BANGOR, Maine — As dry and fast as the 3.1-mile Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center course was, the times that mattered were these: 40 seconds and 72 seconds.
Those are the magic numbers the Caribou boys and Mount Desert Island girls used to annex Penobscot Valley Conference crowns Saturday.
The time difference between Caribou top finisher Jesse Stephens and No. 5 runner Christian Sleeper was 40 seconds while the difference between the Trojans’ lead horse, Heather Spurling, and No. 5 girl Lily Madeira was 72 ticks.
While Caribou’s boys ended Ellsworth’s two-year strangle-hold on the conference crown with a 28-57 triumph over the Eagles, MDI had to sweat out formidable efforts from host team John Bapst and Caribou.
The difference? No. 5 runner Madeira.
The junior finished ahead of both the Crusaders’ and Vikings’ No. 5 runners, and that was enough to give coach Kate Goupee’s MDI girls a 61-63 victory over runner-up Bapst.
Caribou also scored 63, but Bapst’s No. 6 runner, Stesha Rudnicki, finished seven slots ahead of Vikes No. 6 Kaysie Pelletier.
Ellsworth finished fourth in the seven-team Class B field with 90 points while Presque Isle’s 108 was good for fifth.
Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln cruised to the Class C crown with 31 points.
MDI’s boys went on to finish third behind Caribou and Ellsworth with 66 points, while John Bapst was fourth among six teams with 109 and Presque Isle fifth with 126.
Foxcroft Academy triumphed in the Class C competition with 38 points.
Ellsworth junior Ben Chapman pulled away over the last mile to take home individual honors in 16 minutes, 38.6 seconds. Bapst freshman Gabe Stewart was second while Jeremiah Roper of Ellsworth was fifth and True Muzzy and Sam Swan of MDI placed ninth and 10th, respectively.
In the girls meet Spurling, who finished second to Ellsworth sophomore Brianne Dunn, ran yet another tough, inspiring race on a now healed left ankle which she hurt at the Festival of Champions earlier this month.
“My ankle is just fine, thank God. The tape definitely helps,” said Spurling, who was timed in 19:59.9 behind Dunn’s 19:31.4.
Dunn pulled away from Spurling and Old Town’s Dacie Manion late for the victory. Manion, a sophomore, wound up in eighth place.
Mackenzie Curtis also cracked the top 10 for the Trojans, finishing 10th, while Kailyn Russell took 15th, Kymry Brooks 17th and Madeira 20th to round out the scorers.
“I think our goal was just to run good. We all wanted to run really good, and I think we reached that goal,” said Curtis. “We all really packed it in together.”
Frances Blank finished 21st and Jessica Swanson 29th for MDI.
Other top-10 finishers included Caribou’s Dayna Michaud in third, Presque Isle’s Alecia Palmer in fourth, Kim Spencer of Bapst in fifth, the Vikes’ Mary Jo Sheehan in sixth, Sarah Dickens of John Bapst in seventh and Hayley White of Ellsworth in ninth.
Chelsie Oldfield, a Foxcroft Academy freshman, captured the Class C race in 20:22.8, while the Mattanawcook Lynx tucked five runners in the top 10 to win comfortably.
Jana Larlee (2nd), Hannah Ruhl (4th), Katelyn DeRaps (6th), Abby Paul (9th) and Erica McPhail (10th) were the Lynx’s scorers.
George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill took second while Orono was third and Washington Academy of East Machias fourth.
In the boys meet, the Vikings established a formidable pack right from the gun and never looked back.
Stephens led the way in third place while Steve Melbourne was right behind in fourth. Tim Freme, Finn Bondeson and Sleeper finished 6-7-8, respectively.
“This is where getting closer together really matters because there’s more competition and more runners, [so] you have to have a better pack time,” Freme said.
“You want to go out hard and keep everybody together as best you can.”
After playing the bridesmaid role to rival Ellsworth the last two seasons, the Vikings knew what they wanted to accomplish.
“We’ve always competed with them really well, we just came out and ran [hard],” Bondeson said.
Coach Roy Alden’s visions certainly came true.
“We wanted to pack up in the top-10 area and try to stay there as much of the race as we could,” he said.
Graham Pearsall powered FA’s first-place finish in Class C, clocking a 17:06.3.
Chris Bridges and Kaleb Mann earned fifth- and sixth-place finishes for coach George Rolleston’s Ponies, while Amos Almy was 10th and Seth Old-field 18th to round out the scorers.
Bangor Christian finished second in the nine-school “C” field with 83 points, while Orono was third with 91.