October 20, 2018
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Cross-country state titles, New England berths at stake Saturday

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Hampden Academy's Wyatt Lord (right) inches ahead of Falmouth's Jeremiah Sands during the boys seeded race as part of the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast in 2016.

Northern Maine’s top cross-country runners and teams head downstate Saturday in hopes of getting one more chance to compete on their home turf this season.

The state championship meet is set for the Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland with the Class C races at 11 a.m. (girls) and 11:35 a.m. (boys), Class A at 12:30 p.m. (girls) and 1:05 p.m. (boys) and Class B at 2 p.m. (girls) and 2:35 p.m. (boys).

Top performers at states will represent Maine at the New England championships, this year scheduled for Nov. 11 at the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. That course hosts the annual Northern Maine regional meet as well as the state’s largest cross country event, the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions, each October.

The team and individual champions from each class at the state meet qualify for the New Englands, as well as the next 22 individuals and next three teams overall when the event is scored as a single meet.

In Class A boys, Hampden Academy and Falmouth won regional team titles last weekend. Hampden, led by third-place finisher Wyatt Lord, edged runner-up Bangor 52-67 for the North crown, with Lisandro Berry-Gaviria of Mt. Ararat of Topsham the individual winner in 15 minutes, 53.37 seconds on the Belfast course.

At the South regional held at Twin Brook, Falmouth edged Greely 48-56, with Alec Troxell of Deering of Portland (16:51.44) earning individual honors.

Camden Hills of Rockport, in its first year of Class A competition, dominated the North girls regional with Augusta Stockman (18:35.80), Grace Iltis and Miranda Dunton finishing 1-2-4 as the Windjammers topped runner-up Mt. Ararat 25-80.

Gorham topped Falmouth 72-101 for the A South crown despite first- and third-place finishes by Falmouth’s Sofie Matson (19:03.58) and Karley Piers, respectively. Anna Slager’s fourth-place finish paced Gorham, who placed five runners among the top 22 overall.

Lincoln Academy of Newcastle rolled to the Class B South boys title with third-place Sam Russ leading six Eagles among the top 20 finishers. LA scored 41 points to 88 for second-place Freeport. Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere, the defending Class B state champ, won his third straight regional in 16:11.34.

The Hermon Hawks emerged from a tight four-way battle to win the B North boys crown with 81 points, just ahead of Mount Desert Island (86), Waterville (86) and Caribou (90). Nicholas Dall of Waterville was the individual winner in 16:41.50.

The Yarmouth girls will be seeking their second Class B state championship in three years after defeating second-place York 52-66 at regionals behind Anneka Murran’s individual victory in 19:31.37.

Caribou heads to states as the top Class B North team after outscoring runner-up Ellsworth 46-70 at regionals. Winslow freshman Olivia Tiner was the individual champ in 19:38.47, but Caribou’s Abigail Wimmer (second) and Emily Austin (fifth) were close behind to lead the Vikings.

The Class C races could represent the next chapter in the rivalry between North powers Orono and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill.

Orono is the defending boys state champion with GSA the 2016 girls winner, while the Orono girls and George Stevens boys won it all in 2015.

The Orono boys have had the edge this season, easily topping GSA to win the Penobscot Valley Conference Class C and North regional meets, while the Orono girls edged George Stevens 26-29 at the PVCs and GSA tipped the Red Riots 46-52 at the regional.

Seniors Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle-Stonington (16:40.70) and Eliza Broughton of GSA (19:33.42) took top individual honors at last week’s C North meet.

Maranacook of Readfield placed four runners among the top eight finishers to win the C South girls championship 37-51 over second-place Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport. MCW freshman Olivia Reynolds was the individual winner in 20:26.11.

Maine Coast Waldorf, second to Orono at last year’s Class C boys meet, topped Boothbay 51-109 to win the South regional. Waynflete of Portland junior Henry Spritz was the top individual in 17:43.50.

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