BELFAST — Madison junior Matt McClintock figured Saturday’s Festival of Champions boys seeded race would be a two-man duel between himself and Harlow Ladd of Messalonskee of Oakland.
But those two were pushed valiantly by Chase Brown of Boothbay, with McClintock gradually pulling away throughout the 3.1-mile race to win his first FOC title in 16 minutes, 6.1 seconds at Troy Howard Middle School Saturday.
Ladd was five seconds back in second place while Brown finished third.
In the team ranks, Scarborough claimed its third straight FOC title, scoring 133 points.
Falmouth finished second among 55 scoring schools with 181 points, followed by Dr. JH Gillis High of Nova Scotia with 187, Caribou with 232 and Canton, Conn., with 267.
Mt. Blue of Farmington was the next best Eastern Maine school after Caribou, finishing ninth with 346 points while Hampden Academy was 10th with 359.
McClintock, Ladd and Brown ran stride for stride early in the race, clipping the first mile in the low 4:50-range before McClintock started to gradually pull away throughout a flat second mile.
Eastern Maine’s top individual finisher was Ellsworth freshman Dan Curts, who was eighth in 16:46.6 while Christian Sleeper powered Caribou’s fourth-place effort with a 14th-place run, clocking in at 16:54.8 after a disappointing run at the Sectional meet last weekend in Old Town.
A whopping 730 runners finished the meet which was held on the same course the Eastern Regional and State Championship meets will be contested on later this month.