GORHAM — Edward Little coach Ryan Laroche called it “The Expo Effect,” and it ended up leaving his boys’ team a little frustrated at Monday’s Class A indoor track meet.

It was a sweep for Scarborough at the University of Southern Maine. The girls continued their dynasty with a seventh consecutive state title. The boys won their second state title in three years, which wasn’t a big surprise either. But after the meet, Laroche was still scratching his head over “The Expo Effect,” a term he uses for the unpredictability of seeding SMAA athletes because of the shorter Portland Expo track and the different rules the conference follows.

“There it is, the ‘Expo Effect,'” he said. “Scarborough was not seeded to win this meet by that much. They won by that much. Bonny Eagle was not seeded to be third. They were third. All the teams that moved up on us… Really, you can not use seeds for this meet.”

The Red Storm won with 68 points, although they didn’t clinch until the final event of the meet, the 4×200-meter relay. Mt. Ararat trailed by three points going into the relay but didn’t score, while Scarborough finished fourth.

Bonny Eagle (44), Edward Little (40) and Brunswick (37.5) rounded out the top five. Lewiston (30) finished seventh.

“You can’t know what the kids are going to do at this meet,” Laroche said. “Looking at our team, we had ups and downs all day.”

Sophomore Connor Harris led the Red Eddies with a triple-jump championship, a silver medal in the high jump and third place in the long jump.

“That’s a great day — a first, a second and a third as a sophomore,” Laroche said.

Harris’ best jump of the day was his last, a 43-07¾ leap in the final round of the triple jump.

“I wanted to get the school record, I think it’s 43-11¾ or something like that, but I’ve still got next year and the year after that,” Harris said.

Harris just missed winning the high jump. He tied with Scarborough’s Orin James at 6-02, but James cleared the bar in his first jump, Harris in his second, to get the gold.

“I was kind of surprised that he was keeping up with me. I hadn’t competed against him before so I didn’t know what to expect,” Harris said. “It was nice to go back-and-forth with him through the whole thing.”

Faisal Noor (fourth in mile and two mile), Hussein Mohamed (seventh in mile), Michal Lucas (fifth in 55 meter hurdles), and Darnell Hairston (fifth in high jump) also scored for EL. The Eddies had a relay team and two other athletes finish eighth, just barely out of the scoring.

“It seemed like we were just, just missing getting those points here and there,” Laroche said. “Overall, it was a good day. I would have liked to hold on to our third place seed, but it’s hard indoors. You can have an idea when you have the top seeds in events. But after that, it’s really wide open.”

Lewiston had three athletes finish a close second in their events.

Rudy Pandora topped his personal best by more than two feet in the shot put with a throw of 48-08, just an inch behind Bonny Eagle’s Heath Martel.

Hussein Ibrahim (10L05.99) was runner-up in the two mile, 5.5 seconds behind Cheverus’ Jack Terwilliger. Mt. Blue’s Jaron Jones (10:13.86) finished third.

Ali Hersi led the 800  meters through the first four laps, then saw Scarborough’s Nick Morris pass him on the final turn and outkick him the final 50 meters to finish in 1:59.22.

“I went out great,” said Hersi, who set a new school record with a time of 2:00.08. “My goal was to break through and I almost did. I went (out fast) on purpose. It’s just that I was out a little too hard. But it was good.  I knew he was coming, but I gave it all I had. I couldn’t push it anymore.”

Due to SMAA rules limiting how many events a runner can compete in each meet, it was only the fifth time all year Morris had run in the 800.

“I came in as a second seed, so I knew it was going to be a close race,” he said. “We saw Ali run in the 4×800 against our guys and do pretty good. That was the plan. I let him lead and then right at the end, I just gave it all I have.”

Morris’ finish was one of the difference-makers for the Red Storm.

“That was a key event that we really set at the beginning of the meet if we could get some points,” Scarborough coach Derek Veilleux said. “We had three runners score.”

Hersi and Ibrahim were  also part of Lewiston’s third-place 4×800 relay team, along with Kevin Lavertu and Michael Letendre.

“We had a nice day, a lot of PR’s, especially on the boys’ side. A lot of people who fought and fought and made some good things happen,” Lewiston coach Jamerson Crowley said. “(The second-place finishers) are competitive, so they want wins. But I think after the dust settled 10 minutes later, they realized they could be pretty pleased with what they did.”

The girls’ title was nip-and-tuck all day and also came down to the 4×200 relay. Scarborough and Bonny Eagle were tied with two events remaining, and the Scots led by a point going into the final event. The Red Storm won the relay by nearly a second while the Scots finished sixth.

Scarborough topped Bonny Eagle by seven points. Brunswick, Mt. Ararat and Thornton Academy completed the top five.

EL’s 4×200 relay team of Hali Henry, Ayumi Ranucci, Emily Grund and Crystal Labonte finished seventh. Lewiston’s Elizabeth Dixon was the top local individual with an eight-place finish in the triple jump.

The anticipated showdown in the pole vault between EL’s Jaclyn Masters and Cony’s Lindsey Folsom didn’t materialize because Masters broke her leg in practice last week. Folsom ended up winning the event easily at 11-03.

Click here to view more actions photos from the Class A indoor track Championships in Gorham on Monday.


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