St. J Girls Repeat, Essex Boys Edge MMU in D1 Track

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The St. Johnsbury girls track team captured a fourth straight state title while the Essex boys won their first since 2013 Saturday afternoon at Burlington High School.

Starting on the girls side, Maria Campo of Essex with a toss of 33 feet, 6.5 inches to win the shot put, and that was part of a good day for the Hornets. Lizzie Martell took the 400 and was part of the winning relay team in the 4x400. Essex also took the 4x100 and finished third as a team.

They were just half a point behind South Burlington for second. Wolves getting wins in the 100 courtesy of Cora Kakalec and the 800, won by Camille Bolduc.

But the team title once again went to St Johnsbury. Zekiah Lewis took the title in long jump and Jen Rotti claimed the 300 hurdles.

But it was Hannah Wescott who led the Toppers in the absence of injured stars Katherine Cowen and Grace Cook. Wescott claimed wins in the high jump, pole vault, and hundred meter hurdles as St J cruised to a 44 point win for their fourth straight team crown.

The boys team title was a tighter contest. St Johnsbury hung around with wins in several field events. That included Dillon Ryan taking the discus and Asher Solnit claiming the pole vault. The Toppers finished third as a team.

The best individual effort of the day came in long jump. Jasper Reed of Brattleboro, hyped up the crowd with the viking clap before setting a new overall state record with a leap of 23 feet! He'd follow that up with a win in the 100 meters.

The team title came down to the wire between local rivals Mt Mansfield and Essex. The Cougars taking wins in the 4x100 and the 400, Eli Ogilvie edging Ryan Guerino of Essex.

In the 200, Spencer Towle sprinted by the competition for the Hornets, so going into the 4x400, Essex needed a third place finish to guarantee the title. MMU won that race to keep the pressure on, but Jamaal Hankey of Essex made up enough ground to pull the Hornets to a third place finish and the overall team title by one point.