Victoria Bossong won the 800 meters at the Class A track and field championships and shattered the previous state record by 5 seconds. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Cheverus senior Victoria Bossong was disappointed with her performance in her final high school track meet. But the Harvard-bound Bossong, one of the top sprinters in Maine history, tends to set high expectations for herself.

On July 2 at the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Oregon, Bossong placed fourth in the 400 meters in 54.21 seconds to earn All-America honors. The next day, she finished 13th in the 800 in 2:13.78. Both times were short of her personal bests.

Such are the expectations for a student-athlete (she was the Cheverus valedictorian) who routinely set meet records while winning 14 individual state titles during her high school career. That feat is even more impressive considering that two championship meets (2020 outdoors and 2021 indoors) were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

In early June, Bossong turned in a remarkable performance at the Class A state championships when she won the 100, 400 and 800 meters, setting meet records in all three events. She also took second in the 200, which came just 25 minutes after her third event. Her 400 and 800 times are Maine all-time bests. And it was only her fourth time running the 800.

For these accomplishments, Bossong is the 2021 Varsity Maine Girls’ Athlete of the Year in outdoor track.

At the Class A meet, Bossong set a state record in the 100 (11.73 seconds) in the prelims, breaking the 2012 mark of 12.25 set by Nicole Kirk of Scarborough. She then won the finals in 11.81. In the 400, she broke her own state record of 55.54, winning in 55.08. And in the 800, she ran 2:10.66 to erase the record of 2:15.60 set in 1997 by Briana Neault of Biddeford. In the 200, she finished in 25.41 to take second, while Bangor’s Anna Connors erased Bossong’s previous state record (24.80), winning in 24.51.

“She only had 25 minutes between the 800 and the 200. And it took a state record to beat her. And it was her state record,” said Cheverus  Coach John Wilkinson. “Even the announcer, who was giving a play-by-play in the 400, announced that she geared down into the last 50 meters of the 400. And even gearing down to a jog, she set a state record.”

Bossong’s goal was to win all four events – a rare feat. But her fast times in the 400 and 800 left her with little energy for the 200, her final race. When she got in the starting blocks, she said she knew she had to blast out quickly because she was so tired.

Still, Bossong is proud of her effort at the state meet, and also at peace that the national meet left her wanting more when she competes in NCAA Division I track at Harvard.

“In Maine, I’ve done really well at track meets. When you get to nationals, it puts you in your place,” said Bossong, a Cumberland resident. “But it’s really good motivation. I feel I got knocked down and will rise and be even more motivated.”

She knows her plan to compete four years at Harvard and qualify for the NCAA Championships next year – all while majoring in neuroscience – will be demanding, but she said she loves a challenge, and track helps keep her grounded.

“When I go to track practice, it’s definitely my way of de-stressing. I never leave the track in a bad mood. It uplifts me,” Bossong said.

“And I think I am strong mentally. The 400 and 800 are mental races, where you have to push yourself to the breaking point. I’m able to do that pretty well. One of my goals this year was to throw up after a race. It didn’t happen. But I kept pushing myself.”

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