SCARBOROUGH — It’s been a long wait – 16 years – for the Cheverus boys’ track and field team since it last won a state track and field championship. Based on the Stags’ performance Saturday at the SMAA championships, the drought might be almost over.
Led by the Yeboah twins – Isaac and Elijah – Cheverus easily won the league title with 116.25 points, ahead of Scarborough (80) and South Portland (78).
Thornton Academy, coming off a Class A indoor title, won the girls’ meet with 97 points, followed by Massabesic (67) and South Portland (65).
The victory ended a frustrating run for the Stags, who finished second in 2010 and 2012 and third in 2011. Cheverus last won the league title in 2010.
“When we talked to the team this morning to pump them up, we made everyone honorary captains today, so we’d work together,” said Isaac Yeboah.
“We’ve had a lot of good teams in the past five years, and every year we continue to have good teams, but other teams win,” added Cheverus Coach Steve Virgilio. “(By winning today) we achieve what we wanted to do, but we don’t shut down and act satisfied. We want that Class A championship.”
The Class A state meet is Saturday at Windham High.
The Yeboahs had a hand in almost half their team’s points. They went 1-3 in the 110-meter hurdles, with Isaac winning in 15.18 seconds. Isaac also won the 300 hurdles in 39.44, while Elijah took second (40.15). They also ran legs on the winning 400 relay (44.12) and 1,600 relay (3:28.20).
Isaac Yeboah said it’s been heart-breaking coming so close to league titles the previous three years. Elijah agreed.
“If we win today, it will easily be the happiest day of my life after getting second for so long,” Elijah said before the 1,600 relay.
Three other Stags won individual events, including double-winner Nick White, who was first in the shot put (52 feet, 1 inch) and discus (158-7). Tim Jerome won the javelin title (166-7), and Jake Dixon was first in the 200 (22.62) and third in the 100 (11.74).
Dixon said the Yeboahs fuel the team’s success.
“They are crucial. They carry us in the hurdles and they bring the most positive attitude and work ethic,” said Dixon.
“If we are going to win a state team title, this is the year to do it. When I joined the team as a freshman, I kept getting told we are going to win a team title.”
In the girls’ meet, Thornton got a huge lift from its jumpers, who took four of the top five spots in the long jump and four of the top six places in the triple jump for a total of 45 points.
Tori Daigle set a meet record in the long jump 18 feet, followed by Alex Pettaway in second (16-8), Anna Mehlinger in fourth (16-23/4) and Amanda Arnold in fifth (16-0).
Pettaway won the triple jump at 34-2. Brayden Costa took second (33-11/4), Arnold was fifth (32-5) and Olivia Libby finished sixth (32-5).
“We’re stacked in the jumps. We kind of a have a sense how we’ll do in meets after the jumps, because it gives us such a big bump with all those points,” said Pettaway.
Daigle also won the 100 hurdles (16.28) and was third in the 200 (27.63). Libby placed third in the 300 hurdles (50.28). Arnold took third in 100 hurdles (16.96) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (52.49).
Alexis Nason joined Mehlinger, Costa and Pettaway on the 400-meter relay that grabbed third place and six more points for the Trojans (52.68).
“I think we have a good shot at the state meet, if we all focus and compete to the best our ability like we did today,” Pettaway said.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at: