Simpson & Ambrose take individual wins, Cape boys impress, Falmouth girls strong
The opening race of the Western Maine Conference season opened this afternoon at Gull Crest Field in Cape Elizabeth. The meet orginally scheduled for Friday was moved to Wednesday beacuse of the Jewish holiday Rashanah. The meet featured some of the top expected teams in 2013, with the Falmouth & Freeport girls, and Cape Elizabeth & Falmouth on the boys side.
The girls got things underway with a hot baking sun coming down on the competitors. Falmouth got off to a fast start with Madeline Roberts setting the early pace with teammate Antoinette Lambert right behind. Ambrose was sitting in 4th with a pack of Cape runners near the 1 1/4 mile mark. By the halfway point Lambert had pulled even with Roberts while Ambrose was stalking the pack in 3rd. Behind her were two more Falcons Bethanie Knighton & Elly Bengtsson.
Over the final 1 1/2 miles Ambrose would overtake the leaders and pull away for the victory, 21:08. Ambrose who played field hockey up until this fall, successful won her first career xc race, doesn't get much better than that. Her time made the girls top times in course history as well. Lambert would finish a strong #2 with a 20:27 clocking, while Roberts would be 3rd in 20:33
Freeport's Bethanie Knighton was the 4th girl across the line (20:35), holding off Falmouth's Vishva Nalamalapu rounded out the top 5 20:36.
The rookie Sydney Ambrose had this to say about her win "It felt so wonderful to go out there and win my first race of not only this season, but of my cross country debut!" While Ambrose ran like a veteran she was quick to acknowledge assistant coach Josh Zolla for her race strategy. "I closely followed the advice of one of my coaches, Josh Zolla, who told me to take the first mile easy and focus on my breathing so I could finish strong."
How did she know when to make the final move? "It was hard to reserve myself and be patient, as it felt instinctual to go out hard from the get-go. When I reached the 2 mile mark, I had a great rhythm in my breathing and I still felt strong, so that's when I picked it up." Ambrose commented on taking the lead.
Falmouth expected to be one of the top teams in Class A this fall took the team win 28-39 over a strong Freeport team. Falmouth had a 20:52 average for 3 miles for their top while Freeport was at 21:04, Cape Elizabeth was 3rd with 60 points they averaged 21:49.
In the boys race which followed after the girls, Liam Simpson of Cape Elizabeth set the early pace with Bryce Murdick of Falmouth on his heels. The duo led the lead pack through the first 800m in 2:40. Following behind them was a big pack of Falmouth & Cape runners which included Scott Lambert & Spencer Brown of Falmouth, along with Cape's Will Britton. Peter Doane, & Julian Pelzer. Thye pace picked up after the 800m as the front group surged.
As they exited the woods, Simspon had a couple stride lead on Murdick as they had pulled away from the second pack. The second pack was led by Britton while Kyle Kennedy of Cape & Josh Simensky of Falmouth where trying to bridge the gap.
By the 1 1/2 mile mark Simpson was increasing his lead with every stride as the gap over Murdick grew to 7 seconds. Doane had taken over the pacing duties of the 2nd group with Britton, Brown, Lambert & Kennedy next in line. Simensky had moved up into 8th with Pelzer & fast moving Mitch Morris (Cape) in 9th.
Simpson would extend his lead over the last half of the race as he would cross the line in a personal best 16:03, he was followed by a strong run from Murdick (16:34). Simpson moved into a tie for 11th on the course all-time list, while Murdick also made it. The Cape duo of Britton & Kennedy took spots 3 & 4, while Lambert had a strong finish to hold off the hard charging Doane & Morris. Brown would finish 8th, with Pelzer of Cape in 9th & Iain Kurry of Falmouth roudning out the top 10.
Cape Elizabeth the defending Class B champs took down top rated Class A, Falmouth 21-37. The Capers had a 16:39 average for runners 1-5, while Falmouth had a 17:08 average. Freeport finished 3rd with 81 points.
Girls top 10
1 Sydney Ambrose 12 Freeport High School 20:18.00 1 2 Antoinette Lambert Falmouth High School 20:27.00 2 3 Madeline Roberts Falmouth High School 20:33.00 3 4 Vishva Nalamalapu Falmouth High School 20:35.00 4 5 Bethanie Knighton 12 Freeport High School 20:36.00 5 6 Mira Wyman Falmouth High School 20:48.00 6 7 Elly Bengtsson 12 Freeport High School 20:51.00 7 8 Samantha Feenstra Cape Elizabeth High 20:58.00 8 9 Rhoen Fiutak Cape Elizabeth High 21:03.00 9 10 Dana Hatton Cape Elizabeth High 21:08.00 10
Boys Race Video
Boys top 10
1 Liam Simpson Cape Elizabeth High 16:03.00 1 2 Bryce Murdick Falmouth High School 16:34.00 2 3 Will Britton Cape Elizabeth High 16:43.00 3 4 Kyle Kennedy Cape Elizabeth High 16:45.00 4 5 Scott Lambert Falmouth High School 16:50.00 5 6 Peter Doane Cape Elizabeth High 16:53.00 6 7 Mitch Morris Cape Elizabeth High 16:54.00 7 8 Spencer Brown Falmouth High School 17:03.00 8 9 Julian Pelzer Cape Elizabeth High 17:20.00 9 10 Iain Kurry Falmouth High School 17:26.00 10.