NAPLES — Graca Bila took down a record held by one of Maine’s top all-time track and field performers, beating her New England champion teammate Sarah Moore in the process, and did it all while hustling back and forth to the track so she could win the 300-meter hurdles.

At the Western Maine Conference championship meet Saturday at Lake Region High, Bila set a new facility and meet record in the triple jump with a best of 37 feet, 3 1/2 inches.

The previous record holder? Former Lake Region standout Kate Hall-Harnden, who still holds the WMC records in the 100 and 200 meters and long jump. Hall set a national high school record in the long jump and won NCAA and USATF championships in the event.

“I felt pretty powerful and just made sure to make every one of my steps feel powerful,” said Bila, who also won both hurdle races with PRs (16.83 in the 100, 46.42 in the 300), and finished second in the 200.

Plus, beating Moore was no easy task. Moore finished second in 37-2 – also better than Hall’s 2014 record of 36-6 1/4. Moore went on to win the high jump (5-2) and the long jump (17-10).

“The competition is just unbelievable and seeing (Bila) accomplish what she’s accomplishing is what’s amazing,” Moore said.


Next week, the top athletes will compete at state championship meets. The Class B meet will be at Mt. Desert Island. NYA and other Class C schools will be competing at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

“My goal at states is to make it to New Englands. This year, I’ve been doing my best at the 300 hurdles, so I’ll consider that my best event,” Bila said.

The WMC divides team scoring into two categories based on school size: Division I for the eight largest schools, and Division II for the seven smaller schools.

In Division I, the Greely boys rolled up 194 points to win by a large margin over York (118), followed by Gray-New Gloucester (76) and  Freeport (74). The York girls nipped Greely, 134.33-129, with Yarmouth in third (107.33).

In Division II, the NYA girls (207) won, with Traip Academy (107) and Poland (71) finishing second and third. Bila and Moore combined for five victories, two seconds and 66 total points. Wells (142.5) won the boys’ title, followed by Poland (123) and Old Orchard Beach (97.5).

Outstanding performer awards went to York’s Cary Drake (track) and Moore (field) for the girls, and Sam Laverdiere of Lake Region (track) and co-winners Ethan Hoffman of Yarmouth and Alex Mendoza of Greely (field).


Drake set a meet and facility record in the 1,600 with a time of 5 minutes, 2.87 seconds, breaking the mark of 5;05.61 set in 2017 by Katherine Leggat-Barr of Greely. Drake also won the 3,200 and ran on York’s 3,200 and 1,600 relay teams.

“It was a hot one today, so my goal going into (the 1,600) was to run smart and hopefully break the facility record and win it. I got that, so I’m happy with that,” Drake said.

For Drake and the rest of her teammates, the big goal is to finish off the season with a third straight Class B championship.

“That would be seven straight team titles across all three seasons, so I’d love to go out with that,” Drake said. “Otherwise, I’ll just be doing all I can to help make that happen.”

York Coach Ted Hutch said that because Drake and senior Molly Kenealey always compete in four running events, his younger athletes, like up-and-coming sophomore Zoe Carroll, believe they can be successful in multiple events. Carroll won the 800, beating NYA’s Soren Stark-Chessa by a second, after finishing third in the 1,600 behind Drake and Stark-Chessa.

“They look like Girl Scouts and fight like Marines,” Hutch said of his girls’ team. “This is the toughest group I’ve ever had.”


Laverdiere won the 1,600 in 4:20.77 and the 3,200 in 9:40.35, the latter setting a facility record.

“I have to give all the glory to God. That’s all I have to say,” said Laverdiere.

Hoffman won the shot put by over 6 feet with a best of 51-9 1/2. He also won the 200.

Mendoza won the long jump with a personal best of 21-4 1/2, and placed second in the triple jump (41-9) and high jump (6-0). He also ran a leg on Greely’s winning 1,600 relay to close the meet. His first event was the triple jump, where he recorded a PR by 13 inches.

“I did so well in that event it just lifted my confidence for everything else,” Mendoza said.

The Greely boys had multiple winners. Charles Anania, a senior, won the javelin with a personal-best 165-8; Samuel Anania, a junior, won the pole vault (13-0); and Jonah Guibord won both hurdles races and was on the winning 400 and 1,600 relays. Also, Thomas Leggat-Barr won the 1,600 racewalk and Owen Partridge took the 400 (51.92).

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