SACO – Connecticut schools dominated the New England track and field championship Saturday, winning 18 of 34 events at Thornton Academy. But where Maine athletes won, they rocked it.

Bethanie Brown of Waterville won the 1,600 meters, in 4 minutes, 50.39 seconds – the best-ever time for a Maine schoolgirl, though only results from state championship meets are recognized as official state records.

Brown also led the 3,200 from the start, pulling away to win by 13 seconds in 10:31.19.

In the boys’ meet, Matt McClintock of Madison won the 3,200 by 11 seconds in 9:06.24.

“After 200 of the last mile, I looked back and couldn’t believe I had that much of a lead,” said McClintock. “I was seeded sixth. I knew I had a shot at winning, but I didn’t expect to pull away by that much. I knew I had to just stay in the moment, run hard and go for the win.”

Other boys who scored were Tom Reid of York, sixth in the 300 hurdles (40.09); Patrick Rice of Windham, sixth in the triple jump (44-0¼); and Harlow Ladd of Messalonskee, fifth in the 1,600 (4:22.32).

Brown bettered the unofficial 1,600-meter record of 4:51.57 set by Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk in 2010.

“She’s one of those rare athletes that comes along once in a while,” said Waterville Coach Ian Wilson. “To double at the New Englands on a hot day is tough. And the girl behind her in the 3,200 has run 2:11 at 800 and has a big kick. Bethanie knew she had to push the pace and suffer over the last mile to drop her. I couldn’t be more impressed with her effort.”

Brown said the last half of the 3,200, just like the last lap of the 1,600, was all about pain.

“I did want the all-state record in the 1,600. I didn’t think about the win when I went into first. I didn’t think about the other girls. I just felt strong and just kept trying to push it,” Brown said.

Sarah Perkins of Gorham finished second in the 300 hurdles (44.41) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (14.80).

“I was seeded fifth (in the 300 hurdles) and wanted to get the top five,” said Perkins. “And before the race Coach (John Caterina) yelled, ‘Perkins, you can get top three.’ Honestly, we have this relationship where when he tells me I can’t do things, it fires me up. When he said I could do that I went out and killed it.

“To even podium at the New Englands is great. To get second, I’m very proud.”

Erzsebet Nagy of Lawrence took sixth in the 800 in 2:13.17, the fastest time ever by a Maine runner. The previous best was 2:15.13 by Kaitlynn Saldanha of Scarborough in 2007.

“I felt pain at the end but it was a good pain. That was the fastest I’ve run a 400 (split of 1:02), but I told myself, ‘I need to run it like a 400 and then just hang on.’ I didn’t think about what could happen, I just focused on running hard,” Nagy said.

Jocelyn Lorrey of Traip Academy finished sixth in the triple jump (36 feet, 9¼ inches); Edward Little took third in the 400 relay (49.70); and Corinn Bedell (57.92) of Fryeburg Academy and Teal Jackson (57.93) of Brewer were fifth and sixth in the 400.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

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