Eastern Maine Class B Boys XC Preview

 

With the 2008 XC season nearly upon us, it is time to look at the contenders for both team and individual glory this fall in the Eastern Maine Class B. The season is sure to provide XC fans in Maine with the opportunity to watch several top notch athletes chase their dream of a state title come late November. The battle for the team title this fall is also sure to be close with several of the top teams from last fall returning key members of their squads. Caribou & Medomak Valley return a majority of their squads, both teams were top 3 last fall, add in a young MDI squad and things could get interesting. Who will be victorious? Who will emerge? Who will surprise?

Teams

Caribou: No surprise here as the Vikings are a perennial threat year in and year out, since 1993 the Vikings have been a top 4 team in the Eastern Regional, easily qualifying for states each year. This year looks to be no different. Caribou returns 5 runners from a team that finished 3rd a year ago at the Eastern Regional and then an impressive 2nd at the State Meet. The top returner for the Vikings is Jesse Stephens (Sr. 10th in 2007); the supporting cast behind him includes Timothy Freme (Jr. 22nd in 2007), Stephen Melbourne (Sr. 25th in 2007), Christian Sleeper (So. 36th in 2007) & Finn Bonderson (Jr. 42nd in 2007).  

Medomak Valley: Medomak burst onto the scene last fall with an impressive runner-up finish at the Eastern Regional, just 8 points behind champion, Ellsworth. They finished in a tie with Caribou for 2nd at the State Meet but lost out on the hardware because Caribou’s 6th man finished ahead of Medomak’s. They have a strong returning cast back this fall, led by potential individual champion, Alex Goldrup (Sr. 5th in 2007), joining him will be Patrick O'Donnell (Jr. 20th in 2007), Craig Holmes (Sr. 29th in 2007), Caleb Philbrook (Sr. 38th in 2007), & Derek Booker (Sr. 65th in 2007). Medomak has a veteran team and come championship time that will be an advantage for them.

MDI: A 5th place finish last fall was a solid performance for a young team who return 6 of their top 7 runners this fall. This is a team that is more than capable of making the jump to the top this year. They will be led by Tucker Smith (Sr. 17th in 2007); behind him are Robert Haskell (Sr. 21st in 2007), Paul Hewes (So. 26th in 2007), Sam Swann (So. 30th in 2007), Alex Woychik (Sr. 46th in 2007) & Paul Burnell (Sr. 51st in 2007). It’s a safe bet that MDI will mix it up with the best in Eastern Class B this season, whether or not they come out on top will depend on the team finding a front runner.

Ellsworth: The defending Eastern Maine champion will be back this fall to try and defend their title. Always one of the top teams in Class B, Ellsworth had a great championship meet last year, peaking as they always do at the right time. Coach Beardsley has this team a contender year in and year out. Despite losing their top 3 runners, don’t count Ellsworth out, they still has a strong nucleus returning, had a very good JV squad last year, and usually has a couple of freshman ready to step in. The top returner for the Eagles is Ben Chapman (Jr. 16th in 2007); behind him are two more juniors, Dakota Hellum (Jr. 19th in 2007) & Jeremiah Roper (Jr. 27th in 2007). Others to look out for are Lyle Stephenson (So.), Matt Walton (Jr.), & Kris Kohut (Jr.)

Others Teams to watch

Belfast

Presque Isle

                      Top 5 Teams 2007 Eastern Regional
 
     1 B-Ellsworth High School      61    3    9   14   16   19   26   76
        Total Time:  1:29:02.87
           Average:    17:48.58
     2 B-Medomak Valley High Sch    69    4    5   12   20   28   37   64
        Total Time:  1:29:33.95
           Average:    17:54.79
     3 B-Caribou High School        99    8   10   22   24   35   41   49
        Total Time:  1:30:50.13
           Average:    18:10.03
     4 B-Leavitt Area High Schoo   101    2   11   13   36   39   57   74
        Total Time:  1:30:54.56
           Average:    18:10.92
     5 B-Mount Desert Island Hig   115   17   21   23   25   29   45   50
        Total Time:  1:31:40.85
           Average:    18:20.17

 

Top Individuals

Alex Goldrup (Sr. Medomak Valley). Goldrup is the top returner in Eastern Maine Class B this year. Last year He ran to an impressive 5th in Eastern Regional & 16th at the State Meet. Goldrup only runs XC so there are no track results from the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan James (Jr. Belfast) James will look to improve on his impressive sophomore year, where he finished 6th in the Eastern regional, just behind top returner Goldrup, and then in the State Meet was 16th. Outdoors James was 17th in the 1600m at the state meet. Ryan may have the biggest home field advantage as the Regional meet is at Belfast.

 

 

 

 

Jesse Stephens (Sr. Caribou) Stephens ran well last fall for the Vikings. A 10th place finish at the Eastern Regional followed up by a 23rd place finish at State Meet. Stephens was mainly an 800m runner outdoors in the spring, running to a 10th place finish at the State Meet.

 

 

 

Lauren Turner (Sr. Leavitt) Turner was the #3 runner for the Hornets last fall, He had a strong finish to the year, running to a 13th place finish at the Eastern Regional, then on his home course at the State Meet finish a strong 17th. Outdoors, Turner finished 13th in the 1600 at the State Meet.

 

 

 

 

Sam Seekins (Jr. Erskine Academy) Seekins is looking to build off his strong outdoor season, that saw him run 4:36/10:08. Last fall Seekins was pretty good, finishing 15th in the Eastern Regional before having a rough day at the state meet, 45th. Look for Seekins to rebound and run with the best all season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others to watch

Ben Chapman (Jr. Ellsworth)

Tucker Smith (Jr. MDI)

Ryan Widzgowski (Jr. Camden Hills)

Dakota Hellum (Jr. Ellsworth)

Patrick O'Donnell (Medomak Valley)

Robert Haskell (Sr. MDI)

Timothy Freme (Jr. Caribou)

Stephen Melbourne (Sr. Caribou)

Top 25 Individuals from 2007 (Returners in Red)

    1 Corey Park                SR B-Presque Isle        16:58.34    1
    2 Justin Fereshetian        SR B-Leavitt             17:02.11    2
    3 Logan Will                SR B-Ellsworth           17:08.34    3
    4 Matt Poulin               SR B-Medomak Valley      17:22.75    4
    5 Alex Goldrup              JR B-Medomak Valley      17:30.25    5
    6 Ryan James                SO B-Belfast             17:31.05    6
    7 Evan Vashon               SR B-Waterville          17:35.22    7
    8 Spencer McElwain          SR B-Caribou             17:38.06    8
    9 Akihisa Ishida            SR B-Ellsworth           17:43.21    9
   10 Jesse Stephens            JR B-Caribou             17:47.08   10
   11 Ryan Fitzsimons           SR B-Leavitt             17:53.41   11
   12 Clayton Barnes            SR B-Medomak Valley      17:53.87   12
   13 Lauren Turner             JR B-Leavitt             17:56.86   13
   14 Alec Phippen              SR B-Ellsworth           17:59.83   14
   15 Sam Seekins               SO B-Erskine Academy     18:00.41   15
   16 Ben Chapman               SO B-Ellsworth           18:00.87   16
   17 Tucker Smith              JR B-Mount Desert        18:02.50   17
   18 Ryan Widzgowski           SO B-Camden Hills        18:10.17   18
   19 Dakota Hellum             SO B-Ellsworth           18:10.62   19
   20 Patrick O'Donnell         SO B-Medomak Valley      18:11.09   20
   21 Robert Haskell            JR B-Mount Desert        18:15.11   21
   22 Timothy Freme             SO B-Caribou             18:17.87   22
   23 David Falls               SR B-Old Town            18:19.42
   24 Nigel Storer              SR B-Mount Desert        18:20.39   23
   25 Stephen Melbourne         JR B-Caribou             18:23.06   24

 

Team Prediction

The team battle is sure to be close. Look for Caribou who is strong at the top and has solid depth to emerge as the team to beat. You can never count out Ellsworth either; they are strong at the front as well and have a lot tradition of their side. This just might be Medomak’s year to be the top dog. Watch out for the young and talented MDI team as well. Belfast & Presque Isle both have decent squads which should make the state meet.

 

1. Caribou

2. Medomak Valley

3. Ellsworth

 

Individual Prediction

Goldrup the top returner will be hard to beat, but with James having the home field advantage, could be the one to do it. Watch out for Stephens, he’s got excellent speed and the Belfast course is well suited for him. Turner is excellent runner as well, and Seekins who has the best track times out of the group just might be the dark horse.

 

1. James

2. Goldrup

3. Seekins

4. Stephens

5. Turner

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