GORHAM — The congratulations were coming from everyone: teammates, professors, classmates, coaches, family members. And Peyton Dostie was getting a little embarrassed.

Dostie, a University of Southern Maine senior, had won the NCAA Division III pentathlon title by scoring 3,654 points at the Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 11, making her USM’s first female athlete to win a national title.

“People were like, ‘Oh my God, you are the national champion,'” said Dostie, who grew up in Standish and graduated from Bonny Eagle High School. “And I was like, ‘Can you stop?’ It was a little weird.”

That’s just the way she is. “She’s just very modest,” said Amber Dostie, her twin.

USM hasn’t had many Division III national champions. Its baseball team has won two, in 1991 and 1997. And Jamie Ruginski won four individual track titles in the men’s triple jump (indoors 2014 and 2015, outdoors 2014) and long jump (outdoors 2015).

“I think this was great for the school, Southern Maine, to have someone on top of the podium like that,” said George Towle, the women’s track and field coach at USM. “That was her parting gift to Southern Maine.”


For Dostie, it was an unexpected championship. She had finished eighth in the pentathlon at the 2015 championships with 3,391 points but had improved dramatically during this year’s indoor season, scoring a school-record 3,545 points in the event, which includes the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800 meters. That was good enough to earn a third seed for this year’s championship meet in Grinnell, Iowa.

She had the best time in the 60 hurdles (8.81 seconds) and 800 (2 minutes, 20.83 seconds), won the long jump (17 feet, 6¼ inches) and achieved personal-bests in the high jump (5-4½) and shot put (29-1) to win the title by 97 points.

“Taken event by event, I can tell you she was in the zone for six hours and that’s very impressive,” Towle said. “That’s obviously a big part of multi-eventing. You can’t get distracted. It was a workmanlike effort. She didn’t falter once.”

Dostie had gone into the nationals hoping to improve her score in the pentathlon and earn All-America honors, given to the top eight finishers.

“I just tried to stay positive,” she said. “I tried not to get worked up about things I couldn’t control. There was a lot going with the other athletes, some of whom were not doing well in events they normally do well in. You can get sucked into that.”

She stayed focused on each event, even as she realized that she was building a pretty good lead. After the shot put, the third event, she figured if she had one good jump in the long jump, she could finish at least in the top three. “I knew what all the other girls could run in the 800, so I knew I had a good shot,” she said.


Then she went out and had her best jump on her first attempt, putting even more distance between her and the others going into the final event, the 800. She won that race, and the pentathlon, convincingly.

Dostie also earned All-America status in the 60-meter hurdles when she finished eighth the next day. She qualified during the trials, which were held in the middle of the pentathlon.

“She was never one to miss any practice and was 100 percent committed to what she was doing,” Amber Dostie said. “She has excelled since middle school. She’s determined. She wants to do it and wants to do it well.”

The two attended St. Joseph’s College of Maine together as freshmen. Amber Dostie remained at St. Joe’s, where she competed as a distance runner.

Peyton Dostie was also an exceptional field hockey player after transferring to USM the next year. Twice she was named Little East Conference offensive player of the year.

Because St. Joe’s didn’t have a varsity track program during her freshman year, Dostie had four years of eligibility in the sport at USM. She earned a degree in business administration a year ago, but decided to return for a final year of track this year. She also added a second major, marketing, and will graduate in May with a second degree.


Dostie works at Seaport Credit Union in a marketing internship position, and doesn’t have plans to compete professionally. Both she and her sister can see her going into coaching at some point.

For now, after taking four days off after the national championships – “It felt like forever, not being at practice,” she said – Dostie is preparing for the outdoor track and field season. USM leaves Thursday for Jacksonville, Florida, where the Huskies will train and compete in several meets, including one Friday against Division I schools.

Dostie already is looking ahead to the competition, although she can still taste the marble cake with Best Creme frosting that her mother had for a championship celebration. “That was the big treat,” she said.

And her championship?

“Sometimes I think about it and it doesn’t feel like it happened,” she said. “But, yeah, it was definitely awesome.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.