Ellsworth’s Curts defends individual title; Lewiston, Cape Elizabeth, Boothbay crowned boys cross country state champions
CUMBERLAND, Maine — The drama may have been lacking but the result was the same Saturday as Ellsworth’s Dan Curts ran to his second straight Class B cross country state championship.
This time he shook off the lingering effects of a monthlong hamstring injury to post the fastest time of the day regardless of class with a clocking of 16 minutes, 9.22 seconds on the 3.1-mile Twin Brook Recreation Area course.
“It wasn’t quite as close,” said Curts. “Four-hundredths of a second last year was down to the wire.”
Curts’ victory and a third-place finish by teammate Brayden Beardsley weren’t quite enough to secure the team title, as Cape Elizabeth edged Ellsworth 49-61 for its second straight championship.
Lewiston won the Class A boys title, while Boothbay edged Orono by two points for the Class C crown.
Cape Elizabeth’s Liam Simpson finished 10 seconds behind Curts in the Class B race, followed by Beardsley at 16:26.79.
“I was trying to stay just ahead of them,” said Curts. “I thought if I could string the race along quick enough Brayden would have a better shot because Brayden’s just strong, that’s the type of runner he is. If it was a quick race he would have a shot at placing well, and he finished third.”
Cape Elizabeth placed four runners among the top 12 overall, with Peter Doane (fifth), Mitch Morris (eighth), Kyle Kennedy (12th) and Julian Pelzer (27th) also helping the Capers.
Robert Looker placed seventh for Ellsworth, while Frank King (20th) and Cooper Holmes (37th) rounded out the Eagles’ top five.
“You could tell they all gave their best effort,” said Ellsworth coach Andy Beardsley. “The Cape Elizabeth team was just a little stronger. Runner for runner it was pretty close, they just got us by a little bit.”
In Class C, Boothbay edged Orono in a battle of teams with similar positioning among their runners.
“Orono’s boys team has pretty much the same structure as our boys team, so it was us running against us basically,” said Boothbay coach Lauren Forgues. “The guys definitely had to step it up to beat Orono.”
Seniors Benn Scully and Robert Campbell finished eighth and ninth to lead the Seahawks, just behind Orono’s James O’Neil (seventh) and just ahead of the Riots’ Tristan Butterfield in 10th.
The Seahawks’ Joey Paolillo was 11th while teammates Matt Burnham (19th) and Jack Hasch (29th) followed. Orono’s other scorers were Conall Molloy (13th), Josh Marquis (21st) and Brian Westhoven (26th).
“I told them it was a test of their will, and their will never faltered,” said Orono coach Lin White. “We knew we were going to be mirror opposites of Boothbay, and that’s what it turned out to be.”
Josef Holt of Telstar in Bethel was the individual champion in 17:00.87, followed by Fort Kent’s Matthew Toussaint in 17:15.75.
In Class A, Lewiston improved last-year’s second-place finish with a decisive victory.
Second-place Isaiah Harris (17:01.27) paced a pack of five Blue Devils who finished among the top 19 overall with an ever-so-tight pack time of 33.16 seconds.
Mohamed Awil (fourth), Osman Mohamed (14th) and Mohamed Mohamed (17th) also were part of the Lewiston pack that finished with 51 points compared to 94 for runner-up Scarborough and 113 for third-place Bangor.
Josh Horne, a senior from Mt. Blue of Farmington, won the Class A race in 16:43.79, while Harris, Caleb Lord of Hampden Academy (17:01.93), Awil (17:03.78) and Jonathan Stanhope of Bangor (17:08.44) rounded out the top five.