AUGUSTA — It was a good day to be Marcques Houston.

The Monmouth High School senior took home a trio of first place finishes — two individual, one relay — at the Mountain Valley Conference outdoor track championships Thursday at Cony High School in helping lead the Mustangs to a tie with Telstar for fifth place.

“Marcques stepped it up,” Monmouth coach Tom Menendez said. “He’s a leader, he’s focused, he anchored the winning 4×8 and he blasted through the 400. The 200 was definitely a season best.”

Even with Houston’s great day, there was nothing he — or anyone else for that matter — could do to stop Lisbon.

The Greyhound boys and girls won their ninth consecutive MVC titles, the boys doing so in dominant fashion with 177 points. Madison was second with 82. On the girls side. Lisbon needed the 4×400 relay to put Boothbay away 121.50-111. Locally on the boys side, Hall-Dale was seventh (39), Oak Hill ninth (33), Winthrop 11th (21) and Mt. Abram 14th (three). For the local girls, Winthrop was sixth (52), Monmouth seventh (46) and Hall-Dale 10th (31).

Houston took the 400 and 200 in impressive fashion, with times of 52.45 and 23.63 seconds, respectively, but his best performance came at the very start of the day.

He began his leg of the 4×800 with Lisbon in striking distance, but by the time his two laps had finished he had opened up over a 10-second lead. Houston, Stewart Buzzell, Luke and Dylan Thombs posted a final time of 8:49.61, nearly 12 seconds faster than Monmouth’s seed time.

“I was talking to (the guys) before the race because I was looking at Class C standings and we were out of first place by about 12 seconds,” Houston said. “It was not bad at all. We surprised ourselves for sure.”

Hall-Dale coach Jarod Richmond said he was pleased with his teams’ efforts but acknowledged the Greyhounds were just too tough.

“The Lisbon boys are very strong and they showed it today,” Hall-Dale coach Jarod Richmond said. “With their girls — I was talking with coach (Dean) Hall — and it was very similar to last year on the girls side like it was on the boys side. It all came down to the 4×4. I really feel for Nick Scott, the Boothbay coach; I really know what it feels like to be there.

“On our end I’m really proud of what we did today. We had a lot of kids PR.”

One of those athletes Richmond was proud of was senior Steven Longfellow, who jumped 41-feet, 2-inches to edge out Oak Hill’s Drew Gamage (41-3/4) in the triple jump. Longfellow added a third in the 300 hurdles, while teammate Steven Hubert placed third in the 110 hurdles.

Gamage had a strong day for the Raiders, adding second place results in the high jump (6-0) and long jump (19-5 1/2). Teammate Derek Gamage was third in the high jump.

On the girls side, it was a strong day for Winthrop’s Rachel Ingram. The Rambler won the long jump (15-9 1/2), took second in the triple jump (33-5 1/4) and anchored Winthrop’s winning 4×100 and runner-up 4×400 relays. Ingram teamed with Julie McConnell, Allison Berube and Emily Molino to record a time of 55.79 in the 4×100, while in the 4×400 she teamed with Joy Cognata, Jada Choate and Molly Kieltyka to post a time of 4:43.41.

“She had a phenomenal day,” Winthrop coach Ed Van Tassel said of Ingram. “She showed her composure, showed she was a leader and came through for her teammates big time.”

Hall-Dale’s Emma Watson clocked a 13:05.83 to place second in the 3,200, Rina Miyata set a new school record of 6-0 in the pole vault — good enough for second — and Lilly Ly placed third in the discus.

Monmouth’s 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams of Shayna Frost, Tiffany Pease, Sydney Wilson and Ashleigh Hartford also had nice days, placing second and third, respectively.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640 |

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley