Forty-five years is a long time to wait.

It’s especially hard when you come so close to ending the long wait the year before, but fall just short.

That was the position the Bonny Eagle Scots boys outdoor track team found themselves in this past Saturday at the Class A state outdoor track championships. Last year, the Scots lost by just one point, being edged out on the last race of the meet by Thornton Academy.

It was an eerily similar situation at Thornton Academy on Saturday, going into the final race of the meet, the 4×400-meter relay, the Scots had a slim 1 2/3-point lead over Edward Little, and needed to finish ahead of the Red Eddies to clinch the title. If Eddies beat out the Scots in the race, they would go home disappointed once again.

The Scots’ team of Caleb Gosselin, Cody Marean, Joey Collins and Nick Winslow rose to the occasion, beating not only the Red Eddies, but winning the race outright to clinch the win for Bonny Eagle, giving the school its first outdoor track title since the Scots won the Class M (the equivalent of today’s Class B) championship in 1964.

The Scots finished with 77 points with Edward Little coming in second with 68.33. Windham was 11th with 26 points.

Scots’ coach Greg Wilkinson, whose father coached the Scots to that 1964 title, said on Tuesday that he was still having trouble describing his feelings about winning the championship. “I was lost for words (after the meet),” he said. “I still am, it hasn’t totally set in. It’s awesome”

Winning track titles is a bit of a family tradition for Wilkinson, both he and his father won at Bonny Eagle and his brother John won an indoor track championship at Gorham.

The Scots were led by senior Jamie Ruginski, who scored individual championships in the 110-meter hurdles (15.16), the 300-meter hurdles (39.16) and the triple jump (44-9.75). He also finished second overall in the long jump, being just edged out by Portland’s Imadhi Zagon 22-1.5 to 21-11.

Besides running the anchor leg in the title-clinching relay, Winslow also scored points for the Scots in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing third in 15.54 and he also was a member of the Scots’ 4×100 relay team with Justin Denney, Marean and Caleb Gosselin that finished third overall.

Nate Doehler picked up some key points for the Scots in the javelin, finishing second with a top throw of 168-7 and Christian Malarsie was third for the Scots in the 1,600-meter race walk.

Wilkinson said the team didn’t forget last year’s heartbreaking loss and carried that memory all season. “I think they felt some pressure throughout the season, especially after losing by one point last year,” he said, adding the team was “ecstatic and exuberant” after clinching the championship. “It’s great for the kids (that they broke through this year).”

Going into the meet, Wilkinson said he was hearing that the Scots were the favorites to win the title, but he dismissed that talk, saying the only way to win the championship is on the track, not on paper. “No matter what, paper’s very thin,” he said. “You have to go out and do it.”

The only thing that would have made this win more special, Wilkinson said, was if he could have shared it with his dad, who passed away some time ago. “I wished my folks were there to share it with me,” he said. “(Winning the championship), it’s a fulfillment. I had a great teacher in my dad and it’s great that the kids and I had the chance to fulfill what my dad paved the way for.”

In other local results from the meet: Windham’s Pat Ciez was the athlete of the meet for the Eagles. He won the individual high jump championship with a top height of 6-5, five inches better than Zagon, who cleared six feet even. Ciez also finished third overall in the long jump with a top distance of 20-9.5 and he was seventh in the triple jump with a top distance of 40-5.

Windham’s Eric O’Connor placed third in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13-6. The Eagles’ Garrett Clemmer finished sixth in the 1,600-meter run, coming in at 4:37.21 and Nate Dixon was seventh in the javelin with a top throw of 148-2.

On the girls side, the Scots finished 11th with 29 points and Windham was 16th with 5.5. The Scots’ Emily Durgin won the 3,200-meter run in 11:07.24, she also finished second in the 1,600-meter run. Windham’s Katie Cook tied for fifth in the pole vault with a top height of 8-6 and Reilly Sullivan was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 47.89.

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