NAPLES — After a wet, cold spring, the athletes at the Western Maine Conference track championships at Lake Region High were rewarded with sunshine and high temperatures Saturday.

And they responded with some of their best performances of the year.

“Today was a beautiful day and I think that might have made a difference,” said Poland coach Rick Kramer, whose girls won the Division II championship.

“It felt great to run in good weather,” said Michael Murphy, who won the 200 and 400 for Sacopee Valley. “That’s why we did so well, I think.”

The Sacopee Valley boys won the Division 2 title with 166 points. Wells was second with 119 and Poland third with 81.

“We had a lot of guys have a great day today,” said Hawks Coach Ben Murphy. “We did great in the sprints, we did great in the throws and we did great in jumps. We had guys come out of nowhere.”

Poland won the Division 2 girls’ title with 213 points. Wells was also second with 125.5 and Traip Academy third with 88.

York swept the Division 1 titles. The Wildcats, boosted by four first-place finishes by Jon Rodrigues, scored 187 points to win the boys’ title, with Yarmouth second at 117.5 and Cape Elizabeth third at 82.

York used its depth to win the Division 1 girls’ title with 146.5 points, followed by Cape Elizabeth with 95. Greely and Gray-New Gloucester tied for third with 87.

York Coach Ted Hutch said his teams are built on depth, with 70 boys and 26 girls on the rosters. “We just cover a lot of events,” he said.

Rodrigues, a senior captain, won the 100-meter dash (11.71 seconds), the 200 (24.01), the long jump (19 feet, 8 3/4 inches) and triple jump (38 feet, 8 1/2 inches). “If I asked him to do 10 events, he would,” said Hutch.

Rodrigues didn’t think he was doing anything special. “I just try to do my best in every event,” he said. “Things just worked out today.”

Poland had some outstanding performances in winning the girls’ Division 2 title. Freshman Ellen Marquis-Boutin won the 100 (13.27) and 200 (27.92), Autumn Willis won the long jump (14-4) and triple jump (31-1 1/4), Faith Davis won the discus (83-9) and shot put (33-11), and Madison Wante took the high jump (4-8).

“Just awesome performances in all areas,” said Kramer. “Our girls (had personal bests) in a lot of areas … We were getting some unconventional scoring, where our fourth or fifth person would score, or girls who were struggling all season.

The Sacopee Valley boys also picked up numerous unexpected points, like the first-place finish in the pole vault by Sean Wedgewood. A baseball player last spring, like Michael Murphy, he tried  his first vault two weeks ago and won this event with a height of 10 feet.

Asked how he did it, Wedgewood said, “I don’t know. I just sent it. I don’t have a lot of fear for stuff like that.”

Coach Ben Murphy is hoping this week’s performances will carry over to the state championships next week.

“This is the hardest-working team I’ve ever coached and they just pay attention to all the little details that make us successful,” he said. “Momentum is everything this time of year. We had a lot of guys not only have a good day but improve on what they’ve done throughout the year. And that’s what you want.

“You want to be peaking the last few weeks of the year. We go into the states with a lot of momentum and we’re going to be right there.”

In individual awards:

• Darcy Cochran of Cape Elizabeth was named the meet’s outstanding female track performer. She won the 100 hurdles (15.55) and 300 hurdles (47.10), and finished  fifth in the 100.

• Zoe Barnes of Gray-New Gloucester was named the outstanding female field performer. She won the discus (105-07) and shot put (35-02).

• Jack Bassett of Cape Elizabeth was named the outstanding male track performer. He won the 1,600 (4:27.73) and 3,200 (10:02.19).

• Noah Eckersley-Ray of Yarmouth was named the outstanding male field performer. He was first in the javelin (155-04), second in the shot put and third in the discus.


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