WMC XC Championship Preview

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The Yarmouth girls, no. 2 in the poll come into Friday as the favorites to take the Division 2 Championship. Anneka Murrin and Sophia Laukli have led the charge for Yarmouth, which gives the Clippers to legitimate individual threats. Their 3-5 runners are very solid as well. Greta Elder and Sadie Cowles have both run under 21:00 this season. Their fifth runner, Abi Thorton, isn't too far behind (21:24.60), but Yarmouth will need an 'A' type performance from her to stay clear from the rest of the challengers.

Greely, no. 5 in the poll, is coming off its best race of the season at the Festival of Champions where they finished ninth and were the second Maine team. Carolyn Todd has been fantastic as Greely's top runner. She recently finished third at Festival of Champions. Julia Curran, Chloe Waldrep and Marin Provencher have been great as Greely's 2-4 runners, as they've all clocked 21:00 or better for 5k this season. Their fifth runner, Chloe Smith, is strong as well and has run 21:33. They go in as the slight favorite in Division 1.

Expected to challenge Greely in D1 is Cape Elizabeth. The Capers, no. 6, have one of the top freshmen in the state in Lila Gaudrault, who is expected to challenge for a high finish on Friday. She's run 19:09 for 5k this season. Camilla Grosso has been very steady as Cape's second runner. She broke 20:00 for the first time this season at Festival of Champions, running 19:47.96. Mary Kate Hayes and Addie Hayes, and Grace Roberts round out the rest of Cape's top five, and have all dipped under 22 minutes for 5k this season.

The York Wildcats are looking to win Division 1 for the second consecutive season. York, no. 9, is led by Kathryn Miller, who finished third in D1 last year and has had a terrific season in 2017. Like York's top competitors, they also have a very strong 2-5, and even have eight runners who gone under 22:00 for 5k this season. Laura Kenealy, Sydney Fogg, Sophia Newton and Grace Gear all have season-bests within 20 seconds of each other, and will need to replicate that tight pack to challenge Cape, Greely and Yarmouth.

Fryeburg Academy and Maine Coast Waldorf are two other teams to watch in D2.

 Yarmouth's two-headed monster of Anneka Murrin and Sophia Laukli will look to challenge for the win in D2, if they race, on FridayMurrin comes into the conference championships with the fastest 5k in the conference, after she ran 18:28.74 at the Southern XC Classic. She's won two races in 2017. Laukli is a newcomer to the cross country scene and has shined in her first season. Her breakout race of the season came at the Festival of Champions where she finished second overall, running 18:36.46. That time ranks third in the conference.

Carolyn Todd has posted two wins in 2017 and comes in with a PB of 18:37.98, which she ran at Festival of Champions to finish third. The last time Todd ran at WMCs was back in 2015 where she finished second running 19:44. She finished third overall at the Southern XC Classic, running 18:44.9.

Lily Horne has been one of the more improved runners in the state in 2017 and she comes into Friday with a PB of 18:39, which she ran at her home course on September 29. A week before that she ran to a second place finish in the 'Small Schools' race at the Manchester Invitational, running 19:35.

Kathryn Miller has won two races in 2017 and is coming off a great race at the Festival of Champions where she finished fifth overall, running a PB of 18:47.68. Her most recent win came on her home course back on September 22 where she covered the 3-mile course in 19:03. Miller finished third in D1 last season running 19:48.

Lila Gaudrault has been the top freshmen in the conference this season and is coming off a runner-up finish in the Freshman race at the Festival of Champions, running a PB of 19:09.38. She's broken 20:00 in two of her three 5ks this season, and ran to a fourth place finish at the Southern Maine XC Classic in 19:14.27.

Emily Carty of Fryeburg Academy is another runner to watch. She's gone under 20:00 in all four of her 5ks, and ran a PB of 19:19.62 at the Southern Maine XC Classic. She will contend for a high finish in D2.

Freshman Olivia Reynolds for Maine Coast Waldorf has been great in her first XC season, having run 19:37 for 5k. She was sixth in the Freshman race at the Festival of Champions, running 19:50.53.