LEWISTON — The Waterville girls indoor track and field team went into the Class B state championship meet with a number in mind, 132. That’s the team record for points in the meet, and that’s what the Purple Panthers hoped to score.

Waterville didn’t quite reach that mark, the Panthers finished the day at Bates College with 118 points. That was plenty, however, and Waterville won it’s second consecutive state title and fourth in six years.

“Every year on the first day, we set the goal to come in here and win a state title. I don’t believe in talking to these kids about trying to be runner up, or being a top five, or anything like that. These girls really buy into that,” Waterville coach Ian Wilson said. “You know, I could sit here and talk until I’m blue in the face and that would do no good if I didn’t have a group of really competitive, hard working athletic kids who buy into that.”

The Greely girls finished second with 73.4 points, while Fryeburg Academy was third with 44. Winslow placed fifth with 32 points.

York won its first boys team title with 67.5 points, holding off second place Waterville (56.5) and third place Falmouth (52).

The Panthers’ depth was the difference. The Waterville girls picked up points in 12 of 14 events, but the day belonged to junior Bethanie Brown, who won the mile, the 2 mile and the 800, setting the state record in the mile, five minute, 2.15 seconds.

Brown knew the state record in the mile was within reach, but wasn’t sure she’d be able to do it and still compete hard in her other two races. Over the final lap, Brown pulled away from Greely’s Kirstin Sandreuter, winning the race by eight seconds.

“I knew I had to go out at kind of a good pace to do that, but I also wanted to save myself a little bit for my next events. I knew I had a big challenge ahead of me trying to get the win in three events,” Brown said.

Brown’s winning time in the 800 was 2:19.09, while she took the 2 mile in 10:59.68.

“I think what Bethanie Brown did in winning three distance events is just off the charts great. Girls distance running is very good right now, and she was the best of some very good runners today,” Wilson said. “A lot of kids were close to her. It wasn’t like she ran alone the whole day.”

The Waterville girls other individual winner was Olivia Thurston in the 55 hurdles, with a time of 8.68 seconds. Thurston came close to repeating as winner of the 400, where she set the state record last season, but was overtaken by Fryeburg’s Corinn Bedell just before the finish. Thurston finished at 59.97 seconds, to Bedell’s 59.95, in the closest race of the day.

Madison’s Matt McClintock earned wins in the boys mile (4:29.86) and 2 mile (9:31.63).

A trio of Waterville boys won individual titles: Nick Margitza in the shot put (53 feet, one inch), Devin Burgess in the pole vault (13 feet), and Jordhan Levine in the triple jump (41 feet, five inches).


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