Four teams met behind Skowhegan High School for a cross country race not far from where their New Balance trainers and spikes are assembled. But low roster numbers made the team outcome something of a foregone conclusion even before the gun was fired.
On the girls side only Brunswick had the minimum of five runners needed to qualify as a team so the Dragons were bound to take the title regardless of individual performances. Just 16 female runners were entered.
Brunswick's Micaela Ashby (22:46) finished first followed by teammate Isabella Pols (23:19.95). The bright spot for the home team was Skowhegan first year Haley Bellrose in third at 25:25.03. Rounding out the top five girls were Jayde Whitten of Nokomis and Brunswick's Emily Coffin.
On the boys side both the home team Skowhegan and the visiting Dragons had the necessary numbers but Brunswick's experience and depth won the day as the Dragons took four of the top five spots. In a fairly tight top five, Brunswick Sophomore Andrew Chingos (19:26.22) took the top spot followed by first year Tyler Patterson (19:39.78). Josiah Webber (19:41.23), a first year from Lawrence, spoiled the Dragon sweep by taking the third spot. Webber was followed by Brunswick junior Daniel Lyons and first year Aiden Simmons in the fourth and fifth spots despite identical finishing times of 19:45.52. Twenty-two male runners finished.
The course is well marked and starts adjacent to a football field and traverses open meadow on a well mowed but often narrow grass surface before entering a wooded area for a couple of loops. It recrosses the opening same meadow twice and the finish is approached via the sideline of several very busy playing fields. The surface is hard and uneven with some roots and the occasional stone area. Even the mowed area---consisting of reclaimed meadow is uneven and hard. This year the course was dry but portions of it, particularly in the woods, would be susceptible to pooling in wetter years. Despite the surface it is a well marked and attractive course with several spots where runners can be seen three or four times with minimal movement from spectators. A slight elevation at the finish contributes to the good viewing.
Last year the race drew Bangor, Brewer, Hampden and Waterville in addition to Brunswick and the host team Skowhegan. Rounding out the scoring for the Brunswick girls were senior Kathleen Koval and first year Maggie Johnson. Senior Ryan Olson took the fifth spot for the Dragons Boys. Scoring for the Skowhegan boys were senior Grant Garcia (7th, 21:04), junior Jake Perskins (9th), first year Cameron Smart (10th) senior Logan Malek (16th) and first year Lucas Goodrow (17th).