Southern Maine XC Classic Boys Preview
The first Southern Maine Classic XC Invitational sponsored by HOKA and Fleet Feet Maine Running will take place on the speedy 5k course at Narragansett School in Gorham on Saturday. The meet will have three different high school races per gender with the freshman/sophomores in one race, then the juniors/seniors in another race, there will also be a Unseeded race for all other high school runners. The Classic will also feature a kids race, open race, middle school race. Runners who finish in the top 25 overall will receive a tshirt, while the top 3 individuals will also receive medals. Hats will be given to the top team.
Freshman/Sophomore Boys Race
Expect the sophomores to set the pace in this one. Tristram Coffin of Scarborough & Jack Bassett of Cape Elizabeth are two of favorites in this race. Coffin in his first season of XC opened well with a 9th place effort at the SMAA relays last week, while Bassett ran to a second place effort on his home course clocking 16:49 for 3 miles. Wells Griffin Allaire has strong credentials, the sophomore ran 17:11 a year ago placing 12th in the Class B state meet. Allaire opened his season with a 18:03 effort at Wells to finish third.
Another sophomore Mark D'Alessandro of St Dominic Academy is one to watch he has had a strong opening to his season with a pair of runner-up finish on the Lake Region course. Odeh Rizkhallah of Yarmouth placed 4th in his debut at Cape last week, his time over three miles was 17:13.
Massabesic's Matthew Pooler was 23rd in the SMAA relays, while teammate Jakob Saucier was 39th.
Expect Lake Region sophomore Jeff McCubrey to mix it up well, he was 4th at the Lake Region Invitational. Falmouth's Ben Potter can't be overlooked either, he was third in the SMAA relays JV race running 8:03 last week.
Two freshman to keep an eye on are Aidan Hoffman of Falmouth & Donald Mahoney of Cheverus. Hoffman was the top freshman at the SMAA relays running 7:53. Mahoney was just 5 seconds behind with a sub 8 clocking of 7:58, he also has run 17:23 for just under 3 miles at Lake Region.
Junior/Senior Boys Race
The junior/senior boys race features 6 ranked Flo50 individuals led by #1 Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth. Laverdiere the defending Class B state champion comes into the race as one one of the pre-meet favorites. He is likely to be pushed by junior Jack Yanko of Amherst-Pelham who ran a 15:47 for 5k a year ago and was the Western Division runner-up in Massachusetts.
Class A standouts Alex Swett & John Auer figure to be up front as well. Swett comes in ranked Flo50 #6 was second in the SMAA relays last week, while Auer Flo50 #7 matched his time from race #2. A year ago Swett was 8th in the Class A state meet running 16:19 while Auer ran to an 11th place finish in 16:28.
Flo50 #11 Troy Hendricks of Sacopee Valley is one to watch, so far this year it's been easy wins for the senior as he ran 17:00 for just under 3 miles at Lake Region. Flo50 #13 Connor Piers of Falmouth figures to be a top 5 contender as well.
Greely's duo of Matthew Todd & Luke Marsanskis had strong opener last week with Todd winning in 17:09, with Marsanskis clocking 17:20 at NYA.
Harrison Osborne of Scarborough & Alex Kinley of Falmouth had strong showings at the SMAA relays, they both ran identical times of 7:31.
Wells senior Mitch Libby the Class B third place finisher from a year ago started his season off with a strong 17:18 for 5k at Wells and will be in the mix as well on Saturday.
With the seven of the top ten ranked teams in Maine entered including 4 of the top 5, plus the addition of top ranked Amherst-Pelham the sixth best returning team in all of Massachusetts this figures to be a close team race. With the races split up into freshman/sophomore and junior/senior races makes it even more interesting.
Falmouth the defending Class A champions looked very good at the SMAA relays, as they showed great quality and excellent depth. Greely had a strong debut last week to earn them the #2 Flo50 ranking this past week, they will look to show their Class A competitors that they are ready to step up in 2017.
Flo50 #4 Massabesic was third at SMAA Relays, and figures to run a little better over the longer 5k distance. Flo50 #5 Yarmouth & Flo50 #6 Cape Elizabeth matched up a week ago and not much separated the two teams over 3 miles.
Flo50 #9 Scarborough still won't be at full strength but the Red Storm will look to run better than a week ago at SMAA relays.