DOVER-FOXCROFT — The seventh hurdle. Just get over that seventh hurdle.
One year after tumbling to the track while straining for the lead, Traip Academy senior Ashleigh Roberts overcame her mental stumbling block to win the 100-meter hurdles at the Class C track and field state meet Saturday afternoon at Foxcroft Academy.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking,” she said. “Same track. But it worked out in my favor this year, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
After clearing the problematic seventh hurdle, Roberts floated over the final three barriers to win the race in 15.90 seconds, her personal best.
“I’ve never watched the video,” she said of her tumble. “I mean, I watched it once but I stopped it before I fell.”
The Traip girls finished second to Orono, which won Class C for the third year in a row. The final scores: Orono 102, Traip 74 and Seacoast Christian 43, followed by 32 other schools.
Lisbon captured its first boys’ title by placing third in the final 1,600-meter relay to hold off Orono, 67-61. North Yarmouth Academy moved up from fifth to finish third overall at 60 points, thanks to a runner-up showing behind Monmouth Academy in the last relay.
Maranacook was fourth at 58, followed by Sacopee Valley (55) and 24 other schools.
“The town of Lisbon is going to be voting for a new track,” said Lisbon Coach Dean Hall, enjoying the first state championship of his 36 years at the helm. “I hope this will encourage them to support the track so the kids won’t have to run on dirt anymore, and this would not be such a rare occasion.”
Roberts wasn’t the only athlete who erased disappointing memories of last year’s state meet. NYA senior Michael McIntosh came from behind to win the 100-meter dash in a Class C record 11.39 seconds.
“Until this year I’ve always had bad luck at states,” McIntosh said. “Last year I was seeded third and I finished fifth. I couldn’t find my blocks and they actually slipped on me.”
Sumner junior Baramee Janla broke from the blocks ahead of the much taller McIntosh, who needed nearly 90 meters to catch up.
“There’s not a lot of times when I do have someone in front of me so I knew I had to book it,” McIntosh said. “Knowing it was my last race gave me that extra drive.”
Actually, McIntosh will run next weekend at the New England championships. He also anchored NYA to its third straight championship in the 400 relay.
McAuley senior Olivia Smith, who will play basketball for Dartmouth College next winter, finished her first state meet with 28 points – enough to put McAuley in a tie for fifth place with Yarmouth and St. Dominic – by winning the discus and javelin, and placing second in the shot put.
Smith played AAU basketball her first two high school springs before giving field events a fling. She missed the 2013 state meet after tearing the ACL in her left knee. This year she came within five feet of the Class C record by tossing the discus 122 feet, 3 inches. Her winning javelin throw sailed 122-3.
“I mainly do discus,” she said. “Shot and javelin are just to have fun. I enjoy getting down the techniques to get everything clicking the way that it should.”
The only other girls to win two events were Orono sophomore Lauren Stoops (100 and 200) and Mattanawcook Academy freshman Tia Tardy (800 and long jump). Joining Roberts on the victory stand for Traip was junior Elora McCuddy, who won the 400 in 59.05 and placed third in the 800, an event she won last year.
Seacoast Christian juniors Kylene DeSmith and Laken Kerrigan won the triple jump and 1,600, respectively. Kerrigan and Ali Morin placed 1-2 in the 1,600, finishing within a second of each other.
“‘We’re a tiny school,” said Morin. “There’s only 10 students in our junior (class).”
Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar (1,600 and 3,200), Marques Houston of Monmouth (200 and 400), Ron Helderman of Madison (110 hurdles, pole vault) and Eric Hathaway of Maine Central Institute (javelin, discus) each won two events.
Yarmouth junior Darren Shi won the shot put by an inch, at 49 feet, 5 inches, edging Foxcroft senior Corey Bjornson. Ryan Moulton led Sacopee Valley with a victory in the triple jump (44-2) and a second in the long jump (20-41/4). Isaac LaCroix of Seacoast Christian won the 800 (2:01.96) and placed third in javelin (152-10).