AUGUSTA — Nervous and excited, Tyler Fitzgerald settled into the blocks for the 100-meter dash, one of the most anticipated events at the annual Cony Under the Lights meet Friday.
The Hall-Dale senior glanced to his right and saw his chief competition, Cony senior Luke Dang.
“The 100 is what I live for,” Fitzgerald said. “If he were to beat me in the 100, I would’ve been like ‘Oh crap.’ He’s just a crazy-good sprinter. He can run.”
So, too, can Fitzgerald, who made his return from a nagging left leg injury a triumphant one.
Fitzgerald, who’s been out the last three weeks, won the 100 in 11.16. Dang, who was seeded first in the event, finished second in 11.29.
“It’s great competition,” said Dang, who would rebound to win the 200 and 400. “I was very disappointed. I was looking forward to this one.”
Lisbon swept the meet, with the boys finishing with 164 points and the girls with 136.
The Erskine girls finished second with 127 while Cony was third with 104. The Maranacook boys finished second with 119 points while Hall-Dale was third with 104.5
Several athletes turned in stellar performances Friday.
Erskine senior Zac Lee won the 110-meter hurdles (15.81 seconds) and 300 hurdles((42.99).
“This meet is our biggest one before states,” Lee said. “It’s bigger than the (Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B) meet because we want to beat Cony. If I were going to get (personal records) it would be here.”
Maranacook’s Sam Nielsen was second in 15.95.
“One-third of the way in he was still right with me,” Lee said. “He kept up well. I was pushing it in the end.”
Cony senior Erin Bolduc also swept the hurdles, winning the 100 in 16.22 and 300 in 48.57.
“It’s my last meet at home and I wanted to finish strong,” she said.
Erskine’s Bridget Humphrey won the discus with a throw of 103 feet, 2 inches and the high jump (5-0). Jade Canak won the long jump (16-1) and triple jump (34-8).
Dang and Ftizgerald compete for schools in different classes — Hall-Dale in C and Cony in A — so their showdowns are often few and far between.
Last year, Fitzgerald edged Dang in the 100 but came up short to him in the 200 and 400.
History repeated itself Friday as Dang crossed the finish line first in the 200 and 400.
In the 100, Dang stumbled a bit out of the blocks and he never made up the time.
“I stumbled and had to catch myself,” he said. “It’s hard to recover from that in the 100. There is no recovery, actually. I should’ve won that race.”
Added Fitzgerald, who also won the long jump (19-9): “If he hadn’t stumbled it would’ve been a 10-times better race, but it was still a very, very good race. It was pretty close.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640