October 14, 2019
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Bangor, Orono boys earn runner-up finishes at cross country state championships

BELFAST, Maine — The ultimate achievement in any championship activity is victory.

But finishing second often has its rewards.

The Bangor and Orono boys cross country teams experienced such secondary success during Saturday’s state championship meet at the Troy A. Howard Middle School.

For Bangor, success was found in answering a disappointing fourth-place finish at last week’s Class A North meet with a bevy of personal-best times to earn the runner-up plaque at states.

Coach Roger Huber’s club finished with 89 points to trail only Scarborough, whose 69 points earned the Red Storm their fifth Class A state title in nine years but the first since 2015.

Senior Gabe Coffey paced Bangor’s comeback, finishing only behind race winner Lisandro Berry-Gaviria from Mt. Ararat of Topsham, who posted the fastest time of the day on the sometimes slippery 3.1-mile course at 15 minutes, 35.40 seconds.

“Personally I think second was probably the best I could do today,” said Coffey, “so I’m really, really happy with that. (Berry-Gaviria) ran a really good race, a really smart race by going out hard.”

Coffey (16:02.25) had the day’s second-fastest clocking, while freshman Dan McCarthy (eighth overall), senior Dwight Knightly (19th), sophomore Gordon Doore (27th) and classmate Gavin Sychterz (41st) helped the Rams to their second-place effort.

“It was really, really simple for us,” said Coffey. “We had to have faith in our coach’s decision to run less and I think we did and we made the most of it. “I think we all had the right mentality going into to today’s race and it all worked out. We all PR’d, we all ran really well.

“The goal we wrote down at the start of the season was to qualify for New Englands and we did that, so mission accomplished.”

Scarborough placed all five of its scoring runners — led by twins Tristram Coffin (fourth) and Connor Coffin (12th) — among the top 25 finishers to earn the victory.

Greely of Cumberland Center (119), Brunswick (125) and Hampden Academy completed the top five among the 16-school field. Seniors Wyatt Lord (ninth) and Jason Mathies (11th) led Hampden’s effort.

In Class C, Orono overcame the absence of its second-fastest finisher from last week’s regional win, junior Tucker Ellis, due to injury to challenge for a third straight state title before finishing second to Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport, 72-88.

Maranacook of Readfield (105), George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill (110) and Boothbay/Wiscasset (119) were next in the 14-school field.

“It was a great race because those Maine Coastal boys are a talented crew and they came in with goals and they earned it,” said Orono coach Lin White. “They raced fantastically and my boys chased them the whole way.”

Orono featured a tight 37.65-second pack time among its top five runners, led by 13th-place sophomore Thorin Saucier. Freshmen Colby Pawson and Kyle McLellan, sophomore Eli Ewer and senior Marius DeLannee also contributed to the Red Riots’ effort.

Sophomore Matinicus Neveu and junior Aiden Kusche placed eighth and ninth, respectively, to pace Maine Coast Waldorf.

Henry Spritz, a senior from Portland’s Waynflete School, was the individual winner in 17:03.87.

Down East Maine also was represented well, with Luke Barnes of Sumner in East Sullivan third, Travis Hunt of Narraguagus in Harrington seventh and C North champion Evan Merchant of Jonesport-Beals 11th.

In Class B, York won its first state title by edging defending champion Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 84-90 while North regional winner Hermon (104) and Cape Elizabeth (108) also were close behind among 13 participating schools.

Lincoln Academy had two top-10 finishers in junior Jarrett Gulden (fifth) and senior Sam Russ (seventh), but York’s five-runner pack led by junior Elisha Hulstrom (ninth) and senior Griffin McNamara (12th) proved too much for either the Eagles or Hermon to overcome.

Hermon improved on last year’s seventh-place finish at states behind freshman Ian Meserve’s 13th-place finish. Seniors Kyle Byram (20th overall), Braedon Stevens (22nd), junior Ben Zapsky (28th) and senior Zachary Beaton (32nd) joined Meserve in compiling a pack time of 29.53 seconds.

Alfie Walker, a senior from Fryeburg Academy, edged Freeport’s Martin Horne by 1.08 seconds to win the Class B race in 16:18.84.

 



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