Kovach is race walk champ

12 years ago

The Caribou boys varsity track team scored all of its points in the race walk and the relays Saturday, tallying 28 points to take eighth place out of 26 teams at the Class B state track and field championships held at Mount Desert Island High School.

Senior Josh Kovach of the Vikings came through with the victory in the 1,600-meter race walk with a time of 8 minutes, 3.7 seconds. Teammate Austin Griffeth, a freshman, was the runner-up with an 8:14.58 clocking and freshman Mitchell St. Peter placed, coming in fifth at 8:31.58.

Two of Caribou’s relay teams had solid efforts as well. The 4X100 team of Cody Charette, Derik Michaud, Sean Barbosa and Nick Pucci was fourth in 46.52 seconds and the 4X800 team of Caleb Chapman, Taylor Thibodeau, Ron Lund and Barbosa took fifth in 8:44.87.

The Caribou girls also scored a majority of their points in the race walk and the relays to finish with 19 points – good for 12th place out of 27 teams in the final standings.

The 4X800 relay team, consisting of Katie Plourde, Mackenzie Belyea, Sarah Doak and Olivia Sleeper, had a time of 10:01.16 to take second place overall.

Coming in fourth place in the 1,600 race walk was senior Paige Small, whose time was 8:27.99. Senior Morgan Swan was fifth in the shot put with a mark of 32 feet, 9-1/2 inches. Doak, a freshman, placed sixth in the 1,600 in 5:35.41, while junior Sleeper was seventh in the 400 in 1:03.54.

The 4X400 relay team of Sarae Sager, Mackenzie Deveau, Doak and Sleeper placed seventh in 4:28.24.

“Both teams performed extremely well based on their seeding going into the meet,” Caribou coach Roy Alden said. “Overall we had an excellent season, with our athletes working extremely hard to make the most of their talents.”

The York boys and the Waterville girls took the team championships.

In the Class C meet, Washburn’s Carsyn Koch defended her title in the 800 and also won the 1,600 on Saturday at Cony High School in Augusta.

Koch has now won seven state championships (two in cross country, two in basketball and three in track and field) during her two-year high school athletic career.

She was 5.64 seconds faster than last year in the 800 and took the event with a time of 2:21.3. She finished 3.3 seconds ahead of runner-up Fern Morrison of Foxcroft Academy.

“Last year, I didn’t get out fast enough,” Koch  said. “I got stuck in the back and had to work my way up. I wasn’t going to let that happen this time, so I went out a lot quicker and led the whole way.”

In the 1,600, Koch defeated last year’s champion Abby Mace of Maranacook by 2.11 seconds to capture the victory. Koch recorded a time of 5:11.63.

Her race strategy was different in this race.

“My fastest time this year before Saturday was 5:27 and I knew [Mace] had run a 5:09. I wanted to make her do the work, so I stayed behind her the whole way,” Koch said. “I knew if I could get close toward the end, I’d have a chance to outkick her. I pulled ahead in the final 100 meters.”

The Beaver sophomore singlehandedly led her team to an 11th-place effort out of 30 scoring teams.

The Fort Fairfield teams also took part in the Class C meet. Leading the way was junior Andrew Lewis, who won the boys’ discus throw with a distance of 138 feet, 2 inches and also took second place in the high jump by clearing a height of 5 feet, 10 inches. Senior Legeorge Williams of the Tigers was third in the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 9-1/2 inches and helped his team to an 11th-place finish in the team results out of 31 teams who scored points.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Nicole Giberson was fifth in the 400 in 1:05.02, senior Katy Donovan fifth in the discus with a 92 feet, 8 inch mark and sophomore Janae Libby tied for sixth in the pole vault by clearing 6 feet, 9 inches. Fort’s girls team scored 6-3/4 points to place 19th.

Koch, Lewis, Williams and Caribou’s 4X800 girls relay team qualified for the New England Championships, to be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Thornton Academy in Saco.