The 1995-96 Girl’s Indoor Track team overcame many things to win the State Class A Championship that winter. Most obvious was the graduation of several seniors from the previous winter’s 1994-95 team, still considered one of the best indoor teams in the history of the state. In fact, the TA girls were not noted in the preseason as one of the favorites to contend for honors in the 1996 meet to be held in Orono. Additionally, in one of the meet’s most important events, the 4X200 relay, TA’s inability to clinch the meet as a result of failing to get the baton safely from athlete to athlete made for one gigantically exciting finish.
Yet, let’s back up a bit. The biggest storm to hit Maine on a state championship date pushed the start of the meet back to allow buses to travel to the competition. The normally three-hour
bus ride took almost twice as long, delaying the meet start. And then were the fire alarms, which caused the entire building to be evacuated twice, and the TA team to flee in uniforms to the team bus to wait to return to compete. What ensued was a classic battle between TA and perennial rival Brewer High School that came down to TA’s entire team locking hands and arms at 2:00 AM while watching the final event, the Triple Jump, determine TA’s fate. Brewer needed a big finish in the triple jump to tie TA, and when the last jump occurred at 2:15 AM, Brewer finished second and fourth. Yet TA emerged the 6-point victor.
The real story of the meet though, were several key athletes and events which propelled TA to the epic repeat as State Champions. The Distance Crew was led by Addie Myrick, repeating as state champion in the 2 mile, along with teammates Missy Leclair and Amanda Brewer taking fourth and fifth place in the same event which combined for a massive 16 points in the meet’s last open running event. Additionally, Sarah Cooper completed a strong double by finishing third in the Mile and fifth in the 1000, with teammate Eliza Pierce finishing two spots in front of Cooper in the 1000. Earlier in the meet’s first circular running event, the mile, TA’s Myrick was second with Cooper third, both nipping a Brewer athlete who finished fourth in what set up the opportunity for TA to excel. In the three distance events mentioned, Myrick, Cooper, Pierce and Brewer scored 38 of TA’s 55 points. The other excellent performance came from Meghan Foley, whose second in the Hurdles and fourth in the long jump earned TA another 12 points.
Along with these athletes, Sara Kirby surprised everyone in the building with four big points in the 600 and Neisha Brown was sixth in the high jump. While the athletes were certainly excited to take home the Championship plaque, most all of them fell asleep within minutes of getting on the bus and slept the entire trip until the bus driver announced he was worried about running out of gas and needed to find a gas station at what was now 5:30 AM in Portland. While the bus was gassing up, Mr. Mondor, an assistant coach, came running out of the gas station with results of the meet in the Portland press herald, albeit incomplete results of course. But the TA athletes, awake for the last 30 minutes, were able to celebrate together before arriving home almost 24 hours after leaving for the meet, gloriously stepping into the gym with the State Championship theirs forever.