SACO — Coming down the homestretch of the 200 meters at Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium, Jarett Flaker of Scarborough thought back to what his coach, Derek Veilleux, had said so many times at practice to the standout junior sprinter.

“Put my feet down, don’t lengthen my stride, keep staying smooth.”

Flaker did just that as he captured his first New England title Saturday, holding off Steven Doss of Rhode Island’s LaSalle Academy to win in a wind-aided time of 22.12 seconds. Flaker also added a runner-up finish in the 400 in a personal-best time of 48.23 and anchored Scarborough’s 1,600 relay team (3:26.35) to a 14th-place finish.

“It’s the best meet I’ve had, probably ever,” said Flaker, who earlier this spring ran the fastest 100 meters ever by a Maine schoolboy. “Especially coming back from injury, it’s a huge confidence boost.”

Thornton Academy’s Travis Snyder successfully defended his New England title in the pole vault with a height of 16 feet. After clearing that mark, he made three attempts at 16-10, which would’ve broken the New England meet record of 16-9 set by David Slovenski of Brunswick in 2008. Snyder nearly got the record on his first attempt, but his feet clipped the bar, which wobbled and then fell off as he landed.

“I just thought, man, that never happens,” Snyder said. “It always wobbles, but I thought it was going to stay on.”


Snyder’s teammate, Jason Montano, was the runner-up in both the shot put (60-6¼) and discus (177-5).

“It was pretty good,” Montano said of his finish in the shot put. “I mean, it was better than last week (at the state championships), so I was happy with that. It feels really good to finally be here, and to finish my high school career (in a meet at Thornton) is pretty cool.”

Mattanawcook Academy senior Cayden Spencer-Thompson also repeated as New England champion, winning the long jump with a facility record of 23 feet, 9¼ inches.

“I actually had no idea (I’d broken the record),” Spencer-Thompson said. “I had some good jumps in the prelims … I was hitting 24 feet, but they were fouls, so I just told myself to start sooner.

Spencer-Thompson also won the triple jump at 47-10½.

Falmouth’s Sofie Matson ran the third-fastest 3,200 in state history, as the sophomore finished second in 10 minutes, 24.07 seconds, dipping under the facility record of 10:31.19 set by Waterville’s Bethanie Brown in 2012. Matson hung with eventual winner Kate Wiser of Connecticut for much of the race, but Wiser pulled away over the final 100 meters to win in 10:22.24.

“I kind of lost track of the laps at one point,” Matson said. “I still have to work on timing my kick, because it’s not really a racing strategy I’ve used before.”

Maine had 11 other All-New England finishers (top six).

Scarborough’s Anthony Clavette was third in the high jump (6-3) and Westbrook’s Mahamed Sharif took third in the 800 (1:54.25). Other top finishers were Jacob McCluskey of Brewer in the discus (fourth, 156-9) Falmouth’s Emma Harrington in the discus (fourth, 126-6), Emma Gallant of Cheverus in the 200 (fourth, 25.21), Spruce Mountain’s Carson Gross in the high jump (fifth, 6-3), Gilbert Isaacs of MDI in the shot put (fifth, 55-9¾), South Portland’s Joseph Emery in the long jump (sixth, 20-11¼), Lewiston’s Jeremiah Williams in the triple jump (sixth, 43-10¾), Bangor’s Alyssa Elliott in the triple jump (sixth, 37-2¾), and Monica McLoughin of Caribou in the javelin (sixth, 120-4).

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