HAMPDEN — After pulling off the upset of last year’s Class A state meet by coming out of seemingly nowhere to win the 4×800 boys relay, Messalonskee knew it couldn’t sneak up on anyone this year.

With three-quarters of the team back, the Eagles still had a few surprises up their collective sleeve.

Carson Bessey, Zach Hoyle, Owen Concaugh and newcomer Daniel Turner won the 4×800 easily in 7:58.40 — the second-fastest time in state history — and propelled Messalonskee to a fourth-place finish overall at the Class A state track and field championships.

“It was a real shocker for us,” Hoyle said. “It’s blood, tears and prayers that got us through. The place was nice, but knowing we cold go sub-eight (minutes), which places us with the best in New England, it’s amazing.”

Scarborough cruised to the boys team title over Falmouth, which took the girls team title over Lewiston.

All four Eagles — Bessey is the only senior, the rest juniors — ran personal best times on their leg of the relay to finish just four seconds shy of the state record of 7:54.32, set in 2010 by Cheverus and more than seven seconds ahead of second-place Scarborough.

Scarborough finished with 84.5 points, Falmouth 55, South Portland 54 and Messalonskee 51.5.

“I think we were really hoping for a top 10 finish in team points,” Eagles coach Matt Holman said. “We picked up points in a few areas — the 4×800, hurdles, 800. It’s tough because the kids love that race (4×800). They won last year and they really wanted to come back and defend their title. Indoor (track) they got knocked off by Scarborough. It’s tough the first race of the day to put all your best athletes in there and then you kind of hope they hang on in their individual events. They came back and competed really hard and ran great times.”

Hoyle was fourth in the 800 and fifth in the 400. Concaugh finished fourth in the 1,600 and rallied from a slow start to win the 800 in 1:58.36.

“I got cut off (at the start) and was like sixth or seventh,” Concaugh said. “I worked my way back into the back stretch, got into second with about 500 meters left. I knew I’d be fairly tired after running the mile and 4×800, but I figured if I could move up to first in the last lap, I’d have a little more adrenaline to finish the last 100 meters.”

Adrenaline helped Skowhegan’s Maddy Price overcame a pulled right hamstring suffered at last week’s KVAC championships to win the triple jump and finish third in the 100.

Price, a senior, couldn’t practice with the hamstring wrapped all week, and wasn’t sure she would be able to compete in the 100 prelims.

“I felt it in the prelims (where she was the second-to-last qualifier), but in the finals, the adrenaline just carried me,” she said. “I wasn’t going to go, but I really didn’t want to give up my last meet.”

The hamstring felt better at the start of the triple jump, but Price still needed to set a new personal best with her third jump at 37-feet, 3.5 inches, to feel comfortable about holding off Lewiston’s Adela Kalilwa.

“I was ahead of Adela by a quarter-of-an-inch by then,” said Price, who likely won’t compete in New Englands because it’s too close to her graduation. “It was intense. I knew this had to be it and this was my last jump ever for high school. So I definitely went out on top.”

Skowhegan’s Leah Savage was third in the triple jump, fifth in the high jump and second in the long jump behind Kalilwa, who set a new state record at 18-feet, 3.75-inches.

Price and Savage helped the Indians turn in the top team score among local schools with 33 points, good for eighth place. Falmouth (75), Lewiston (62) and Cheverus (60) were the top three.

The Cony girls finished 11th overall thanks to a second-place finish from the 4×800 relay team of Talia Jorgensen, Tara Jorgensen, Lindsay Watts and Anne Guadalupi. Guadalupi also finished sixth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200. Gabby Low was third in the javelin.

Other top performers included Messalonskee’s Avery Brennan (fourth in 800, seventh in 1,600), Emily Steinmeyer (fifth in javelin) and Liz Larson (fifth in race walk).

Other standouts for the Messalonskee boys were Tanner Burton (second in 110 hurdles) and Dylan Labun (fourth in pole vault) and Jesse Donesvitch (fifth in 100). Labun and Donesvitch also combined with Hoyle and Concaugh for fifth in the 4×400.

Cony’s Matt MacGregor picked up four gold medals in the wheelchair division, uncontested, in the 100, 400, shot put and discus.

Mt. Blue’s Nate Pratt-Holt finished third in the long jump and triple jump.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]com

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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