A Trip Down Memory Lane: Top State Meet Performances
The cancelation of the outdoor track season due to the coronavirus pandemic means we won't get to witness great individual performances at state championships. So how about we take a walk down memory lane and take a look at some of the best displays of individual talent since 2010. The performances are broken into three categories: 1) The Distance Triples, athletes who excelled in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at their state meet; 2) The Speedsters, athletes who dominated the sprinting events and relays; and 3) A Little Bit of Everything, those athletes who did a combination of distance, sprinting, field, jumping or throwing. Here are 13 of the best state championship performances since 2010.
The Distance Triples
Dan Curts, Ellsworth 2014
Curts nearly broke the all-time state record in the 1,600 en route to his three wins at the 2014 Class B Championships. He finished in 4:09.88, just missing the record of 4:09.69 set by Sintayehu Taye of Portland in 2005. It should be noted that Curts was pushed by Will Shafer of Gray-New Gloucester, who was a couple steps behind in 4:11.97. Curts would get challenged again in the 800, this time by Ben Trapani of Camden Hills, he came away with the win, finishing in 1:56.41 to Trapani's 1:56.60. Curts completed his masterpiece with an easy win the the 3,200 as he cruised to a time of 9:42.51. Curts scored 30 of Ellsworth's 41 points, leading the Eagles to a fifth place finish.
Erzsebet Nagy, Lawrence, 2013
On her way to claiming titles in all three distance events, Nagy broke facility records in both the 1,600 and 800 at the Class A Championships at Brewer High School. Nagy just missed a sub-5 effort in the 1,600 as she finished in 5:01.07, taking seven seconds off the previous record of 5:08.73. In the 800, Nagy pulled away from Sam Cox of Bonny Eagle to win in 2:16.79, breaking Aleta Looker's facility record of 2:18.81 the previous year. Nagy then ran to a comfortable win in the 3,200 in 11:33.81. In all, she scored 30 of Lawrence's 47 points, which was good enough to finish fourth as a team. It should be noted that the temperature was ninety-five degrees that day with the temperatures on the track at over 120 degrees making this triple even more impressive.
Bethanie Brown, Waterville, 2013
The same day Nagy set fire on the Brewer track, Brown was doing the same in Bath at the Class B Championships. Brown won the 1,600 by 11 seconds in 4:56.34, took down Ellsworth's Aleta Looker in the 800, finishing in a meet record of 2:16.50, and won the 3,200 in 10:36.36 -- just missing her own meet record of 10:34.79. For good measure, Brown also anchored Waterville's winning 4x400 relay team. Brown was at the peak of her high school powers in 2013 as she set all-time state records in the 3,200 (10:13.90) mile (4:51.54), and the 5k (16:41.84).
Matt McClintock, Madison 2012
Unlike the other distance stars on this list, McClintock didn't sweep the distance triple at the 2012 Class C Championships. But what he did in his wins in the 1,600 and 3,200 deserve recognition. In the 1,600, McClintock broke the meet record of 4:18.51, set by Brandon Bonsey of Falmouth in 2003, as he finished in 4:16.40 -- a full seven seconds ahead of the runner-up. The cross country All-American then finished second in the 800 to Winthrop's Kameron Souza (1:57.37) in 2:01.67. McClintock then saved his best for last as he set the meet record in the 3,200 as he rolled to a time of 9:16.92, breaking the previous record of 9:30.0 set by Scott Roberts of Maranacook in 1986. McClintock won the race by 27 seconds, and accounted for 28 of Madison's 34.5 points, which was good enough for a fifth place finish.
Will Geoghegan, Brunswick 2010
At the 2010 Class A Championships, Will Geoghegan of Brunswick delivered a performance for the ages as he won the 1,600, 800 and 3,200 running 4:12.57, 1:56.11 and 9:26.26, respectively. In addition, Geoghegan also anchored the Dragons' 4x800 relay to a runner-up finish in 8:05.92. Geoghegan's dominance in the distance events that day is even more impressive when you consider the talent and depth in Class A that year, which included Kelton Cullenberg of Mt. Blue, Luke Fontaine of Cony, Geogehgan's teammate, Liam Cassidy, and Cheverus junior Jack Terwilliger. Geoghegan's 30 individual points led Brunswick to its first state title since 1996.
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, 2019
At last year's Class A Championships, Bossong broke two meet records that were formerly held by athletes from her own school. She won the 400 in 55.54 to shatter the previous meet record of 56.57 set by Emily Turner in 2016. Bossong then won the 200 in 24.80 to dip under the 25.33 standard, which was set by her teammate, Emma Gallant in 2017. Bossong also won the 100 (12.31) and anchored Cheverus' winning 4x400 relay (4:07.16). Her 30 individual points propelled Cheverus to a third straight championship.
Jarett Flaker, Scarborough, 2019 It's a shame we won't get to see Flaker finish out a brilliant career this season, but his performance at last year's Class A Championships will be remembered for a long time. Flaker won the 100 meters (10.92), 400 (49.64), the 200 meters (22.49), and anchored Scarborough's winning 4x400 relay team (3:30.74). Flaker's 30 points helped lead the Red Storm to their third title in four years. Flaker would go on to claim a New England title in the 200 a week later.
Teal Jackson, Brewer, 2013
Even though Jackson won also won the long jump at the 2013 Class A Championships, I'm including her in "the speedsters" category for her dominance in the sprinting events that day. Jackson won the 100 (12.45), broke her own facility record in the 200 (25.58), and set the meet record in the 400 (57.00), breaking the previous record of 57.17 set by Cuyler Goodwin of Mt. Ararat in 1994. She scored 40 of Brewers 60 points that day, leading the team to a third place finish.
A Little Bit of Everything
Sam Rusak, Scarborough 2017
At the 2016 Class A Championship held at Hampden Academy, Scarborough junior Sam Rusak accomplished something that hadn't been done since the 1970's, he won four individual events in the Class A state meet. Rusak started off winning the 110 hurdles (15.01) a personal best, he followed that up with a 15-6 best in the pole vault, added a third win in the high jump with a 6-0 clearance, and closed his day out with a 22.82 personal best in the 200m to cap his fourth win. Sam's forty points helped the Red Storm to the team title with 84.50 points.
Travis Snyder, Thornton Academy, 2019
Snyder's versatility was on full display at the Class A Championships last spring. The current UConn Husky broke the all-time state record in the pole vault, clearing 16 feet, 9 ¼ inches, won the 300 hurdles (40.70) and 110 hurdles (15.15), and finished fifth in the long jump (20-07 ½). His 32 individual points propelled the Trojans to a runner-up finish.
Isaiah Harris, Lewiston, 2015
It's one of the most unique performances in recent history. In 2015, Lewiston senior Isaiah Harris took home individual titles in the 200, 800 and 1,600, and ran a leg on the Blue Devils winning 4x400 relay. He won the 200 in 22.25 seconds, beating Jake Dixon of Cheverus who would set the state record in the 400 during the meet. Harris then cruised to a win in the 800, his specialty, in 1:55.91, and then won the 1,600 in a PB of 4:18.92 in a race where he won by over four seconds. Then in the final event of the day, Harris anchored the Lewiston's 4x400 relay as the Blue Devils won in 3:28.24. His three individual wins helped Lewiston to the team title.
Kate Hall, Lake Region, 2014
While Hall would go on to break her own meet record in the 100 and long jump at the Class B Championships the following year, we're going with her junior year meet performance. Hall broke the meet record in the 200 in 24.36, won the 100 in 11.81, jumped 19 feet, ½ inches en route to her win the long jump, and took the title in the triple jump (36-05 ½). Maybe even more impressive, Hall scored all 40 points for Lake Region, single handedly leading the team to a fourth place finish.
Synclaire Tasker, Brewer, 2014
Winning three events and narrowly missing a fourth is certainly worthy of recognition. Tasker put on a show at the 2014 Class A Championships in Windham. She won the 300 hurdles by nearly three seconds in 45.47, took the 100 hurdles (15.35), claimed a title in the triple jump (37-03 ¼), and was the runner-up in the 200 (26.74). She scored 38 of Brewers 52 points, leading the team to a third place finish.