The stars of the day were unquestionably the shining new track at Lewiston High School and the weather.
The forecast called for cloudy skies and no one could be blamed for assuming that would also have included the omnipresent Maine rains of April 2019. But the sun broke through by early afternoon and brought with it blue skies and hearty spring breeze that no doubt impacted the performances at the inaugural high school meet at Lewiston High.
The meet, originally scheduled for April 11 was delayed by weather and other scheduling considerations until the final day of the month. With Lewiston set to host the Class A State Championship in just one month it was good to get the compressed 2019 track season under way. While Lewiston did manage to take part in the Vacation Invitational, Cony picked up a meet at Morse. Maranacook's own home opener was postponed too but the Black Bears managed to to jump and throw at the Husky Throw Down this past weekend. Winslow hosted its home meet last Friday
In an unusual concession to the weather Lewiston, Brunswick and Cony will meet again tomorrow, May 2, at Cony along with Messalonskee, Oxford Hills, Belfast, and Morse.
The centerpiece of the remade Franklin Pasture Athletic Complex, the track sits between the Don Roux Field (football, soccer) and the Joseph Deschenes Field (field hockey); both turf facilities were in use with baseball on one side and lacrosse on the other. The fields have had plenty of use this spring as sodden fields have led athletic directors from Brunswick to Bangor to schedule "home" games here by the courtesy of the Blue Devils.
The five teams on hand were able to break the new track in nicely despite the wind. Julia Reny led the Cony women to a comfortable win the 4 x 800 over Winslow and the Rams never looked back, taking 127 points to Winslow's 95 for the meet. The Black Raiders returned the favor to wrap the meet up as Olivia Tiner took the anchor leg of the 4 x 400 with a lean at the tape to just squeak by Reny. Rounding out the team scoring were the hosts with 88 points while Brunswick and Maranacook matched up with 41 a piece.
On the Boy's side the Blue Devils claimed the top spot with 157 points while Brunswick collected 109 for the runner-up position. Cony (54), Maranacook (48), and Winslow (25) followed.
Cony girls took titles in six events as Anna Reny claimed the top spot in the 100 meter hurdles (16.96), the 300 meter hurdles (48.88), and the 200 (27.63). Sister Julia threw the javelin 101-01 to win that event and had a leg of the winning 4 x 8 team; she also took second in the 800. Each of the Renys had a leg of the 4 x 400 as Cony placed second in the day's final race. Annemarie Towle took the 1600 meter race walk win (9:23.99) for the Ram's sixth top spot. While Anna Reny is the KVAC's dominant hurdler she has plenty of company within her own team. First years Kristen Kirk and Mallory Audette collected points for the Rams in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. Kirk was runner-up to Reny in both races.
Winslow, led by Carly Warn and Olivia Tiner, claimed five wins with Warn taking the 100 meter race (13.94) and the triple jump (34-04.50), while Olivia Tiner (5:51.38) nipped Cony's resurgent Cecilia Guadalupi in the 1600 and showed some sprinting cred by taking the 400 (1:05.09).
Tiner also took on Julia Reny in a shoulder-to-shoulder anchor leg for Winslow's winning 4 x 4 team. Tiner, Warn, and Kaelyn Lakey combined to take the top three spots in the open 400.
Benedict Citenga led the Blue Devils with wins in the long jump (15-02) and shot put (33-03). Lewiston took the top three spots in the shot, and Laila Bunnitt won the discus at 107-08. The Blue Devils 4 x 100 team also took top honors.
Maranacook had three winners as Sophie O'Clair (13:07.30) ran a patient race and used the eighth and final lap to overtake Tessa Jorgensen of Cony to claim the win in the 3200. Ashley Cray took the high jump (4-10) while Laura Ireland claimed the highest pole vault (8-0).
Brunswick's lone win was Maddie Wayne's 2:33.80 run in the 800.
By contrast the Brunswick boys took the top spots in eight events, just as did the Blue Devils. Lewiston's depth, particularly in the sprints, hurdles, and horizontal jumps, made the difference in the team title. The remaining three events were won by Maranacook.
Jabreel Muhammed-Aceto claimed the top spot in the 110 meter hurdles (18:41) to go with the second spot in the 300 MH where he conceded first place to teammate Asad Abukar (47:00). Noor Shidad won the 400 (53:25). Kamundala Crispin's hop, skip, and jump of 45-04 won the triple jump for the Blue Devils. The mark is a new personal best for the reigning KVAC outdoor champion. Jordan Carter's throw of 149-06 won the javelin, and senior Nicholas Roy continued his dominance in the 1600 meter race-walk with a winning time of 8:09.07.
Both the 4 x 100, and the 4 x 400 were won by Lewiston.
Brunswick's Hunter Parker led the Dragons with wins in the 100 (11.81), 200 (24:02), and long jump (20-11.50). The long jump represented a new personal best for the senior. Other winners for Brunswick included Tyler Patterson who just edged teammate Andrew Chingos for the win in the 1600 (4:44.74), Daniel Lyons took the 800 (2:16.69), William Shaughnessy ran 9:55.33 in the 3200 for a comfortable win, and Michael McCrum topped all pole vaulters at 11 feet. Brunswick's Sam Cenescar dueled Lewiston's Jeremiah Williams before taking the high jump with a final jump of 6-05.50.
Maranacook's 4x 800 team took the top spot in the day's first race. Double winner Ryan Wooster (135-11) had the longest discus throw of the day to go with the best put of the shot at 46-01.
Wind probably impacted some performances on the afternoon. The track is oriented so the long axis runs more or less east and west. The west end of the facility faces away from the school and is at the top of decent knoll with views over the spires of the city. With the April wind fairly gusty this resulted in a strong head wind for the sprinters and down the back-stretch on the distance events. By contrast the jumpers and javelin throwers had the wind at their backs. The long and triple jump runways have sand pits at both ends so the jumps can be run in either direction.
Before the State Championship meet on June. Lewiston will host the River Rivals meet May 18. It will be interesting to see how times change on this new track without the howling winds of April rolling up the hill and across the track. Even with the wind the meet featured some quality early season running.