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 B. 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. Cape Elizabeth the defending champion returns 6 runners from their squad that dominated Class B last year. York, Freeport, and Fryeburg Academy all return strong teams this fall. There are sure to be some great races this fall. Can anyone challenge Cape Elizabeth?? Who will be the surprise team? Who will win the individual crown? Stay Tuned
Cape Elizabeth: The capers are the defending Western Maine & State champions. They return a very talented squad this fall, 5 runners return from last year’s champions. Leading the way will be the dynamic duo of Emily Atwood (Jr. 2nd in 2007) & Marita Stressenger (Sr. 4th in 2007). Also returning is Kelsey Barton (So. 7th in 2007), Hannah Doss (Jr. 21st in 2007), & Rachel Nichols (So. 26th in 2007). Cape has several runners capable of making the jump to the varisty level this fall. Cape has the front-runners and the quality depth to defend their title this fall. They will also take their talent out of state for the prestigious Hartford Invitational, as well as the New Balance Invitational.
Freeport: Freeport will be in their 2nd season in Class B this fall, and will look to improve on a 5th place finish from 2007. With 6 runners returning, they have a squad capable of doing just that. At the front of the pack, Molly Susla (Sr. 6th in 2007) will lead the way. Behind her look for Caroline Davis (Sr. 18th in 2007), Kiera Berkemeyer (Jr. 24th in 2007), Hannah Strickland (Sr. 31st in 2007), Andrea Goodrich (Sr. 32nd in 2007), & Lindsey Merrill (Jr. 38th in 2007). With an experienced squad hitting the trails in 2008, Freeport could be a top 3 team this fall.
York: The Wildcats were Regional & State runner-up in 2007. From that squad they return 5 runners who have the talent to repeat their success in 2008. Top returner for York is Michaela Swiatek (So. 8th in 2007), behind her is Monique Boutin (Jr. 16th in 207), Molly Carl (Sr. 17th in 2007), Reaha Goyetche (Jr. 9th in 2007), & Krista Dean (Sr. 45th in 2007). York always has a deep JV squad, so look for a few ladies to make the jump to the varisty squad.
Fryeburg Academy: Fryeburg had a strong 4th place finish in Western Regional in 2007. The return their entire top 7 in 2008 as they look to improve. The top 3 of Fryeburg is very strong. Leading the way is Emily Atwood (Sr. 9th in 2007), Mariah Staires (Jr. 10th in 2007), & Grace Miller (Sr. 12th in 2007). Also returning is Susan Hannes (Sr. 36th in 2007), Lauren Chiaccio (Jr. 42nd in 2007), Jennie Caffrey (Sr. 62nd in 2007) & Orie Bartlett (Jr. 75th in 2007). This team is ready to move up in the ranks in 2008.
Other teams to watch
5 teams from 2007 Western Regional
1 Cape Elizabeth High School 49 2 4 7 15 21 22 26
Total Time: 1:44:33.65 Average: 20:54.73
2 York 88 8 16 17 19 28 45 46
Total Time: 1:48:10.83 Average: 21:38.17
3 Falmouth High School 95 3 11 25 27 29 34 50
Total Time: 1:47:32.17 Average: 21:30.44
4 Fryeburg Academy 109 9 10 12 36 42 60 72
Total Time: 1:49:40.74 Average: 21:56.15
5 Freeport High School 111 6 18 24 31 32 38 49
Total Time: 1:49:17.18 Average: 21:51.44
Marita Stressenger (Sr. Cape Elizabeth): Stressenger was impressive last fall, 4th in the Western regional & then improving to 3rd at the state meet. She took her running to another level this spring on the track. Stressenger led the Capers to a 4x800 state title, was state runner-up in the 1600 (5:13.43), & runner-up in the 800 (2:20.79).
Emily Atwood (Jr. Cape Elizabeth): Atwood was the runner-up in Western regional in 2007 and then went on to help Cape capture the team title with a 6th place finish at the state meet. On the track this spring, Emily was on the 4x800 state champion team and was 4th in the 1600 (5:17.17).
Molly Susla (Sr. Freeport): Susla had a strong 2007, she finished 6th in the Western regional & 11th at the state meet. The year before Molly was 3rd in the Class C state meet. She’s a proven success on the trails.
Michelle Swiatek (So. York): Swiatek had an outstanding freshman year on the trails. She ran to an 8th place finish at the Western regional and a string 12th place at the state meet. On the track this spring, Michelle was a member of York’s 4th place 4x800 team at the state meet, was 5th in the 800 (2:23.43) and on York’s 2nd place 4x400 team.
Others to Watch
Kelsey Barton (So. Cape Elizabeth)
Emily Atwood (Sr. Fryeburg Academy)
Mariah Staires (Jr. Fryeburg Academy)
Erin Morris (Jr. Falmouth)
Grace Miller (Sr. Fryeburg Academy)
Rachel Hall (So. Greely)
Taylor Burr (Jr. Maranacook)
Top 25 Individuals 2007 Western regional (Returners in Red)
1 Makaretz, Anna SR Yarmouth 6:24.7 19:55.03
2 Attwood, Emily SO Cape Elizabeth 6:26.9 20:01.90
3 Grygiel, Madeline SR Falmouth 6:27.6 20:04.20
4 Stressenger, Marita JR Cape Elizabeth 6:29.3 20:09.48
5 Monsulick, Jenny SR Maranacook 6:39.2 20:40.16
6 Susla, Molly JR Freeport 6:41.2 20:46.45
7 Barton, Kelsey FR Cape Elizabeth 6:45.0 20:58.09
8 Swiatek, Michaela FR York 6:46.5 21:02.78
9 Atwood, Emily JR Fryeburg Academy 6:48.1 21:07.82
10 Staires, Mariah SO Fryeburg Academy 6:49.8 21:12.98
11 Morris, Erin SO Falmouth 6:50.3 21:14.77
12 Miller, Grace JR Fryeburg Academy 6:51.7 21:19.07
13 Hall, Rachel 9 Greely High school 6:54.6 21:27.90
14 Burr, Taylor SO Maranacook 6:55.2 21:29.72
15 Gross, Erin SR Cape Elizabeth 6:56.1 21:32.54
16 Boutin, Monique SO York 6:57.9 21:38.34
17 Carl, Molly JR York 6:58.0 21:38.61
18 Davis, Caroline JR Freeport 6:59.3 21:42.43
19 Goyetche, Reaha SO York 6:59.4 21:42.85
20 Highland, Carolyn SR Yarmouth 7:00.6 21:46.60
21 Doss, Hannah SO Cape Elizabeth 7:02.2 21:51.64
22 Hatton, Erin SR Cape Elizabeth 7:02.4 21:52.13
23 Bolmer, Lanier JR Yarmouth 7:02.7 21:53.05
24 Berkemeyer, Kiera SO Freeport 7:02.9 21:53.69
25 Bonsey, Kourtney SR Falmouth 7:03.3 21:55.10 25
Cape enters the season as the clear-cut favorite; if they stay healthy they will be tough to beat. Challenges could come from York and Fryeburg, both teams with strong front-runners. Freeport is capable of making a run into the top 3 as well. A sleeper team may be Falmouth.
- Cape Elizabeth
- Fryeburg Academy
Stressenger & Atwood should battle each other all season. Susla is a proven talent that can run with anybody. Barton & Swiatek both freshmen last year will look to make the jump to the next level. Atwood from Fryeburg & Staires also are contenders. There are a ton of girls capable of running into the top 5, one of those being Erin Morris of Falmouth.