LISBON — Nine consecutive sweeps of the Mountain Valley Conference championships have made Lisbon the big dog among small-school track and field programs within a one-hour radius.

Nobody needs to remind the Greyhounds how that has translated into Class C state titles. Or not.

“We know the coaches haven’t won a state title yet, so we really want to do it for them,” senior Jordon Torres said. “They put in a lot of time for us. I think we can do it this year. There’s a really good chance that we can do it.”

Indeed, the Lisbon boys enter Saturday’s state meet at Foxcroft Academy as a pre-race favorite.

Not by a margin that provides any semblance of breathing room, mind you. Orono, Maranacook, North Yarmouth Academy and Sacopee Valley all have a legitimate chance to play spoiler.

“It just seems like the boys want it this year,” senior Tyler Bard said. “Everybody shows up. Everybody works hard every day. I just see that honest effort.”

The proof is on the stopwatch and the tape measure. Lisbon enters the meet with No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds across the board, covering all disciplines.

Junior Charles Adams is the top-ranked 300-meter hurdler. If you want to comprehend by how much, blink your eyes. His personal record is two-hundredths of a second quicker than Nick Barnes of Maranacook and less than one-tenth faster than Orono’s Brandon Crocker.

“I have to look at that stuff to get me mentally set for what I have to do,” Adams said. “I have to work my hardest in practice, because we’re talking about milliseconds that could be made up in a lean or just missing your form with one hurdle.”

Adams didn’t score points at the state meet as a sophomore.

He’s a candidate for three wins Saturday. Adams also is seeded No. 1 along with Henry Adams, Austin Bedford and Torres in the 4×400 relay that probably will determine the team champion. In the 110 hurdles, he’s fourth.

“Honestly, since it was my junior year, I am looking now at trying to get colleges’ eyes,” Adams said. “That’s a really big incentive for me. Something just clicked. This is the year colleges are really looking at you, and I’m trying to put my best foot forward to get what I can.”

Tyler Bard is the reigning state champion in the race walk and is a good bet to go one-two with teammate Jeff Willey. But he’s equally concerned with his performance in pole vault, where he is tied for the sixth-best height in Class C. Another recent graduate, Cam Ramich, is seeded No. 3 in the same event.

Apply the 10-8-6-4-3-2-1 scoring system to a meet in which Lisbon is forecast to edge Orono by single digits, and it’s easy to understand the pressure.

“I’m thinking race walk, that’s my job, I’ve got to get that done, and after that I’ve got to do the best I can in pole vault to try to get the points for the team,” Bard said. “It’s all about the points.”

As a sprinter, Torres knows that both his team and individual contributions could be the difference between the elusive title and another bridesmaid finish.

Before the 4×400, he will anchor a 4×100 outfit that is seeded fourth. Torres and longtime football backfield mate Quincy Thompson both are ranked just outside the top seven in the 100-meter dash and could steal crucial points with even slight improvement.

“It’s going to come down to the little things, like if you’re seeded eighth and you get seventh place,” Torres said. “That one point could really make a big difference at this meet. It’s going to come down to the last couple of events, probably. Even though we might be predicted at the top, anything can happen. Kind of the pressure’s on us a little bit. We’ve just got to stick to what they expect us to do and show what we’ve got.”

Lisbon also will look to Jordan Glover (No. 2 in long jump, No. 3 in triple jump), Nick Harriman (eighth, 3,200) and Henry Adams (third, 400) for a boost.

“Having won MVCs for our ninth year, and now hearing that we’re predicted to do really well, I think people’s spirits are up to perform where they’re seeded and hopefully even better,” Charles Adams said.

The Greyhounds have done it all without hosting a meet this year, or any other.

Thursday’s rain drove Lisbon into its cafeteria, which assistant coaches joked was not much of a drop-off from the usual dirt practice facility surrounding the football field.

On June 10, Lisbon taxpayers will vote whether or not to finance three new building projects — a town garage, a high school gymnasium and an all-weather track.

“Lisbon’s kind of one of those teams that we don’t really have the best facilities to work on,” Torres said. “If we win the state title, I feel like it would prove that we have a lot of pride.”


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