With two days of heavy rain mid-week, and an overnight Friday of mixed weather, morning broke at Twin Brook Recreational Facility foggy but with a brightness that told of the promised mild late October temperatures and clear skies. By 11:00, as the girls of Class C were lining up for the first race of six races on the day, the mist had burned off the open fields and only the shaded portions where the trail hugged the western edge of the woods remained really wet.
On schedule, the gun for the first race was fired and the Class C girls delivered a nail biting team competition along with one of the closer individual races of the day. In the end the girls from Orono, runners-up last week at the Northern Regional to George Stevens Academy, extracted a measure of revenge in the larger field of the state meet. Led by Camille Kohtala with a second place finish (20:22.76) the Red Riot collected 71 points to take a one point team win over Maranacook (72). The Black Bears of Maranacook had taken the Southern Maine Regional Championship last weekend. The third spot belonged to George Stevens Academy, with just 79 points.
Maranacook was led by Molly McGrail whose 20:42 was good for 6th place overall. Last week's Northern Regional Champion, Eliza Broughton ook the third spot for George Steven at 20:22.92 just off Kohtala's time of 20:22.76. (Complete Girls Class C recap).
The Individual Championship belongs to Olivia Reynolds of Maine Coast Waldorf School. Her 20:13.10 gave her a nine second win over Kohtala, making it one of the three closest individual wins on the day. Reynolds bested her time of last week by 13 seconds when she took the Southern Maine Regional Championship on the same course.
In Boys Class C Henry Spritz of Waynflete made a late push to take the title from Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle-Stonington with a seven second margin.
In the Class A Boys race, Mt. Ararat's Lisandro Berry-Gaviria took his third title in as many weeks with a four second win over Hampden's Wyatt Lord.
But the Individual title winners in the other three races all left the rest of their fields far behind.
In Class B, Luke Laverdiere took the individual title by a minute plus over Mitch Libby of Wells. Laverdiere's time of 15:43, gave him the fastest boys time on the day with Lisandro Berry Gaviria's time of 16:31 coming in as the second fastest.
For the girls Sofie Matson of Falmouth took the girls Class A title with a thirty-seven second margin over Augusta Stockman of Camden Hills.
In Class B Freeport's Lily Horne also torched the field finishing thirty-two seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Matson's 18:41 was the fastest girl's time on the day while Horne's 19:10 was the second best.
But today none of the individual title holders went home with team Championships.
For the boys in Class C Jonathan Steelman, with a 4th place finish, led Orono to the team title, giving the Red Riot a sweep for the day. The Orono boys put up the lowest team total of the day with jut 48 points as they put three runners in the top ten. Maine Coast Waldorf was second with 77 points. (Complete Boys Class C recap)
In the third race of the day, Stockman's second place finish led the team from Camden Hills to the State Championship. Stockman had teammate Grace Iltis was just on her heels as Iltis ws 3rd. The Windjammers finished with 73 points. Home-town favorite Greely, led by Carolyn Todd's 4th place finish, was runner-up at 107. Sofie Matson's Yachtsmen were third with 131.
Falmouth took the boys Class A State Championship led by John Auer's 7th place finish. The Yachtsman collected 73 points. Scarborough was second with 95 as Connor Coffin took 4th for the Storm. (Complete Girls Class A report, Boys Class A report)
In Class B Sam Russ's Lincoln Academy Eagles had two in the top ten and two more in the second ten to take the team title with just 56 points. Freeport finished with 114, just squeaking past Yarmouth at 115. Russ's 4th place finish gave the Eagles three titles in three weeks.(Complete Class B Boys report).
The girls winner in Class B was Yarmouth with 67 points. Senior Sophia Laukli running her first cross country season led the team with a second place finish (19:42) while Anneka Murrin (19:56) was not far behind in 4th position. York finished second with 85 points. York's finish was notable for the fine collection of blaze orange and other hunting regalia that the boy's team sported while lurking trailside to urge their leader, Kathryn Miller (5th), and the rest of the team on (complete Class B Girls recap).
The course opens with a long gentle climb through the well maintained grass adjacent to playing fields before entering a closely mowed path through a maintained meadow. At the end of the meadow it takes a 90 degree turn and makes a steeper climb before entering the woods after about half a mile.
The first of four wooded loops begins with a steep plunge into the "Hill Loop," a half mile of fifteen foot drops and climbs over a graded and culverted woods road. Exiting the loop, just past the mile marker, the runners briefly run on grass--it was wet today and remained in the shade through all six races--for maybe 70 meters before entering the Morton Trail, a much flatter half mile trail that drops the runners at the eastern edge of the cultivated playing fields for another 60 meters or so.
Next is the Inner loop, a 0.4 mile loop. Just near the end of the Inner loop the runners pass the two mile mark before hitting the grass again on their way back for a second pass at the Hill Loop. The second time the course takes the Hill Loop in reverse and adds one more drop and climb through the "pain cave."
The final climb out of the pain cave is notable not so much for its height as its steepness. Emerging from the pain cave runners have a little more than 400 meters to go on grass. Two 90 degree turns before the run out to the finish.
As to the woods portion of the trails, thanks to aggressive engineering and grading, subdivision sized culverting, and trails over wood roads that would easily support a pick-up, there were no real wet spots. The woods trails at Twin Brook are not single track by any stretch; these roads could be plowed in winter without a hitch. But what they give in superior drainage, they take away in comfort. The surface--rock more than gravel--of the two plus mile in the woods at Twin Brook warms the hearts of Hoka sales reps everywhere.