BELFAST, Maine — Camden Hills defeated Mount Desert Island by a single point in 2011 to win the Eastern Maine Class B girls cross-country championship.
The Windjammers and the Trojans are expected to fight it out again Saturday when the regional meets in Classes A, B and C are held at the Troy Howard Middle School.
The action begins with the Class A meets, kicked off by the boys at 11 a.m. The girls follow at 11:35 a.m. The Class B action gets under way at 12:10 p.m. with the boys, while the girls run at 12:45 p.m.
The Class C races close out the day at 1:20 p.m. (boys) and 1:55 p.m. (girls), respectively.
Maggie Painter heads up a tightly bunched MDI squad that claimed the Penobscot Valley Conference large-school crown last week at Ellsworth. Camden Hills, the KVAC Class B titlist, is paced by Brittany Bowman and a strong supporting cast.
Ellsworth is hoping to continue its impressive running in the Class B boys meet. The Eagles look to junior Dan Curts, the state’s No. 2-seeded runner overall with a season best of 15:42, to provide the impetus at the front of the pack along with Robert Looker.
Caribou, John Bapst and MDI are among the other boys squads with enough talent and depth to qualify for next week’s state meets. One-half of the teams in each classification, along with the top 30 individuals from the regional meets, advance to the states.
The state championships also will be held at the Howard Middle School.
In Class A, junior Jon Stanhope enters the meet with the fastest 5K boys time of the season at 16:24.55, which he ran Sept. 29 at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions on the same Belfast course.
Stanhope is a good bet to improve on his 10th-place overall finish of a year ago, but the defending champion Rams are up against a talent-laden field, including their KVAC rivals.
KVAC champ Lewiston is the team favorite behind Mohamed Barre and Mohamed Mohamed, while league runner-up Mt. Blue of Farmington, led by KVAC individual winner Justin Tracy, Mount Ararat of Topsham and Hampden Academy also are in the equation.
Among the Class A girls, it appears to be a three-team race between KVAC Class A titlist Mount Ararat, runner-up Brunswick and Hampden Academy.
The Eagles receive their pace from Kelly Lynch, while the Dragons are led by Tessa Cassidy, the KVAC runner-up. Kylee Parker and Elizabeth Labun hope to give the Broncos a big boost in their quest for the team title.
Washburn is shooting for its second straight EM Class C girls championship behind three of the top nine Class C girls in the state this fall.
Junior Carsyn Koch, whose time of 19:06.60 is the best in the division this season by 50 seconds, is the driving force. Koch is the two-time defending individual champion in Class C.
She has plenty of support behind her in Kenzie Worcester and Carmen Bragg, who also are among the top nine statewide.
PVC small-school winner Orono will be a contender as Lily Koffman and Jordan Richards provide front-line speed. George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill also is a state-meet hopeful.
In the Class C boys ranks, Orono appears to be in position to contest Bangor Christian’s quest for a repeat.
The Red Riots rode the second-place performance of Tyler White to the PVC small-school championship a week ago and he has plenty of help, including Schuyler Collett and Brian Westhoven.
The Patriots were a solid second at the PVCs behind the efforts of Dylan Merchant and Sam Proctor. Bucksport and Lee Academy are other state-meet contenders.