Callan Eason of Mount Desert Island (right) and Caitlin McPherson stretch at the finish line during the Class B race at Saturday's cross country state championships in Cumberland. Eason edged McPherson for 11th place. Credit: Glendon Rand

Orono High School continued its recent domination of Class C girls cross country Saturday, running to its third consecutive state championship at the Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland.

The North region champion Red Riots placed four runners among the top eight finishers overall and cruised to their sixth title in the last seven years.

Familiar faces also emerged victorious in the other classes. Bonny Eagle of Standish won its second straight Class A title and sixth in the last eight years, while host Greely High School returned to the top of the winners’ stand in Class B for the first time since 2016.

Coach Lin White’s Orono club scored 33 points to outdistance runner-up Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport (57) in the Class C race, with Maranacook of Readfield (116), Winthrop (127) and Monmouth Academy (138) rounding out the top five schools.

Junior Olivia Reynolds of Maine Coast Waldorf won the Class C individual title for the third straight year with her time of 19 minutes, 44.66 seconds.

She was followed by North region champion Thea Crowley, a freshman from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, who was timed in 20:23.76 on the hilly 3.1-mile course.

But then came the Orono pack, led by junior Erin Gerbi (20:24.95), who finished third at states for the second straight year. She was soon followed by her younger sister, freshman Megan Gerbi, along with junior Julia White and sophomore Nora White, who are not sisters, in sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively. Freshman Katherine Kohtala then crossed the finish line in 21st place to clinch a comfortable victory for the Red Riots.

In Class A, Falmouth junior Sofie Matson won her third straight individual state championship and just missed breaking the course record she established at Twin Brook while winning the Class A South regional a week earlier.

Matson’s time of 17:52.02 was just off the 17:51.74 she ran at regionals, and both times were well under the previous Twin Brook girls course record of 18:05.59 set in 2011 by former Kennebunk High School and University of Oregon standout Abbey Leonardi.

Matson’s Falmouth classmate, Karley Piers, finished second in 19:18.61, but Bonny Eagle’s depth proved the difference as the Scots emerged with the team trophy behind the on-course leadership of fourth-place Delaney Hesler, ninth-place Emmaline Pendleton and 13th-place Hannah Stevens.

Bonny Eagle finished with 72 points, followed by Falmouth (114), Gorham (120), and Camden Hills of Rockport (124).

Senior Grace Iltis (11th) and junior Claire Wyman (16th) paced Camden Hills.

Bangor senior Lydia Gilmore, the Class A North regional champion, placed fifth at states in 19:38.04, and with junior Erin McCarthy finishing eighth the Rams finished seventh in the team standings.

Hampden Academy junior Ava Dowling ran to a sixth-place finish.

In Class B, Greely’s depth was slightly faster than Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor as the Rangers edged the Trojans 71-79 for the team title.

Cape Elizabeth, featuring the 1-2 finishes of junior Lila Gaudrault (19:19.62) and freshman Charlotte DeGeorge, was a close third with 85 points, followed by York (139) and Freeport (149) to complete the top five.

Greely placed three runners among the top eight, with senior Marin Provencher third and freshmen Charlotte Taylor seventh and Abby Hollis eighth.

Freshman Callan Eason paced North region champion MDI with an 11th-place finish, followed by senior Katelyn Osborne (15th), junior Olivia Johnson (20th), senior Rachelle Swanson (25th) and freshman Piper Soares (29th). The entire group was separated by just 46.19 seconds.

But the supporting finishes of freshman Katie Hankinson (18th overall) and junior Elsa Dean-Muncie (53rd) proved just enough to give Greely the victory.

Freshman Anna Jandreau of Presque Isle, the Class B North individual champion, placed fourth at states in 20:39.32.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...