Horne & Conley win titles, Brunswick top team at Scott Laliberte Invitational
Mt Blue showed it will be one of the top teams in Class A this fall with a great opening season team performances on Friday. The cougars had the first two harriers across the line with Class A top returner Josh Horne leading the way. Horne covered the difficult 2.4 mile layout in 13:21.9. Behind him was transfer Aaron Willingham from Texas who lead the race early on. Willingham who ran 10:03 on the track last year as a sophomore looks to made an immediate impact in his junior campaign, he was 8 seconds back in 13:29.
There was a gap to the next group led by Messalonskee senior Logan Moses who was 3rd in 13:53, he was followed by Winthrop junior Ben Allen 13:58. Rounding out the top 5 was Jason Stevenson of Maranacook who broke 14 minutes (13:59.53).
Teamwise for the boys, Mt Blue dominated the rest of the field as they tallied 57 points, with Horne & Willingham (1-2), they got a strong run from Dan Lesko in 7th, along with Thad Gunther in 19th & Brendan Hickey 28th. Mt Ararat was 2nd with 97, the Eagles had 2 runners in the top 10 with Sam Wood (9th) & Nathan MacKenzie (10th). Messalonkee was 3rd with 115 points, while Maranacook 121 was 4th. In 5th place was Brunswick (140).
In the girls race South Portland's Shannon Conley, a transfer from Cheverus, made the trip north worth it as she opened her season with a win. Conley, a senior, covered the 2.4 mile in 16:12.02, her time placed her 46th in the combined results. Shannon is healthy once again, recovering from foot surgery last winter and into the spring, she's always been one of the best xc runners in the state, but is looking to take it to the next level this fall.
Behind Conley was sophomore Anne McKee of Kent's Hill 16:25.04, McKee the MSAID state champion a year ago. Last year in the same race she ran 17:31, so she's much fitter this fall. Right behind in 3rd place was Teresa Murphy of Brunswick in 16:25.4.
In the girls team race, Brunswick showed why it is considered the favorite to win the Class A title as the Dragons were the best girls team by over 100 places. Brunswick has plenty of room for improvement too as sophomore standout Tiffany Tanner ran 19:08, a year ago she ran 16:51. With Murphy & Cassidy leading the way, Tanner was 3rd runner with Brooke Escoe (19:09) & right behind them was Ruth Van Kampen (19:13). Maranacook was the second team with 590 edging out Mt Ararat 592. The Black Bears were paced by Hannah Depres (17:37), while Ararat got a top 10 finish from Kelly Lynch (17:20). South Portland was next with 604, while Winslow 687 rounded out the top 5 teams.
In the unique team scoring format of adding the boys & girls team scores together to decide the team champion, Brunswick came out on top with the top girls teams (471) & 5th place boys team (140), they had the low score of 611. Mt Ararat behind a 2nd place finish from the boys (97) & 3rd place from thre girls tallied 689 for 2nd. Maranacook had the 3rd best team score of 711.
Top 10 Boys
1 Horne, Josh MTB B 13:21.95 1 2 Willingham, Aaron MTB B 13:29.97 2 3 Moses, Logan Messalonskee B 13:53.92 3 4 Allen, Ben Winthrop B 13:58.40 4 5 Stevenson, Jason Maranacook B 13:59.53 5 6 Knowlton, Harrison Leavitt B 14:00.86 6 7 Lesko, Dan MTB B 14:03.45 7 8 Wood, Sam Mt. Ararat B 14:08.00 8 9 MACKENZIE, Nathan Mt. Ararat B 14:18.18 9 10 Walfield, Christopher Morse High School B 14:27.14 10
Top 10 Girls
46 Conley, Shannon Sphs G 16:12.02 46 51 McKee, Anne Kents Hills G 16:25.04 50 52 Murphy, Teresa Brunswick G 16:25.40 51 60 Cassidy, Tessa Brunswick G 16:35.53 59 75 Loring, Casey Sphs G 17:14.14 74 78 Guadalupi, Anne Cony High School G 17:17.42 77 80 Lynch, Kelly Mt Ararat G 17:20.54 79 83 Bourgoin, Joann Winslow G 17:28.12 82 86 Depres, Hannah Maranacook G 17:37.72 85 92 Hersom, Abby Osh G 18:00.25 91
Brunswick took the team honors with the best combined girls & boys score
Top Ten boys on the podium- photo by Greg Emerson
Top Ten girls on the podium- photo by Greg Emerson
JV race video courtesy of MTASPORTS (Greg Emerson)