BELFAST, Maine — Now everyone knows why the Class B cross country community is so glad Camden Hills of Rockport was moved up to Class A this year by enrollment.
The Windjammers, whose seven varsity runners consist of one senior, one junior, two sophomores and three freshman, powered their way to the Class A North championship in dominant fashion Saturday.
Caribou captured the Class B title and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill claimed the Class C crown at Troy Howard Middle School. The top 50 percent of the participating teams and the top 30 individual finishers in each race earned entry into next Saturday’s state championships at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland.
Led by the 1-2-4 finish of Augusta Stockman, Grace Iltis and Miranda Dunton, Camden Hills totaled 25 points to easily defeat second-place Mt. Ararat of Topsham (85) in the A race.
Stockman was timed in a personal-best 18 minutes, 35.80 seconds for the 3.1-mile course to edge Iltis — last week’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference champion — for the first time this season.
“I just tried to push it,” said Stockman, a junior. “My coach told me to take it easy, run for the team and place well, but I felt really good and I was secretly trying to break 19 (minutes) and I’m happy I did.
“I really like running with Grace. I couldn’t have done it today without her.”
Freshmen Claire Wyman (eighth) and Rose O’Brien (12th) rounded out the Camden Hills scorers, with classmate Phoebe Root (17th) and senior Alli Wells completing the Windjammers’ contingent.
“We have an amazing team this year,” said Stockman. “I’m so proud of all our girls, and I think most of them PR’d today.”
Third-place Karli Leighton led Mt. Ararat, while Brewer placed third with 119 points thanks in part to freshman Olivia Mosca’s sixth-place performance and additional top-20 efforts from seniors Hannah Smith (18th) and Erin Aucoin (19th).
Brunswick (137 points), Bangor (153) and Cony of Augusta (153) also qualified for states, with sophomore Lydia Gilmore (10th) and freshman Erin McCarthy (11th) helping Bangor advance for the first time in nine years.
In Class B, Winslow freshman Olivia Tiner sped away to the the individual victory in 19:38.47, but sophomore Abigail Wimmer and Emily Austin secured top-five finishes to lead Caribou to the team title.
The Vikings scored 46 points for a comfortable victory over Ellsworth (70) and Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (74), with Presque Isle (146), Old Town (149) and Winslow (169) also qualifying for states.
“We have been wanting this the whole season and everyone was just so excited today to go out and do our best. It’s definitely a big accomplishment,” said Wimmer, a sophomore who finished second in a personal-best 20:39.60 as the Vikings backed up the Penobscot Valley Conference title they won a week ago.
“We were (confident), but there were some nerves, for sure, just because we wanted it so much.”
Austin, a junior, finished fifth overall while senior Sarae Grenier (12th) and junior Ashley Violette (13th) rounded out Caribou’s scorers.
Ellsworth placed three runners among the top 10 in Abby Mazgaj (third), Caitlin MacPherson (sixth) and Trinity Montigny (ninth), while MDI was paced by fourth-place Katelyn Osborne and eighth-place Louise Chaplin, both sophomores.
In Class C, defending state champion George Stevens edged Orono, a three-point winner at the PVC Class C championship, by a 46-52 at the regional.
“We were definitely hoping for a top-two finish,” said GSA senior Eliza Broughton, the individual champion in 19:33.42. “Orono’s a really strong team and they’re really fun to run against so we were just trying to work as well as we could together.”
Mary Richardson (seventh), Zeya Lorio (ninth), Mary Brenna Catus (13th) and Grace Broughton (19th) were GSA’s other scorers, while Orono was led by the 2-3 finish of Erin Gerbi and Camille Kohtala.
The Maine School of Science of Mathematics of Limestone (85 points) and Greater Houlton Christian Academy (97) also qualified for the state meet, each placing three runners among the top 11.
MSSM was led by Dolcie Tanguay (fourth), Naomi Kihn (eighth) and Madison McCarthy (10th). Pacing GHCA were Bridget Hill (fifth), Grace Graham (sixth) and Teagan Ewings (11th).
This story was corrected on Oct. 23 to reflect that Orono won the PVC Class C girls title.