WMC XC Championship Preview

WMC XC Championship Preview

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Girls Team

After finishing second in Division One in 2015, the Greely Rangers come into the Western Maine Conference Championships as the favorites in the division. Led by Katherine Leggatt-Barr and Carolyn Todd, Greely has proved to be one of the top teams in the state regardless of class. They were the top Maine team at the Festival of Champions finishing second overall getting two top five performances from Leggatt-Barr and Todd. While they will likely take the title in D1, they will be challenged by Yarmouth for the overall team title. Greely's 3-5 of Chloe Waldrep, Kate Curran and Chloe Smith have steadily improved throughout the season and will certainly strengthen the Rangers' chances to come out with a win on Friday.

The Clippers of Yarmouth took the D2 title in 2015 as they come into the WMC Championships ranked second in the recent Saucony Flo 50 team rankings. The Clippers recently finished third at the Festival of Champions, and were the second Maine team, but were without no. 1 runner Abby Hamilton, who was out with an injury. Whether or not she runs on Friday will impact the overall team winner between the Clippers and Rangers. Even without Hamilton, Yarmouth has a very formidable team. Anneka Murrin has been outstanding in 2016 and recently finished third at FOC. Their 3-5 core of Grace Cowles, Georgia Giese and Katie Waeldner ran tremendous races in Belfast last weekend, and will hope to continue that momentum on Friday.

The York Wildcats have quickly emerged as a threat to both Greely and Yarmouth this year, and come into the WMC Championships with great momentum after finishing fourth at the Festival of Champions. York finished fourth in D1 last year. Kathryn Miller has led the way for York this year, and finished sixth overall in Belfast. The Wildcats arguably have the most depth in the conference and were the only WMC team at FOC to have its entire top five runner under 21:00. Miller has emerged as an individual favorite in the conference, which has been vital for York this season. Malia Cryan has been a great no. 2 runner for York, but for the Wildcats to contend with Greely and Yarmouth they'll need standout performances from Sophia Newton, Grace Gear and Tabatha Schuessler.

The Falmouth Yachtsmen took the D1 title in 2015 and have had a steady season in 2016. Sophomore Malaika Pasch has transformed into a bonafide star in the making, and will challenge for the win. Her low stick will give Falmouth a good chance on Friday. Pasch recently finished second at the Festival of Champions leading the Yachtsmen to a 13th place finish. For Falmouth to contend with Greely, its 2-5 runners will need to have big days. Mira Wyman, Antoinette Lambert and Hannah Berzinis have given Falmouth a strong top four this season and will need standout performances for the Yachtsmen to hang with Greely. Cape Elizabeth is another team that will look to contend for the D1 title on Friday. The Capers finished third last year, and recently finished seventh at the Festival of Champions. While they might lack the front-of-the-pack firepower that Yarmouth and Greely, they have very solid depth and had a 1:27 1-5 split in Beflast. Expected to lead the way for them on Friday is Kelsey Kennedy, who finished 24th at Festival.


Katherine Leggatt-Barr (Greely) - She's the defending conference champion, and recently finished fourth at Festival of Champions running a PB of 18:37.74. Leggatt-Bar has won two races in 2016 and also finished second at the small schools race at the Manchester Invitational running 18:58.

Malaika Pasch (Falmouth) - Pasch had the best race of her young career at the Festival of Champions finishing second in a PB of 18:36.49. She has tremendous speed having run 2:17.65 in the 800m, so if this race becomes tactical don't be surprised to see Pasch come out on top as she nearly did in Belfast.

Carolyn Todd (Greely) - Todd finished second to teammate Leggat-Barr in 2015 running 19:44, and comes into the WMC Championships running well after finishing fifth at Belfast running a PB of 18:45.94. Todd is expected to challenge for the win on Friday.

Abby Hamilton (Yarmouth) - Hamilton is undefeated on the season and has run 18:51 for 5k on her home course. Her currently ranks fifth in state regardless of class. Hamilton was the top D2 finisher in 2015 and finished third overall running 19:50. She clocked a 19:19 last week to win at Poland, after she missed FOC due to a non running injury.

Anneka Murrin (Yarmouth) - Murrin is coming off her finest performance of the season after finishing third at the Festival of Champions running a PB 18:37. Murrin has finished second to her teammate Hamilton in nearly every race this season, but is similar to Pasch in that she has great speed. She showed impressive closing speed at Festival, and will look to do the same on Friday.

Kathryn Miller (York)- Miller has been York's most dependable runner in 2016 and comes into Friday after finishing sixth at the Festival of Champions running a PB of 19:03.85, a time that currently ranks fifth in the conference. She has broken 20:00 in the 5k in every race this season. Miller finished eighth overall last year running 20:40.