BELFAST, Maine — The Mount Desert Island girls cross country team took home the Class B North championship plaque a year ago, only to return it a few days later after a scoring error was discovered and the Trojans lost the title in a tiebreaker.
On Saturday MDI left no doubt behind as it won the regional championship plaque on the 3.1-mile course at the Troy Howard Middle School.
The Trojans placed their five scoring runners among the top 10 finishers to total 37 points and score a wide victory over runner-up Medomak Valley of Waldoboro (107).
“It was just a glitch,” coach Desiree Sirois said of last year’s scoring correction that ultimately enabled Ellsworth to edge MDI for the North title by the sixth-runner tiebreaker. “We just continued to work hard, do our best and focus on us and it was our moment this year.”
Joining MDI as North champions were Camden Hills of Rockport and Orono.
Camden Hills scored 57 points to top second-place Mt. Blue of Farmington (91) and third-place Bangor (98) in Class A, while Orono’s 36 points bested nearest competitors Houlton-Greater Houlton Christian Academy (75) and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics of Limestone (80) in Class C.
MDI captured its first Class B regional title since 2016 thanks to a superior pack, with Katelyn Osborne (third overall in 20 minutes, 39.12 seconds), Olivia Johnson (seventh), Callan Eason (eighth), Rachelle Swanson (ninth) and Grace Munger (10th in 21:13.24) separated by just 34.12 seconds.
“We run for each other so we run with each other,” Johnson said.
Medomak Valley was led by the 11th- and 12-place efforts of juniors Mackenzie Emerson and Olivia Parent.
Other Class B North teams to qualify for next Saturday’s state meet at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland are Ellsworth (117 points), Waterville (134), Winslow (143), Caribou (151) and Hermon (225).
Freshman Anna Jandreau of Presque Isle captured the Class B individual title in 20:07.93, 11.25 seconds ahead of Winslow’s Olivia Tiner.
“It really helped knowing the course, especially today because it was a little muddier in certain spots,” said Jandreau, who finished 26th overall on the same course earlier this month at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions. “After walking the course and knowing it from ahead of time I knew when to ease up and when to speed up.”
Camden Hills placed its top five finishers in the top 20 to win its third straight Class A North crown.
Grace Iltis led the way with her seventh-place finish, followed by Claire Wyman (eighth), Miranda Dunton (11th), Elsie Hildreth (12th) and Phoebe Root (20th) to score a comfortable victory.
“I actually was thinking there would be a few would be a little higher up in the standings, but I think that was just a testament to how they worked together today to help each other through all the nerves and do well as a team rather than individually,” Camden Hills coach Helen Bonzi said.
Bangor senior Lydia Gilmore (19:30.17) edged teammate Erin McCarthy (19:38.25) to win the Class A North race, followed by Payton Bell of Edward Little of Auburn and Ava Dowling of Hampden Academy.
“By the middle of the second mile I was getting some breathing issues I’ve been dealing with recently,” Gilmore said. “I heard Erin right behind me saying, ‘Keep pushing Lyd, don’t stop, keep going.’
“She’s my favorite person in the world and I’m so happy I had her there because when there’s a million reasons to stop and one reason to keep going, you really need someone to push you, and I’m so glad it was her.”
Joining Camden Hills, Mt. Blue and Bangor at states from Class A North will be Mt. Ararat of Topsham (126 points), Brunswick (127) and Cony of Augusta (160).
George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill freshman Thea Crowley won the Class C race in 19:39.86, but sisters Erin Gerbi and Megan Gerbi of Orono were next across the finish line as the two-time defending Class C state champion Red Riots won their second straight regional crown.
Julia White (seventh), Amneh Wise (11th) and Katie Owen (18th) also scored as coach Lin White’s squad cruised to victory. The Red Riots are now poised to vie for its sixth state championship in seven years next weekend.
MSSM teammates Madison McCarthy and Dolcie Tanguay finished fourth and fifth in the Class C race, while Houlton-GHCA was led by Teagan Ewings and Emmalyne Drake in ninth and 10th, respectively.
Fort Kent also advanced to states, with Ellie Smith and Emma Landry finishing 12th and 13th to pace the Warriors.