May 22, 2018
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Turnout strong for alumni matchups

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

    The fourth annual Danielle Marie Thompson memorial soccer game was a pretty big success, according to Bangor girls soccer coach Joe Johnson.

The game, which pits Bangor High alumnae against the varsity edition of the Rams, was started in 2007 following the January death of Thompson, a former Bangor athlete.

She died of bacterial meningitis while attending the University of New Hampshire.

Johnson said that 35 former Rams, including 2010 graduates Eliza Estabrook, Denali Graham, M.J. Joyce, Adriana Capuano, Annie McKay, Stephanie Comstock and Aimee Connors all participated.

“It was a great time,” Johnson said. “It was competitive for a good chunk of the game, then it got silly like it usually does.”

Johnson said it was also nice for his team to get some live game action after a week of practice. The Rams’ season opener is Sept. 4 against Brewer.

“Practice is going great. We’ve got a bunch of kids working very hard,” he said.

There were also two former players who graduated in 1983, Johnson said.

The alumnae won 5-4.

Meanwhile, in Caribou, also Friday, the Caribou cross country teams held their sixth annual Under the Lights Alumni Race on the school’s lighted cross country course.

Vikings girls coach Thomas Beckum said that 116 runners showed up, with P.J. Gorneault, an assistant coach and former Viking, posting the fastest time at 13 minutes, 59 seconds over 2.75 miles.

Almost all of the 2010 edition of the Vikings participated as well.

“I was missing maybe three girls, [but] all the boys showed up,” Beckum said.

The Vikings have one of their biggest turnouts in recent years, with 26 girls and 29 boys signed up to run.

“Every single one of my girls ran faster than what they did last year, either by 25 seconds or more,” said Beckum.

Fred Bailey, who trains at the Maine Winter Sports Center in Presque Isle, posted the second-quickest time at 14:11 while University of Maine runner Spencer McElwain was third at 14:14, followed by Beckum’s 14:44, a personal best on the course for him.

The contingent of runners also included Caribou girls soccer coach Todd Albert, who ran 21:46.

    Best friends coaching Stags

Sheri Piers and Kristin Barry do everything together, from training runs to crossing the finish line at the Beach to Beacon 10K.

Now, they’ll be coaching together.

Piers of Falmouth and South Portland’s Barry, who have combined to win the Maine division of the Beach to Beacon the last three years, will join forces to coach the Cheverus boys cross country team this fall.

They’ll replace another Maine running legend in Bruce Bickford, who resigned to take the cross country coaching job at Saint Joseph College in Standish.

Piers does have coaching experience, as she guided the Westbrook boys cross country team the last seven seasons.

Both the Cheverus boys and girls squads are coming off Class A state championships in 2009, and Cheverus’ boys program is one of the most successful cross country teams in state history, with 19 state championships since 1964.

The Stags graduated four of their top five runners, with the exception of Jack Terwilliger while coach Valerie Guillet’s girls squad has two of New England’s best runners in Fiona Hendry and Emily Durgin.

    Bishop run Saturday

The Hampden Academy cross country teams will host the Warren Bishop Memorial Run this weekend.

The race, held on Hampden’s cross country course, located behind the high school, starts at 9 a.m. with registration getting under way at 7:30.

Forms are available at Hampden Academy, and participants can either run the entire length of the 2.8-mile race or enter a 1.5-mile (the course’s first loop) fun run or walk.

The race traditionally serves as a time trial for Hampden’s cross country teams, with coach Dick Balentine’s team’s season-opening meet set for Sept. 3 at Bangor.

The Hampden boys are the defending KVAC Class B champions.

Any questions about Saturday’s events, contact Balentine at 862-4562.

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