As usual, Scarborough assembled a thrilling run through the spring season, picking up two State Championships and elsewhere advancing deep into the postseason.

Arguably the Red Storm’s biggest story comes from boys outdoor track, where the school’s contingent picked up its first Class A crown since 2013. Not only did Scarborough win, they dominated, besting No. 2 Falmouth by almost 30 points: 84.5 to 55. Moreover, scoring leader Sam Rusak claimed four individual titles: the 200, pole vault, high jump and the 110 hurdles.

“Our performance at the state meet was special,” said head coach Derek Veilleux, “with Sam winning four events, plus Colin Tardiff finishing runner-up in the 1600 and 3200, along with the Andrew Sholl’s runner-up in the 800, plus the 4×800 finishing second and breaking the school record.”

“I think this state meet was the best performance by a team since I’ve been the head coach,” said Veilleux, who took the reins at Scarborough in 2004. “I’m proud of the entire team. The kids set out to complete the [triple crown] this spring, and they weren’t going to be denied.” The Gentlemen Red Storm also won the cross country and indoor track state titles.

Rusak went on to rep for Maine at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. There, he earned an astounding fourth-place finish in the decathlon.

“Sam had a huge performance at nationals, where he finished with a personal best 6565 to earn All-American honors,” said Veilleux. “He had the best discus throw and the top pole vault out of the 20 competitors.” 

Rusak hurled the discus 132-06 and cleared 15-05.00 in the pole vault. He took eighth in the 100 (11.55), 12th in long jump (19-04.00), seventh in shot put (39-08.00), fifth in high jump (06-02.00), 10th in the 400 (52.07), 11th in the 110 hurdles (16.30), ninth in the javelin (131-10) and fourth in the 1500 (4:50.65).

“Sam was tremendous this spring,” said Veilleux. “To earn All-American honors speaks volumes about his ability and talent – but none of that would have been possible if he didn’t put in the work. I can’t wait to see what next year brings for Sam; I know the best has yet to come.”

On the girls’ side of the track, Bethany Sholl triumphed at states in the 3200, as her squad powered to a sixth-place finish overall.

Joe Hezlep’s boys laxers might also qualify as the Storm’s biggest success story of the year. The squad likewise picked up their first state title since 2013, sailing past North reps Brunswick 18-10 in the Class A final. 

Scarborough compiled a 9-3 record to enter the tournament ranked first in the South. That seed naturally earned them a bye through the quarters; in the semis, they trounced rivals South Portland 16-4, and in the A South championship, they downed Gorham 12-8. It’s Hezlep’s sixth crown in nine years with the program. 

Girls lax, meanwhile, worked to get its feet beneath it. Stephanie Belanger, new to the post of head coach, ushered her girls into the playoffs ranked seventh at 4-8. Unfortunately, their first opponent, in the quarterfinals, was No. 2 Massabesic; the Storm bowed out of the tournament following a 15-4 result versus the Mustangs.

Tom Griffin’s softball outfit, favored to reach the state final yet again (since 2007, they’ve advanced that far five times) compiled a pristine, 16-0 record in the regular season, including a brilliant come-from-behind win over longtime rivals Biddeford, 4-3. As the No. 1 playoffs seed, they trampled No. 8 Portland 12-0 in six innings in the quarters (a perfect game for pitcher Lilly Volk), then edged up-and-coming Windham 2-0 in the semis. In the A South championship, however, Biddeford finally got the best of the Storm, winning 9-7.

Over on the baseball diamond, the legendary Mike D’Andrea, new to the helm, guided the Storm to a phenomenal season. Whereas last year the Storm missed the playoffs, D’Andrea and Co. finished 13-3 in the 2016 regular season to earn the tournament three-seed. After a bye through the prelims, they bounced No. 6 Gorham 4-0 in the quarters, then found themselves narrowly overmatched against No. 2 South Portland, falling 8-5 in the semis.

In boys tennis action, Craig McDonald’s outfit looked sharp once again. The team went 9-3 through the regular season to enter the bracketing ranked fifth in the South. That earned them a bye through the prelims; alas, their quarters opponent, No. 4 Portland, got the better of them this time around, 4-1.

Finally, girls tennis likewise competed impressively. Steve Eddy’s battalion matched rivals Falmouth with a 12-0 regular-season record and entered the playoffs ranked second, a slot back from the Yachtsmen. They then bludgeoned No. 7 Cheverus 5-0 in the quarters and edged No. 3 Gorham 3-2 in the semis. In the A South championship, however, they failed to sink Falmouth, ultimately bouncing 4-1.

“After losing five starters from a team that lost in the Western Maine finals last year, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Eddy. “Ultimately, at 14-1 we finished with the best record in Scarborough Girls Tennis history and took a match from Falmouth in the [Southern] Maine Finals, which very few teams do. We started a lineup of all seniors, all who had been part of the program for the previous three years, each waiting for their time. Their experience and maturity was amazing. Led by state singles quarterfinalist Meg Nathanson, and the contributions of Emily Keenan, Bryce Nitchman, Kaicee Flaherty, Caitlin Merrill, Brielle Hardy, Anna Driscoll and Olivia Booth-Howe, we placed seven players on all-SMAA First or Second teams. Simply an incredible year from an incredible group of girls.”

Sam Rusak, seen here in the 110 hurdles at SMAAs, won all four of the events he entered at states, girding his team’s huge first-place take. Rusak went on to compete at the New Balance Nationals, where he finished fourth in the decathlon.

Scarborough’s Kaicee Flaherty returns a ball in her team’s 3-2 playoffs win over Gorham.

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