LISBON — Lisbon’s streak of 13 consecutive Mountain Valley Conference boys championships came to a halt on Thursday when Mt. Abram succeeded across the board to grab the title.

But Mt. Abram didn’t sprint away with it. Rather, it battled with Hall-Dale, trading places and points all the way until the end. The Roadrunners scored 139 points, defeating the Bulldogs by six points.

Mt. Abram finished sixth and seventh in the 3,200-meter run to take a four-point lead on Hall-Dale heading into the 4×400-meter relay.

Hall-Dale trailed in seed time by 10 seconds to Mt. Abram, so the Roadrunners’ confidence was high heading into it.

Ben Butterfield was the anchor leg on the 4×400 relay team after running both the 1,600-meter (4:38) and 800-meter (2:05) runs. At the 200-meter mark of his leg, Hall-Dale had overtaken and Lisbon was hot on his trail.

Butterfield came back and sprinted to the win on the final straightaway, securing the MVC victory for the Roadrunners.

“I had jitters, you know, but knowing Ben how we know Ben, we knew he had a little bit more to give,” Mt. Abram coach Jim Danala said.

Butterfield entered the 2019 outdoor track season not thinking he’d be running the 1,600-meter race, let alone being a top competitor in it. The former sprinter and race walker competed well early in the year in the 1,600 and coaches asked him to continue it for the betterment of the team.

“Ben has always, no matter what event we put him in, risen to the occasion,” Danala said. “This year we wanted him to go out and lead for us. He was able to go out and provide what we needed.”

The plan worked, and Butterfield overachieved past his second-seeded place and won. Butterfield also finished second in the 800-meter.

On the girls side, from start to finish it was all Monmouth.

Entering the season, coach Tom Menendez didn’t know how his team would shape up, as he had just lost 22 athletes from last year’s MVC-title team.

Monmouth, like the Mt. Abram boys team, started the meet with a win in the 4×800-meter relay win and finished the meet by taking first in the 4×400. Monmouth scored 166.5 points, ousting Lisbon (105).

“We had some good performances,” Menendez said. “Kaitlyn (Hunt) winning the mile, Libby (Clement) winning the hurdles, the throwers. We lost 22 kids last year so it was tough rebuilding but they came in ready and did what they had to do. It means a lot to the kids. They worked hard. They knew we were at a disadvantage and they worked hard and came up. You can’t say enough.”

The Mustangs have now won the last three MVC girls titles and four of the last five.

Mya Sirois of Monmouth found herself on top of two podiums, first for the 100-meter hurdles (16.52), then for long jump (14-08.50).

“I just hoped to place in my events,” Sirois said. “That’s all I wanted today. I surprised myself in the hurdles. In long jump, I had done better but I am so proud of what I accomplished.”

Her teammate, Clement, was on the podium multiple times herself, winning the 300-meter hurdles (48.88). Alexa Allen took the 800 meter win (2:41) for Monmouth

The top female athlete of the meet was Winthrop’s Jillian Schmelzer, who won the 100 (12.93), 200 (27.00) and 400-meter (59.03) races.

Winthrop’s Aaliyah WilsonFalcone won the shot put (29-02.25), finished runner-up in the triple jump (32-03) and also finished in third in the 4×400-meter relay and 100-meter hurdles.

Lisbon/Oak Hill freshman Gabrielle Chessie won the triple jump (33-04), was runner-up in the long jump (14-02.50) and also got on the podium in the 100 and 200.

Mt. Abram had top-finishers on the boys side across the board, such as Jon Jordan, who won the 200-meter run (24.05) and the 400-meter run (52.31).

“Across the board, just everyone having a consistent day,” Danala said. “I want to say that it was really pleasing to have javelin throwers. We didn’t have the top one, but we had quite a few of them that made up the difference. Our runners had been solid all year long and they had been building towards this. We’ve got a lot of seniors this year and they’ve been working really hard and it was a culmination of all this effort.”

Hall-Dale had a strong day, finishing a close second.

Alixx Canwell took home gold in both the shot put (43-04) and discus (122-01), giving Hall-Dale 20 points. Canwell came into Thursday’s meet expecting to win and followed through.

“Obviously, (I was) coming in with the intention to win,” Canwell said. “I came out and knew what I had to do and I knew the season I had had so I came out and did what I was supposed to do. Pretty typical, routine work.”

Matt Albert won the long jump (20-02.50) for the Bulldogs. Ashtyn Abbott finished in second in the high jump and fourth in the long jump, adding on extra points in the race for first.

Spruce Mountain’s Carson Gross, in his first season of track and field, won the high jump with a jump of 6-2.

“This is my first year doing track so right now it’s just surreal,” Gross said. “I didn’t expect this result but I’m grateful and I’m looking forward to the future, I want to keep it going.”

Will Perkins won the 800 (2:04) and also won the 3,200 (10:48) for Boothbay. Perkins added a runner-up in the 1,600 (4:39.36).


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