AUGUSTA — Medomak Valley of Waldoboro’s bid to win a seventh straight Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship and ninth since 2011 did not materialize on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Augusta Civic Center.

In fact, when the competition finished, the Midcoast schools were grouped together near the middle of the pack.

Oceanside performs at the league championship competition. Photo by Mark Haskell

Erskine Academy of South China, ultimately, captured the KVAC Class B title, while Belfast, Medomak Valley and Oceanside finished ninth, 10th and 11th.

The Panthers were midway through their routine when a stunt fell, which injured senior Skylah Ward, who was down on the mat for several minutes before she walked off under her own power.

Medomak Valley, also the defending Class B South and state ‘B’ champions, was given the option to complete its routine at the conclusion of the competition, but, ultimately, decided not to do so as Ward was not cleared to continue by the on-site athletic trainer.

Belfast performs at the league championship competition. Photo by Mark Haskell

The team scores, with the four judges’ scores and deductions included, were: Erskine Academy, 13.1, 19, 15.8 and 12.4 for 60.3; Leavitt of Turner, 16.5, 15.9, 15.1 and 13.2 (3.25-point deduction) for 57.45; Nokomis of Newport, 14, 14.9, 11.4 and 14.3 for 54.6; Brewer, 15.8, 12.5, 15.1 and 8.7 (0.50-point deduction) for 51.6; Winslow, 11.1, 17.8, 12.3 and 10.8 (3-point deduction) for 49; Morse of Bath, 11.7, 17.4, 14.7 and 9.1 (6-point deduction) for 46.9; Lawrence of Fairfield, 10.7, 12.8, 11.4 and 10.2 (3.25-point deduction) for 41.85; Waterville/Messalonskee of Oakland, 7.5, 11.5, 13.1 and 8 (0.25-point deduction) for 39.85; Belfast, 11.2, 13.5, 6.1 and 8.3 for 39.1; Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, 19.1, 3, 8.5 and 7.7 (3-point deduction) for 35.3; Oceanside of Rockland, 7.6, 7.5, 9.5 and 6.9 for 31.5; Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, 10.3, 4.5, 12.6 and 7 (3-point deduction) for 31.4; and Gardiner, 7.9, 85, 5.5 and 6.7 (3-point deduction) for 25.6.

Medomak Valley performs at the league championship competition. Photo by Mark Haskell

Thirteen teams vied for the KVAC Class B title, while the KVAC Class A and the Western Maine Conference (WMC) crowns also were decided that day at the same venue.

Seven KVAC Class A teams and four WMC squads filled out the overall 24-team field.

The conference championships are a precursor to the regional competitions, where the top six teams from each region will advance to their state competitions.

The regional meets will be on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Sanford (Medomak Valley and Oceanside) and Mount Desert Island (Belfast and Mount View). The state championships are Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Team members for Medomak Valley, led by veteran coaches Simmons and Leeann Benner, include Aaliyah Thompson, Skylah Ward, Braelyn Hood, Hope Mason, Samantha Richardson, Jaiden Herrick, Arden Kondracki, Peyton Eaton and Heaven Luce.

Oceanside celebrates their performance. Photo by Mark Haskell

Team members for Oceanside, led by first-year coach Jacqueline Weaver, include Laney King, Allie Colburn, Ashleigh Cronin, Shayenne Walpen, Lore Salaberria Larre, Manoka Inoue, Zaileyana Robbins, Amira Marks, Sophia Clayton, Ryan Allyn and Morgan Erickson.

Team members for Belfast, led by coach Chelsea Howard, include Marina Bannister, Malia Beadling, Angela Benitez, Gemma Bradney, Nora Burgess, Gracee Cayouette, Addie Ford, Rebeca Gary, Mylee Henderson, Annabelle Lisa, Miles Mailloux, Neveah Martin, Leah Moores, Heaven Reynolds and Jillian Webster.

Team members for Mount View, led by coach Carol Bryant, include Sydney Bishop, Ethan Bryant, Eliana Rumney, Hailie Howe, Tiara Dinsmore, Makayla Killam, Layla McCormick, Alex Moreland, Idella Spaulding and Shoshanna Dallal.

Medomak Valley coach Heather Simmons said “we had a very bizarre mishap” in reference to Saturday’s routine and “my team is eager to move on.”

“Skylah is in good spirits and no pain and being evaluated by her doctor for continued participation,” coach Simmons said. “Before they stopped the routine we had performed our jumping and tumbling skill perfectly and our scored that we did receive reflected that. Receiving the top marks in Class B in those categories for the day, we will take that as a positive.”

Mount View of Thorndike did not participate as five of their 10 team members were unable to compete for a variety of reasons including injury and illness, according to athletic director Krysta Hustus, who added that “everyone should be back and good to go for regionals.”

The Mariners competed in the KVAC championships in 2020, but it was their lone competitive performance since the 2014 season.

Saturday, the Mariners were the first team to take the mat on the day. Weaver said her team was “more excited than nervous” despite it being the first organized competition for the entire roster.

“The girls performed extremely well and hit all of their stunts,” she said. “This is the first time any of them have ever competed at the high school level and I am very proud of them. We definitely need to improve on our flexibility and timing in the routine as well as more advanced stunts.”

Howard said she was “very proud” of Belfast’s routine.

“We do have some changes to make for regionals, which we’re very excited about and will tackle this week,” she said. “We’re also looking forward to some strong performances at a few home games before then to perfect it all.”

Last season, Belfast finished seventh at the KVACs, while Mount View and Oceanside did not participate. In 2021-22, the Mustangs did not take part after many members of the team contacted COVID-19, while the Mariners opted not to compete due to lack of experience.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.