Orono girls, Caribou boys are PVC Small School champs



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CARIBOU -- The express that is the Orono High School girls track and field dynasty churned its way through Caribou High School Saturday, once again leaving its PVC Class C brethren in its wake.

The Red Riots added yet another trophy to its collection under coach Chris Libby, blitzing the field with 205 points on a bright but blustery day.

Host Caribou was a distant second with 126 points, while Central's 87, George Stevens Academy's 71 and Penquis Valley's 28 rounded out the top five.

A new champion emerged on the boys' side in host Caribou, which accumulated 159 points to Orono's 121.

Washington Academy claimed third place with 68 points, Mattanawcook Academy fourth (44) and Greenville fifth (34).

Outstanding Performer honors went to Orono's Camille Kohtala and Cayden Spencer-Thompson of Mattanawcook, with Coach of the Year laurels going to Libby (boys) and Roy Alden of Caribou (girls).

Spencer-Thompson, one of the top long and triple jumpers in the nation, was his usual outstanding self, setting new conference records in both of his events with marks of 23-0.75 and 47-1.50.

"It's one of the better days of the season, so I knew it was going to be a good day," said Spencer-Thompson, who was jumping with the wind in the long jump but faced a headwind in the triple.

He wound up setting the long jump record on his final jump of finals.

"I've got to self-motivate myself a lot," Spencer-Thompson said, admitting he wasn't self-motivating himself until the final jump.

"I didn't land like I'm used to (in triple jump) so it felt kind of awkward," he said of jumping into the wind. 

Spencer-Thompson has also been putting less stress on his body this spring after doubling up on track and basketball during the winter, which has helped his focus and his jumping.

"My body's definitely feeling less stressful," he said.

In the team ranks, Caribou spread its points around well in earning the conference crown, with Evan Desmond picking up a victory in the 1,600 in 4:36.90 while he was second in the 800.

In both cases, Desmond and Orono's Jonathan Steelman had outstanding head to head duels, with Desmond pulling away slightly down the backstretch on the last lap while Steelman had just enough of a kick to outlean the Vikes' senior. 

Steelman was timed in 2:06.02 in winning the 800 while Desmond also won the 1,600 race walk, an event in which the Vikings went 1-2-5.

Caribou also went 2-3-5 in the 800 and won the 4x800 and 4x400 relays.

Caribou's other individual winners were Cory Jandreau in the 400 (53.21), Davis Levesque in the javelin (143-11) and Evan Michaud in the pole vault (12-6), an event in which the Vikes went 1-2 with Cory Jandreau clearing 11 feet.

Bangor Christian's Austin Keib was another double-event winner, claiming gold in the shot put (47-5.50) and discus (144-1).

Ben Baldwin of Greenville also picked up two wins, capturing the 100 (12.04) and 200 (24.19).



In the girls' meet, Orono was its usual unstoppable postseason self, making a case that the Red Riots are going to be a threat in next weekend's Class C state championships.

Kohtala, a junior, paved the way for the Riots' victory on this day, winning the 400 and 200 dashes and long jump while running second on Orono's winning 4x100 relay.

Kohtala was timed in 1:01.30 in the 400 and 27.62 in the 200, winning comfortably each time and using strong form to power down a frontstretch headwind that forced runners to use upper-body strength all day.

Kohtala's long jump mark was 16-3.50, and the Riots went 1-3-4-5 in the event, showing off the jumping event prowess that Libby's teams have been known for over their championship reign.

Orono's other double-winner was Lauren Melanson, who threw 28-6.50 to win the shot put and 105-10 to take the discus. 

The Riots would also go 1-2-4-5 in the pole vault, with Maggie Coutts' 8-foot vault leading the charge. Erin Gerbi and Isabel Henderson were Orono's other individual winners, with Gerbi taking the 3,200, where the Riots finished 1-2-3-6 to cement their win, and Henderson the 300 hurdles. Gerbi was also second in the 1,600.



George Stevens distance runner Mary Brenna Catus made a strong statement in the 800, cruising to a victory in 2:29.75, establishing herself as the Class C favorite in that race.

Catus, the top seed in a tightly bunched field, put the hammer down over the last 300 meters to win going away.

"It felt amazing, I've been working really hard since freshman year," said Catus. "This is the first big race that I've ever won."

The Eagles' senior admitted to not having a strategy, and sometimes that is the best way to approach a race.

"Coming into the race I didn't really have a plan," Catus admitted. 

Penquis junior Cymeria Robshaw was among the girls meet's other double-winners, taking the 100 dash in 13.42 and the triple jump at 33-6.50. She was also second in the long jump.

Caribou's Alexis Rodriguez also walked away with two gold medals, winning the 1,600 in 5:39.54 and the high jump, clearing 5 feet.

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