AUGUSTA — The results of the Class C South cheering championship were being announced, and the runner-up spot went to Lisbon, the favorite and defending state champion.

Monmouth won the Class C South regional cheering title Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Right away, Monmouth senior Brie Bates began to realize what that could mean.

“I thought we were going to be runners-up,” Bates said. “And then I heard Lisbon, and I was automatically shocked.”

Moments later she was thrilled, as Monmouth totaled 73.6 points to beat Lisbon (73.1) by half of a point for the regional title Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Mountain Valley (64.3) was third, and Wells (61.8), Sacopee Valley (61.1) and Madison/Carrabec (58.3) also got top-six spots and the state final berth that came with them.

The win continued a strong debut for Brandon Ouellette, who took over as Monmouth’s coach before the season.

“This team is so dedicated,” Ouellette said. “The team is awesome, it’s the best team I’ve ever worked with. They’re fun, all they want to do is improve. (It was) not their best performance, but they put it out on the floor.”

Earlier in the afternoon, a pair of cheering powers bounced back from disappointments in Monday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships.

Bangor, which was edged by Oxford Hills earlier in the week, won A North for the third straight time with a 92.4, beating Lewiston (86.8), Oxford Hills (86.6), Hampden (76.8), Mt. Ararat (61.4) and Brunswick (60).

Medomak Valley, which was hampered by injury while losing to Leavitt on Monday, won its 10th straight B South title with 81.7 points, and finished comfortably ahead of Leavitt (73.9), Morse (69.8), Erskine (67.7), Gray-New Gloucester (67.6) and Freeport (61.4).

In the last event of the day at the Civic Center, defending Class A state champion Biddeford won its third straight South crown, scoring 86.9 points to finish ahead of Scarborough (85.3), Marshwood (79.9), Thornton Academy (78.8), Noble (75.5), Sanford and Gorham. The last two teams tied at 74.9, with Sanford getting sixth via degree of difficulty tiebreaker. All seven teams made the state field.

There was no repeat in C South, but it was close. There were four judges at the competition, each evaluating a different aspect to the routines. Monmouth topped Lisbon on three of the four judges’ cards, but only by a half-point or less in each instance.

After nailing the routine in practice Friday, Monmouth had a rough warm-up, Bates said. But when it was time to compete, the Mustangs delivered.

“It’s a total surprise. We dropped some stunts, they dropped some stunts,” Ouellette said. “It really comes down to the small, little things. Being clean, having fun, sportsmanship. … Between coming first and second, that’s the difference right there.”

The win took on a special meaning for junior Alicen Burnham, whose mother Leanne guided the Mustangs to a regional title on the same day in 2010.

“We came into this day saying, ‘This is our day, it’s our time to shine,'” Burnham said. “It’s truly special for me to come back 10 years to the day and win.”

Lewiston finished second in the Class A North regional cheering championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

‘PERFORM LIKE LEWISTON’

For Bangor, Saturday was about atonement as much as adding hardware. The Rams should have won the KVAC A title, but finished two-tenths of a point behind the Vikings after being tagged with a one-point deduction.

At the regionals, Bangor left no doubt. The Rams’ score was considerably higher than their 88.7 from KVACs, and their winning A North score of 85.6 from a year ago.

“It feels outstanding,” co-coach Kate Robichaud said. “I think that (KVAC result) made them work just a little bit harder this week, knowing that we lost on a deduction that we didn’t even know existed. It made them work extra hard, and they pulled off the win today.”

The Rams seemed disappointed following their KVAC set. On Saturday, after performing a nearly spotless routine, they were ecstatic.

“We tell them, ‘Perform like Lewiston,’ because that’s what they do,” Robichaud said. “They’re so confident, and we need to go out there and do that because we have the skills.”

Co-coach Stephanie Crane saw that confidence as well.

“I think once they nailed that first stunt, they could almost take a deep breath and say, ‘OK, our second stunt’s a little easier, our pyramid is braced,'” she said. “Once they’re past that first stunt and they’re opening tumbling, they can kind of sail away with it. They were good today.”

CHANGING OUTCOME

There was a redemption story in B South as well. Medomak Valley saw its streak of five KVAC B championships snapped after sophomore Emily Mahoney broke her hand the day before the meet.

“We had an hour to change our routine,” coach Heather Simmons said. “She was our elite tumbler, she was a base. … It takes you all season to perfect a routine, and we had to do it in an hour.”

On Saturday, the Panthers were prepared, ready and hungry. Freshman Aaliyah Thompson stepped up, and the Medomak machine kept rolling.

“We use our banners on the wall for motivation, but those are all different stories,” Simmons said. “We have our own story every year to make, and this team is no different.”

Erskine’s routine got the Eagles into the B state meet for the third time in program history.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic,” coach Julie Wing said. “Our goal today was just to go out there and be confident and hit and make it through, and that’s what they did.”

In A South, Biddeford shook off an early stunt drop to defend its title.

“I’m kind of disappointed in that, but glad for the win,” coach Deb Lebel said. “Usually it takes you down, but it didn’t take them down. They just kept going. … Coming into today, I was really nervous because we didn’t have a really good week of practice. I know they’re a good team, I know they can do better, so I was like, ‘We have a good chance, but we have to hit it.'”

After the miscue, the Tigers tightened it up and prevented more points from slipping away.

“If we fall or we get touched down or anything, it doesn’t really matter to us,” senior Alli Souliere said. “We know we are talented, no matter what.”

Up in Bangor, Hermon (88.2) breezed to the B North title, while Brewer, Ellsworth, Presque Isle, Old Town and Lawrence also clinched state berths.


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.