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  • Bangor Daily News

    Big stars show out at PVC small school track championships

    By Sam Canfield,

    2024-05-25
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4JBQSR_0tNw9PUk00

    From Aroostook County to Blue Hill, all of eastern Maine convened in Old Town on Friday for the Penobscot Valley Conference small school track championships.

    Distance running phenoms Ruth White of Orono and Teanne Ewings of Houlton caught plenty of attention, and athletes from schools such as Bucksport and Bangor Christian also turned heads.

    On the girls’ side, senior jumper Natasha Monreal and sophomore sprinters Haley Rose and Madison Rose helped Bucksport (146 points) defend its conference title, beating out defending Class C state champ Orono (131) and Houlton (64.5).

    Monreal won gold in the long jump and triple jump (plus silver in the high jump), and the Rose twins tallied 62 total points between the two of them. Haley (32.5 points) won the 100-meter dash, 200-meter, and 400-meter outright, and also helped lead the Bucks to gold in the 4×400-meter relay.

    “My favorite event’s got to be the 200, I quite enjoy it,” Haley said. “[This team] is close together, and always makes practice fun. The competition helps push me.”

    In the distance events, White (24.5 points) gutted out the 800-meter, 1600-meter, and 3200-meter runs, plus the second leg of the 4×800-meter relay, earning a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze.

    White, a senior, has won three straight New England cross country championships, and is committed to running distance at the University of New Hampshire next fall. Ruth’s younger sister Clara also ran a leg in the 4×800-meter relay and finished top-five in both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs.

    “Ruth’s a great leader, and a great runner,“ longtime Orono distance track coach Steve Dexter said. “There’s a lot of pressure, but I know what she’s going to do.”

    It was quality over quantity for Ewings (20 points), who took home gold in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter races, winning the first race by close to 14 seconds while setting a personal record of 5:02.6. She won the 3200-meter with a time of 10:35.6.

    Ewings’ teammates junior Natalie Johnson (first place in 800, third in 3200), and senior Leanne Ross (third in 1600, fourth in 3200) also helped the Shiretowners’ cause, scoring 26 total points.

    “We’ve got a strong [distance running] community, it’s awesome,” Houlton coach Chris Rines said. “I think the results you see today, I’d like to be able to repeat at states.”

    On the boys’ side, reigning PVC champs Orono racked up 56 points in the field (106 overall), edging out Bangor Christian (87) and Foxcroft Academy (82).

    Red Riot senior Cooper Sawyer won the discus with a personal record heave of 144 feet, 7 inches, and placed fourth in the shot put. Fellow senior Ben Francis placed fourth and second, respectively.

    “At Orono, we’re pretty blessed. We’ve had great athletes come and go,” coach Dexter said. “It’s nice to see kids getting PRs. It shows they’re still growing, and they get a lot of joy.”

    Led by seniors Colton White (22 points) and Jalen Reed, Bangor Christian dominated the triple and long jumps, collecting a total of two gold medals, a silver medal, and two bronze medals across the two events.

    Foxcroft Academy senior Jackson Smith won the high jump with a 6-foot-3 personal record, and fellow Foxcroft senior Jack Kingsbury (26 points) also won the 300-meter hurdles (43.2 seconds) and 110-meter hurdles (16.3 seconds) with personal records.

    In the distance events, Bucksport senior William Hileman and Sumner Memorial seniors Ren Salisbury and Kaleb Colson stole the show.

    Hileman (20 points) edged out Salisbury by three seconds to win the 1600-meter race with a 4:26.6 personal record performance, and barely beat Salisbury again to win the 3200-meter with a 9:48.1 PR.

    Salisbury (21 points) earned two gold medals alongside Colson in the 4×800-meter and 4×400-meter relays, and Colson also won the 800-meter individually with a time of 1:55.6.

    The PVC large school championships will take place on Saturday at Brewer Community School.

    Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the winner of the girls high jump. It was Kathleen Stephens of George Stevens Academy.

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