Indoor Track: Local standouts travel to New Englands

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Nyagoa Bayak poses next to her winning mark, 5-10.00.Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

BOSTON—A battery of local standouts visited the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College last Saturday, March 3, for this season’s New England Indoor Track Championships.

Area schools in Class B sent small contingents: Ethan Ray, Zoe Barnes and Madison Post repped for Gray-New Gloucester, while Sam DeSouza carried the Lake Region banner.

Westbrook sent three athletes — Nyagoa Bayak, Dominic Creenan and Mahamed Sharif — while Windham sent one, Alex Wilkins. Bonny Eagle sent a trio of relay squads (the boys 4×200 and 4×800 and the girls 4×800), and two Lady Scots (Kayla Raymond and Ami Beaumier) competed individually. Likewise, Gorham contributed a 4×200 boys quartet and a 4×800 girls quartet, as well as six competitors (Evelyn Kitchen, Iris Kitchen, Meadow Fortier, Anna Slager, David Drew and Anthony Chase) in individual events.

Bayak’s story is no doubt the biggest on the day. The junior cleared 5-10.00 to claim gold in the High Jump. Her nearest competitor, Zoe Dainton of Hingham, Mass., trailed her by three full inches. Bayak’s result ties the meet record, set by Heather Francis of Dartmouth High School in Massachusetts in 1994. Francis also holds the New England record, 5-11.00, set a year later. According to athletic.net, Bayak is currently ranked fourth in the country in the event. Two girls, Shelby Tyler of Noblesville, Ind., and Jenna Rogers of Rutherford, N.J., are tied for first at 5-11.00, while Sydney Banks of Osbourn Park, Va., sits in third at 5-10.50.

Creenan competed in two events, the Long Jump and the 55 Hurdles, though he didn’t turn in his best performance in either. The senior ran his Hurdles prelim in eight seconds flat, and missed out qualifying for the final. By contrast, he won the Maine crown with a 7.78 back on Feb. 19. That time would’ve earned him fifth at New Englands, but again, Saturday just wasn’t his day. Billy Powers (Winnacunnet, N.H.) ultimately took first in the event, in 7.40 seconds.

Similarly, Creenan’s winning attempt in the States Long Jump, 22-00.00, would’ve been good enough for fifth at New Englands. But he topped out there at 20-09.00, taking 12th — still a respectable finish, of course. Dyshon Vaughn of Career, in Connecticut, won the contest, leaping 23.05.00.

Sharif competed in the 600, where he finished middle-of-the-pack (specifically, 16th) in a time of 1:25.25.

Wilkins vied alongside Creenan — the two are friends, and friendly rivals — in the Long Jump. While Creenan outperformed Wilkins at States, Wilkins held the upper-hand at New Englands, turning in a distance of 22-03.00, which earned him fourth. He also took part in the 300, though he finished near the back of the pack in that event.

The Bonny Eagle boys 4×200, Andrew Pendleton, Derek Cole, Zack Allocca and Max Harris, ran a 1:35.76, placing them 18th (of 29 outfits competing) overall. The 4×800, Anthony Breton, Liam Willey, Christian Tomison and Aiden Willey, also finished 18th (of 25), in a time of 8:37.42. The Lady Scots 4×800 (Gretchen Biegel, Amelia Alexander, Abigail Nelson and Ami Beaumier) came in 19th (of 25), in 10:19.90.

Individually, Beaumier took 10th in the Two Mile, in 11:17.28. Jacqueline Gaughn of Exeter, N.H., won the race, needing just 10:09.20 to do so. That time, as it turns out, is a New England record. The previous record of 10:10.50, set by Lynn Jennings of Bromfield School in Harvard, Mass., stood for 39 years, 364 days.

For her part, Raymond finished 15th in the Mile, in a time of 5:23.49.

The Gorham boys 4×200 finished two slots back from Bonny Eagle. Luke Gowen, Wil Rossignol, Tyler Rollins and David Drew put together a 1:36.35 on the afternoon, placing them in 20th. Drew finished 23rd in the 55 Dash prelims in 6.84, and thus missed qualifying for the finals. John Caouette of Oakmont, Mass., eventually won that race in 6.41. Chase finished 27th (of 30) in the Two Mile, in 10:26.74. Ryan Oosting of Arlington, Mass. took first, in 8:57.59, a new meet record.

Over on the girls’ side, the Rams’ 4×800, Kate Tugman, Iris Kitchen, Fortier and Slager, took 10th, in 9:40.45. Individually, Slager finished 19th in the two-mile (11:37.49), Evelyn Kitchen 11th in the Long Jump (16-10.50), Iris Kitchen 18th in the 1000 (3:06.95) and Fortier 25th in the same race (3:14.12).

Gray-New Gloucester’s Ethan Ray completed the two-mile in 10:50.83; that number lodged him in last, however. Lady Patriot Zoe Barnes finished in 25th (of 29) in the Shot Put, throwing 32-10.00. Teammate Madison Post finished 16th in the 55 Dash prelims (7.621), missing the cut for the finals.

Lake Region’s lone competitor, Sam DeSouza, finished a slot back from Barnes in the Shot Put, hitting 32-03.00.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME

Nyagoa Bayak poses next to her winning mark, 5-10.00.

Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

Windham’s Alex Wilkins finished fourth in the Long Jump.

Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

Dominic Creenan competed in two events at New Englands, the Long Jump (seen here) and the 55 Hurdles.

Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

Anna Slager runs in a relay for Gorham.

Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

Ami Beaumier competes in a relay event for the Scots.

Photo courtesy of Derek Veilleux.

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