Even though they didn’t have one of their lead horses, the Hampden Academy boys cross country team still had plenty of giddy-up.
The Broncos were a man down in Saturday's KVAC championships at the Augusta Civic Center, as senior Evan Piccirillo (hip injury) sat out. But Darik Frye’s first-place effort helped vault the Broncos to a first-place finish in the Class B division at the Augusta Civic Center course.
Coach Dick Balentine’s club tallied 66 points to easily out-distance runner-up Winslow’s 94. Maranacook of Readfield took third among 12 teams with 101 points, followed by Medomak Valley of Waldoboro with 130 and Belfast with 140.
Edward Little was the best of the Class A field with 65 points while Brunswick was second with 84 and Cony third with 89. Mount Ararat in fourth wtih 122 and Lewiston with 129 rounded out the top five.
Brewer came in eighth with 195 points while Bangor didn’t have enough runners to field a team score.
Frye, a senior for Hampden, covered the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 26 seconds, the quickest time among his Class B brethren while Greg O’Donnell earned ninth place.
Rounding out Hampden’s scoring runners were Ethan Burke in 12th, Andrew Closson in 16th and Travis Bach in 29th.
Erskine Academy of South China’s Sam Seekins was second among Class B runners while Ryan James of Belfast finished third, Camden Hills’ Ryan Widzgowski of Camden Hills fourth and Medomak’s Patrick O’Donnell fifth.
In the Class A race, Brunswick senior Will Geoghegan posted the day’s fastest time, running 16:09.
The Class A and B runners all ran together, and each “meet” consisting of ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools were scored separately.
Geoghegan once again outran several of the region's top runners, as Jason Kaake of Morse finished second, Kelton Cullenberg of Mt. Blue third, Sadam Abdi of Lewiston fourth and Cony's Luke Fontaine fifth.
Sam Nisbett finished seventh to pace Bangor.
In the girls’ meet, Mount Ararat and Medomak Valley earned team crowns.
The Eagles captured Class A honors in a close race with Mt. Blue of Farmington, 54 points to 63 while Brunswick earned third with 103 and defending regional champ Brewer fourth with 125. Edward Little rounded out the top five with 161.
Kate Spies’ first-place finish sparked Mount Ararat while Melody Lam came in third to spark Mt. Blue. Brewer was led by Sara Chavarie in sixth place.
In Class B, Maranacook’s Abby Mace traversed the course in 19:03 to clock the afternoon’s fastest time among schoolgirl runners, while Gwen Moiles, Kiana Ocean and Megan Wyllie finished 4-9-10 to fuel Medomak’s winning effort.
The Panthers (pictured right photo by Dave Flewelling) finished with 54 points to Maranacook's 77. Winslow took third with 81 while Hampden was fourth with 83 and Leavitt fifth wtih 115.
Winslow's Molly Schassberger was second among Class B competitors while NIkki Leeman of Lincoln Academy finished third and Taylor Burr of Maranacook fourth.
Blakelee Jordan and Alley Becker finished 11th and 12th, respectively, for Hampden.