Nyagoa Bayak clears 6 feet in the high jump at the Class A indoor track and field state championships at USM in Gorham on Monday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Jill Brady)

 

GORHAM — Edward Little’s Jillian Richardson won a state title and records fell frequently Monday at the Class A indoor track and field championships at the University of Southern Maine.

Eight Class A records were set — two by athletes who are nationally ranked — while the Cheverus girls and Scarborough boys cruised to team titles.

“Eight records is very crazy. Usually there are one or two at a state meet, some years there are none,” Thornton Academy coach George Mendros said.

Richardson, a senior, claimed the state championship in the mile run, finishing in 5 minutes, 10.66 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of second-place Delaney Hesler of Bonny Eagle.

Richardson also placed third in the 2-mile run behind Hampden’s Helen Shearer and Gorham’s Kate Tugman.

Lewiston’s Benedict Citenga placed second in the girls’ shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 7 inches.

Also for Lewiston, junior Noor Shidad took third in the boys’ 400-meter dash.

The Cheverus girls won with 72 points, ahead of Thornton Academy (38.5) and Bangor (37.5). The Scarborough boys earned their eighth state title in nine years with 104 points, followed by Thornton (70) and Brunswick (44).

Westbrook senior Nyagoa Bayak cleared 6 feet in the high jump — and made the elusive height look like a forgone conclusion. She cleared her first two heights (5-6 and 5-9) on her first attempts and then soared over 6-0 on her second attempt as she smashed her own state record, which was 5-8 before Monday’s meet.

As the meet announcer called the All-American jumper to the top of the podium and told the crowd that Bayak is now tied for second in the national high school rankings, there was an explosion of applause.

“Today was the day,” Bayak said. “I told my coaches coming to the meet, ‘Today is the day.’”

In the boys’ shot put, Thornton senior Jason Montano, ranked fourth in the nation, was targeting the state record of 61-2 set by Brewer’s Austin Lufkin in 2017. He achieved that goal with a throw of 62-0.25.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to break the state record,” Montano said. “The fact I’m now consistently throwing in the 60s is what I’m most happy about. I think I can throw in the 66-to-67 range.”

Not to be outdone by his friend and classmate, Thornton’s Travis Snyder needed only three attempts across all heights to shatter the state record in the pole vault.

Snyder easily cleared 15 feet and 15-9, then went for the state record on just his third vault and cleared 16-0.25, eclipsing the mark of 16-3 set by Scarborough’s Sam Rusak in 2017.

After executing a backflip in celebration, Snyder had the bar raised to 16-7 and again was successful on his first attempt, breaking the all-time Maine best of 16-6.5 by David Slovenski of Brunswick at the 2008 Nike Indoor Nationals. Then he tried 17-0.25, but did not clear the bar.

“I’ve wanted to get the state record all year,” he said. “I saw Jason get the record, and I didn’t want him to be the only one.”

A 15-year-old mark fell in the boys’ 800 when Mahamed Sharif of Westbrook ran 1 minute, 55.45 seconds to break a record set by Edward Little’s Sam Fletcher in 2004. Sharif, who ran 1:54 in January at the Dartmouth Relays, said he knew he would get the record.

“I felt super-strong. My training has been so intense,” Sharif said.

Meanwhile, Cheverus sophomore Victoria Bossong led her team to the championship by setting three Class A records.

She ran 7.20 seconds in the 55, lowering the 7-year-old record of 7.22 set by Alexis Dickinson of Brunswick. Then she broke teammate Emma Gallant’s 400-meter record of 57.80 with a blistering time of 57.13.

She capped her day by posting a time of 25.43 in the 200, beating the record of 25.80 set by Kristin Slotnick of Brunswick in 2007.

Scarborough junior Jarett Flaker broke his own state-record of 6.50 in the 55 with a time of 6.46. He also won the 200 (22.65) and 400 (50.20).

 

Milo Bloom, left, of Portland and Jayden Flaker of Scarborough compete in the 55-meter hurdles at the Class A indoor track and field state championships at USM in Gorham on Monday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Jill Brady) Portland Press Herald photo by J

Jason Montano of Thornton Academy breaks the state record with a throw of 62.75 feet in the shot put at the Class A indoor track and field state championships at USM in Gorham on Monday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Jill Brady)

Zackary Allocca of Bonny Eagle competes in the long jump at the Class A indoor track and field state championships at USM in Gorham on Monday. (Portland Press Herald photo by Jill Brady)


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