarborough broke the 800-meter record with a time of 2:18.44. Kristin Slotnick of Brunswick set a new standard in the 200-meter dash at 25.8 seconds, and Bethany Dumas set a new girls’ pole vault record when she cleared 11 feet, 6 inches. In addition, the Deering 4×200-meter relay team broke their own record in a time of 1:49.67.

In team competition, Scarborough flooded the field with 24 athletes – easily more than any other team – and ran away with the team title. The Red Storm outdistanced second-place Thornton Academy, 96-55.

KVAC champion Brunswick placed third with 54 points. Gorham and Messalonskee rounded out the top five.

Edward Little’s Emily Dodge took second in the triple jump, fourth in the 55-meter hurdles and fifth in the long jump, while Muriel Schwinn placed second in the long jump and Vicki Boehlert took sixth in the shot put to pace the Eddies to a seventh-place finish with 25 points.

Lewiston’s Lea Morin scored four points for the Blue Devils, two each in the 55- and 200-meter dashes.


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