GORHAM — Greely High distance running standout Marin Provencher could have been speaking for many of her fellow athletes at the Western Maine Conference championships Friday at the University of Southern Maine.

“This is seen as a dress rehearsal to see what you can do when you’re running all the same events you’re going to do at the state meet, and hopefully you can improve there,” said Provencher, shortly after she won the girls’ mile in 5 minutes, 29.1 seconds.

Provencher was one of many athletes who looked ready for the Class B state meet at Bates College next Saturday.

York senior Nick Rainforth won the 400 and 200 meters to earn the boys’ track MVP award. Rainforth dominated the 200, winning by a full second in 24.46 seconds.

In the 400, Freeport’s Nick Mitch tried to make a pass at the start of the second lap on USM’s 200-meter track. Rainforth impressively powered ahead and won in 54.26.

“I usually don’t pick it up until there’s 150 meters left, and I saw (Mitch) trying to pass and knew I had to speed up sooner,” Rainforth said. “It felt good. I felt strong coming through the end, which is good going into states.”

York senior Jonathan Burke smoothly glided over each hurdle to easily win the boys’ senior division 55 hurdles in 8.09 seconds, matching his season-best time.

“I try to be composed,” Burke said. “In the race, I just try to use the form that my coaches have taught me. I’ve been trying to break the school record (7.98 seconds), but it’s hard with no spikes. Next week we’re allowed to wear them, so hopefully that will be faster.”

The deep, talented York boys easily repeated as team champion with a combined junior and senior division score of 228 points. Greely was second with 96 points, with Lisbon/St. Dom’s (53), Yarmouth (48) and Poland (43) rounding out the top five.

The York girls also won with 156 points, beating 2018 champion Greely, which scored 127. Freeport (59 points), Poland (49) and Gray-New Gloucester (45) followed.

York got a victory in the senior division long jump from Jon Rodrigues, who successfully defended his title with a jump of 20 feet, 61/2 inches, beating teammate Griffin Bean. Bean was also second in the pole vault to Yarmouth’s Chris Koskinen (12-6), the boys’ field MVP.

Greely’s dominance in the girls’ distance events was offset by York’s balance. The Wildcats got senior division wins from Phoebe Slovenski (pole vault) and Abi Kavanaugh (shot put) and a splendid effort from Hayley Smith, who won senior division titles in the long jump and 200 and placed second in the 55 hurdles.

Smith beat Wells’ Chenille Eccleston, the 55 dash winner, in both the long jump and 200. In the hurdles, she finished second to Cape Elizabeth’s Darcy Cochran, the girls’ track MVP. Smith set a five-inch personal-best in the long jump at 15-91/4 to beat Eccleston by 11/4 inch. In the 200, she ran away from the field to win in 27.65.

“I think it’s been a confidence-boosting season. I’m in the senior division and I have to be more competitive, which is definitely good for me,” Smith said.

Provencher led a 1-2-3 sweep for Greely in the 2-mile run, with Carolyn Todd second and Julia Curran in third. Curran was also second in the mile, and Todd won the 800.

Todd’s win, in a time of 2:28.92, set up a family double. Her twin brother, Matt, the reigning indoor Class B mile champion, was next on the track and won the boys’ 800 in 2:04.31.

“We’re so close, it’s really great,” Carolyn Todd said. “When we were younger, we used to run to the exact second. Now he’s 20 seconds faster.”

The Greely boys also shone in the distance events. Luke Marsanskis edged teammate Riley Franklin by four-tenths of a second to win the mile in 4:49.32. The pair then came back with another 1-2 finish in the 2-mile, with Franklin winning.

GORHAM, ME – FEBRUARY 8: Nate Gendreau of Gray-New Gloucester High School competes in the long jump at the Western Maine Conference indoor track championships at the USM Field House on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.