ORONO – Right after Rachael Bodkin-Rubino won the mile Saturday in the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League Meet, she walked up to Brewer coach Dave Jeffrey and asked for her time.
No pausing to bend over, no catching her breath, no need.
Pretty amazing considering Bodkin-Rubino’s time of 5 minutes, 31.17 seconds was a second faster than she ran last year at the Eastern Maine Championships and five seconds faster than her winning time in the league meet on Dec. 27.
The Brewer girls distance corps ran at full force Saturday as the Witches won the girls C meet at the University of Maine with 142 points ahead of Orono’s 51 and Narraguagus of Harrington’s 44. Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln finished fourth with 23 points while Nokomis of Newport was fifth with 6.
The Brewer boys also captured the C meet with 145 points, while Narraguagus took second with 46, Mattanawcook was third with 38, Nokomis racked up 26 and Orono finished with 14.
Bodkin-Rubino didn’t even look worn as she ran away from Orono’s Sarah Taylor, who finished four seconds back.
Jeffrey gave the junior a thumbs up as he gave her time. The Brewer coach of 19 years was not amazed Bodkin-Rubino ran a personal best, but he was surprised by her stamina.
“Our [distance] runners use to finish and be tired. [Today] I didn’t have to cart [Bodkin-Rubino] off [at the end],” Jeffrey said.
Jeffrey switched from coaching the jumps and hurdles to the distance events this winter after 15 years of letting assistant coaches work with them and he put some spit in the Witches’ workouts.
“We’re a lot better than last indoor season. We’re all running faster and harder in practice,” Bodkin-Rubino said. “Coach Jeffrey really knows how to push us all. It’s hard, but it’s good. He’s pushing us to do better. I didn’t have a lot left. I always think I have a little bit left.”
Jeffrey said Brewer runners have always tried to run negative splits, that is, to finish faster than they went out. However, this year he has given them a renewed focus – and they’ve had more success. For the first time, Bodkin-Rubino hit the splits Jeffrey wrote down before hand, running 82-84-84-81.
“They’re running the second half really focused, trying to pick off everyone else,” Jeffrey said. “We’ve tried to do negative splits before. But now they’ve got me in their face at practice.”
The Witches dominated from the 800 up. Brewer took all but second place in the half mile, where Orono’s Taylor was runner-up to Bodkin-Rubino’s 2:27.99 with a 2:34.04 mark. And Brewer put three in the top five in the mile with Heather Jovanelli taking fourth (5:47.47) and Kim Hews finishing fifth (5:56.53).
In the two-mile, Hews took second (12:56.10) while Heidi Bubar took third (13:16.00) behind Mattanawcook’s Corrie Pietras, who won with a time of 12:49.20.
In the boys meet, Brewer had two double winners. Danny Davis won the mile (4:57.10) ahead of teammate Jeremy Benn (5:03.00) and Davis took the 800 (2:10.12) from runner-up Charles Jones of Nokomis (2:19.94).
However, unlike Bodkin-Rubino and the Brewer girls, who enter the season after having won a state cross country title, Davis has yet to turn up all cylinders on the track. Two weeks ago, he ran a 2:06.12 in the 800 and a 4:55.10 for the mile.
“I could have run faster,” Davis said. “Coach wanted me to run a 2:05 . I’m not disappointed. I ran a good mile. My [best] is 4:51. I think I can run 4:44-4:48.”
Andy Duffey proved the Witch sprinters are just as formidable as their distance runners by winning the 60-yard hurdles (8.95) ahead of teammate Shane Coombs (8.97) and taking the 200 (24.71) from teammate Javier Salinas (25.05). Duffey also was runner-up in the 400 (55.22) behind Mattanawcook’s Aaron Webster (54.05).