Western Maine Class A Girls XC Preview

With the 2008 XC season nearly upon us, it is time to look at the contenders for both team and individual glory this fall in the Western Maine Class A. The season is sure to provide XC fans in Maine with the opportunity to watch several top-notch athletes chase their dreams of a state title come November. The battle for the team title this fall is sure to be a fight with several of the top teams from last fall returning key members of their squads. Scarborough the defending champion returns their entire top 7 as does Thornton Academy. Bonny Eagle, Cheverus & McAuley all have strong teams returning as well. There are sure to be some great races this fall, with any number of teams capable of winning the championship. What team will establish itself as the favorite during the regular season? What impact will the newcomers have on the individual title? Stay tuned

Cheverus: The Stags are coming off a solid 2007, where they placed 6th in the competitive Western regional & 7th in the state meet. Last year Cheverus was a young team, they’ll be more experienced this time around. Top returner Amelia Lundkvist (Jr. 4th in 2007) is looking to continue her great success on the trails; she’s been 4th & 3rd in the state meet in her career. Behind her look for McAuley transfer Liana Rubinoff (Jr. 13th in 2007), Lauren Peter (Jr. 27th in 2007), Leslie Sharkey (Sr. 42nd in 2007), Bridget Nee (Sr. 61st in 2007) & Ariana Muca (Jr. 97th in 2007). The addition of Rubinoff should help the Stags out as the look to challenge for the top spot.
Scarborough: The Red Storm return their entire squad from last year Western Maine championship team. They’ll bring a blend of experience and youth to the table this fall as they chase that elusive state title. Leading the way will be the combo of Melissa Dellatore (Jr. 10th in 2007) & Whitney Chamberlain (Sr. 15th in 2007). Add in new to XC Abby Chick (So.), who was a standout on the track last spring along with other returners, Libby Davis (Jr. 17th in 2007), Sarah Dugas (So. 18th in 2007), Meghan Summerson (Sr. 31st in 2007), & Courtney Robinson (Sr. 53rd in 2007). This team has the firepower up front and solid depth behind to make a run at the repeat this fall.
Bonny Eagle: The Scots finished 7th at the Western Regional capturing the final state meet spot, they certainly cherished the opportunity as they went on to finish 6th. Leading the way for the Scots this fall will be powerful duo of Lauren Dudley (Jr. 5th in 2007) & freshman Emily Durgin, who has been a standout middle school runner. Also returning a looking to make an impact will be Amber Dostie (So. 14th in 2007), Keeley Cronin (37th in 2007), Ashley Cox (Jr. 39th in 2007), & Cori Simmons (54th in 2007). Bonny Eagle may have the best top 3 of any team in the West. Look for the Scots to be near the front of the pack this fall.
McAuley: The Lions will have another strong squad this fall, coming off a 4th place showing in 2007, they will look to make the jump to the top. They will be strong at the front, led by Olivia MacKenzie (Sr. 7th in 2007) & the return of Lauren Fecteau (Jr.), who was injured most of last fall. Despite losing Liana Rubinoff to Cheverus, McAuley still has Macauley Kenney (Sr. 21st in 2007) & Katherine Fecteau (Jr. 59th in 2007) back from last year. The Lions will need a JV or newcomer to step up for the them this fall if they are to reach the top spot.
Thornton Academy: The lady Trojans are coming off a very successful 2007, which saw them run to a 5th place in Western regional. Last year they were a very young team, however this year they will have some experience as they return their entire top 7. Top runner for TA last fall was Grace Glynn (Jr. 11th in 2007), behind her look for Morgan Strout (So. 19th in 2007), Kayla White (So. 28th in 2007), Brenda McCarthy (So. 32nd in 2007), Norissa Morse (So. 46th in 2007), Erika Roth (Sr. 50th in 2007) & Erica Reaser (So. 73rd in 2007). TA has a very strong team this fall and will be in the battle for the top spot.
Other teams to watch
Top 5 teams from 2007 Western Regional
1 Scarborough High School 84 10 15 17 18 24 31 51
2 Massabesic High School 98 1 3 23 35 36 42 53
3 Kennebunk High School 108 6 8 26 30 38 40 54
4 Catherine McAuley High Sc 123 7 13 21 25 57 63 65
5 Thornton Academy 137 11 19 29 33 45 48 69
Top Individuals
Hannah Pierce (Jr. Massabesic) Pierce is the top returner in Western Maine this fall, coming off a strong 3rd place finish in 2007, and the following that up with a 6th place at the state meet. Pierce in only her 2nd season of XC will be out of her sister’s shadows this fall looking to continue on the strong running tradition of the Pierce name. Pierce is coming off a strong 6th place finish in the 3200 at the outdoor state meet. Look for her to be at the head of the pack.
Amelia Lundkvist (Jr. Cheverus): Lundkvist has developed into one of the best big meet runners around. She has hit her peak right on the last two seasons at the state meet. She finished 4th in the Western regional in 2007 and then moved up to 3rd in the state meet. Amelia finished 3rd in the 1600 & 3200 at the outdoor state meet. One thing is for sure, at the end of the season, you’ll see Amelia near the front of the pack.
Abbey Leonardi (Fr. Kennebunk):Leonardi will be only be a freshman this fall but comes to high school with an impressive resume on the track and trails. Last fall, she ran to a 4th place finish at the Junior Olympic XC Nationals, earning All-American honors.  This summer Abbey won the USATF Youth Girls 1500 national title by running 4:40.30. She followed that up with a record breaking 4:37.83 at the Maine 14u state meet, winning by cover 50 seconds. This type of talent only comes along every so often; look for Abbey to continue to make a name for herself this fall.
Emily Durgin (Fr. Bonny Eagle): Durgin is another standout freshman who comes to high school with an impressive resume. Durgin has dominated the middle school XC the last two years, setting course record everywhere she runs. She did have a setback this spring, when she developed a stress fracture. Last fall, she ran to a 8th place finish at the Junior Olympic XC Nationals, earning All-American honors. Look for Durgin to continue her success at the next level this fall.
Olivia MacKenzie (Sr. McAuley)MacKenzie was 7th in the Western regional in 2007 and then 22nd in the state meet. She is coming off a strong outdoor track season, she 5th in the 1600(5:19.16) & 3rd (11:55.41) in the 3200 at the Class B state meet. Look for MacKenzie to continue build on her success this fall.
Others to Watch
Lauren Dudley (Jr. Bonny Eagle)
Lauren Fecteau (Jr. McAuley)
Hannah Wiley (Jr. Kennebunk)
Melissa Dellatore (Jr. Scarborough)
Grace Glynn (Jr. Thornton Academy)
Liana Rubinoff (Jr. Cheverus)
Amber Dostie (So. Bonny Eagle)
Whitney Chamberlain (Sr. Scarborough)
Rachel Wilkinson (Jr. Gorham)
Top 25 Individuals 2007 Western regional (Returners in Red)
    1 Pierce, Katherine SR Massabesic 6:27.6 20:04.20
  2 Hewey, Victoria Sanford High School 6:32.3 20:18.70
 3 Pierce, Hannah SO Massabesic 6:33.5 20:22.50
 4 Lundkvist, Amelia SO Cheverus 6:34.1 20:24.30
   5 Dudley, Lauren SO Bonny Eagle 6:40.1 20:42.90
 6 Johnston, Hannah SR Kennebunk 6:40.2 20:43.10
 7 MacKenzie, Olivia JR McAuley 6:40.4 20:44.00
     8 Wiley, Hannah SO Kennebunk 6:40.6 20:44.40
 9 Cutter, Megan SR Westbrook 6:40.9 20:45.30
  10 Dellatore, Melissa SO Scarboro 6:42.4 20:50.20
 11 Glynn, Grace SO Thornton Academy 6:43.5 20:53.50
  12 Groth, Jessica SR Cheverus 6:45.3 20:59.00
  13 Rubinoff, Liana SO McAuley 6:49.2 21:11.30
  14 Dostie, Amber FR Bonny Eagle 6:51.0 21:16.90
 15 Chamberlain, Whitney JR Scarboro 6:52.3 21:20.90
  16 Flatley, Erin FR Windham High School 6:54.5 21:27.60
 17 Davis, Libby SO Scarboro 6:58.4 21:39.70
 18 Dugas, Sarah FR Scarboro 6:58.6 21:40.30
 19 Strout, Morgan FR Thornton Academy 6:59.8 21:44.00
 20 Donahue, Annelise FR South Portland 7:01.2 21:48.40
  21 Kenney, Macauley JR McAuley 7:01.8 21:50.30
 22 Wilkinson, Rachel 10 Gorham 7:04.0 21:57.30
 23 Smith, Amanda SO Massabesic 7:04.6 21:59.20
 24 Moulin, Katrijn JR Scarboro 7:05.1 22:00.50
 25 Duran, Laura McAuley 7:05.7 22:02.40 25
Team Prediction
Scarborough is the defending champion and returns its entire team. Thornton has their top 7 back as well and will look to challenge. Bonny Eagle might have the best top 3 and will pose a threat to everyone. Cheverus & McAuley are more than capable teams who will be in the mix; don’t look past last year surprise team Massabesic either. Kennebunk has a lot of talent as does Gorham.
1. Scarborough
2. Bonny Eagle
3. Thornton Academy
Individual Prediction
With the influx of top freshman talent will any of the experienced harriers be able to maintain the pace of Leonardi & Durgin? The talent is certainly there with Pierce, Lundkvist, Dudley, MacKenzie. Fecteau is a sleeper, now that she’s healthy. Lots of young talent behind this group that could have a breakthrough too.
1. Leonardi
2. Durgin
3. Fecteau
4. Pierce
5. Lundkvist