BATH — It was a somewhat bittersweet moment for the Waterville Senior High School track and field teams Saturday at McMann Field.

The Purple Panther boys and girls each entered the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championships as defending champs, yet the Waterville girls were the only ones to maintain their mantle by virtue of their 168 1/2-89 1/2 margin of victory over Belfast. Maine Central Institute and Camden Hills tied for third with 53 points, while Maranacook was fifth with 51 points.

On the boys side, Belfast took the top spot with 150 1/2 points and was followed by Waterville (80 1/2), Leavitt (71), MCI (53) and Oceanside (51 1/2).

“Before these big meets we sit down and look at where we stand on paper,” Waterville coach Rob Stanton said. “Our goal is always to improve upon that and both teams did that today.

“We knew coming in that the Belfast boys were going to be an awful tall order, so we really tried to focus on making sure we executed as well as we could. Our boys really did that (Saturday). They exceeded our expectations (Saturday). We’re really pleased with both teams.”

The Lewiston boys and girls took home the top spots in KVAC A with 128 and 125 points, respectively. Edward Little (95), Messalonskee (84 1/2), Lawrence (79 1/2) and Skowhegan (51) rounded out the top five on the girls side, while the Red Eddies (113 1/2), Brunswick (111 1/2), Messalonskee (85) and Mt. Blue (58 1/2) filed in behind the Blue Devils on the boys side.

Senior Sarah Shoulta led the scoring push for the Waterville girls, as she took home wins in the 100-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault. She added a second-place result as a member of the Purple Panthers’ 4×400 relay team as well, teaming with Kellie Bolduc, Lydia Roy and Rebecca Beringer.

Bolduc chalked up a win in the triple jump, second in the 100 hurdles and second in the high jump behind MCI’s Megan Noble. Lauren Brown also had a strong day for Waterville, winning the 3,200 meters ahead of teammate Cecilia Morin and also notched a victory in the 1,600 earlier in the afternoon.

“We still put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do the best that we can,” Roy, who was third in the 400 and second in the 800, said. “Even though in the meets we’re up by a lot we still pretend that it’s even so that we can push ourselves.”

There was some uncertainty coming into this season for the Waterville girls on just how well they could do given their personnel losses from a season ago, but beginning with last week’s win at the Community Cup, the Purple Panthers have shown they still have what it takes to be a force in Class B.

“It kind of proved to us that we have what it takes to come in and win a conference championship meet,” Shoulta said of the Community Cup result.

While the Waterville girls had the greatest overall success of any area team on hand Saturday, there were a number of individuals that had strong showings as well.

As expected, MCI’s throwers thrived as Katie Hughes and Eric Hathaway each earned the Don Matheson Award as the top female and male throwers, respectively, in KVAC B.

Hughes topped Mount View’s Jenni Nadeau to win the discus, while in the shot put she held off Maranacook’s Nicole D’Angelo for the victory. Hathaway was second in the discus and third in both the javelin and shot put, while teammate Curtis McLeod won the shot put and was fourth in the discus.

“Our throwing program is very strong, the strongest aspect of our team right now and it has been the past couple of years,” Hughes said. “…I respect Eric and Curtis a lot and get a lot of coaching not only from my dad and from my coach, but from Eric and Curtis as well.”

McLeod’s throw in the shot put prevented Waterville’s Trever Gray from taking home a pair of events, as the Purple Panther junior settled for second in the shot and won the discus.

Gray’s teammate, Chris Cote, picked up a pair of narrow victories in the 1,600 and 3,200, while Winslow’s Justin Martin took first in the javelin and Gardiner’s Treavon Horton won the 400.

The Black Raiders enjoyed a good amount of success on the girls side, as Lidia Santos held off Waterville’s Amy Samson to win the 100 and Paige Smith took the long jump. Smith, who had a breakout meet at the Class B championships last spring as a freshman, was also second in the triple jump.

Erskine freshman Kaylee Porter made a splash in her KVAC debut as she held off Roy to win the 800, while Mount View’s Angela Strain notched second place results in both the 200 and 400.

In the boys KVAC A meet, Mt. Blue’s Nate Pratt-Holt was named the Don Matheson Award winner after winning the long and triple jumps. Fellow Cougar Aaron Willingham held off Messalonskee’s Owen Concaugh to win the 1,600, but in the 3,200 he settled for second after getting edged out at the finish line by two-hundredths of a second by Lewiston’s Osman Doorow.

“Osman and I are always very close,” Willingham said. “Every time I use a strategy for a race I just do awful so I just try to have fun with a race.”

Messalonskee certainly had a bit of fun in the shot put, as Damen Bickford, Jacob Doyon and Klint Hall took up the top three spots on the podium, respectively.

“It’s pretty awesome, having two of your best friends up there with you is even better,” Bickford said of getting the win. “It really shows the hard work at Messalonskee to have three of the top podium places.”

Fellow Eagle Tanner Burton picked up a pair of victories in the 110 and 300 hurdles, respectively, while Lawrence’s Kyle Robinson took home first place in the discus.

Nokomis’ Erin Martin held off Lawrence’s Abby Weigang and Cony’s Madeline Reny to win the KVAC A girls 100 hurdles, while in the 300 hurdles the group switched places with Weigang besting Reny and Martin, respectively.

Messalonskee’s Avery Brennan settled for second in the 1,600, but bounced back later on in the afternoon to top Lawrence’s Kiana Letourneau in the 800.

Brennan’s teammates, Taylor Lenentine and Lucy Guarnieri, went one-two in the pole vault, respectively, while Skowhegan’s Maddy Price won the triple jump and Nokomis’ Austin Taylor placed first in the 400.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley