This weekend in Maine XC featured two of the top girls' teams in Class A squaring off in Falmouth and two of the top male runners in Class A North facing off for the second time and three weeks. Let's take a look at the highlights from the weekend.
The Falmouth Yachtsmen girls', No. 6 in the recent Flo50 Poll, hosted No. 4 Bonny Eagle Scots, along with Biddeford, Noble and South Portland at Community Park in Falmouth. Freshmen Sofie Matson collected another victory to stay undefeated in 2017, as she covered the difficult three-mile course in 19:14. Ami Beaumier of Bonny Eagle was second in 19:51, with Matson's teammate, Karley Piers, two seconds back in 19:53. Beaumier led the Scots to a 31-34 victory over the Yachtsmen, putting four runners in the top-six overall. Kayla Raymond (20:37), Christine Toy (20:42) and Emma Abbott (21:56) took spots 4-6. Falmouth again ran without Malaika Pasch, who is coming back from a stress fracture, so it should be an encouraging result for the Yachtsmen. Falmouth took the team race on the boys' side with Connor Piers (16:40) and John Auer (16:50) sweeping the top two spots. Aiden Willey of Bonny Eagle was third in 17:29 with Alex Kinley of Falmouth (17:43) and Sam Mills of Biddeford (17:54) rounding out the top five. The Yachtsmen, No. 2 in last week's Flo50 poll, showed impressive depth as they put eight in the top-10 overall, scoring just 20 points, and had its entire top five run 17:58 or better.
The No. 3 ranked Deering boys' cruised to an easy win at Westbrook High School on Friday. Alec Troxell (16:34.77), Yahya Nure (16:48.37) and Jerry Mixangelo (17:27.60) swept the top three spots, and the Rams put its entire top five in the top seven overall to score 18 points. Scarborough, who was running without standout sophomore Tristram Coffin, Erik Larkin and Luke Grover, was second with 63 points. Harrison Osborne was the top finisher for the Red Storm, finishing fourth in 17:28.01. The Deering girls', who are on the outside looking in in the most recent Flo50 poll, rolled to a win. Scarborough senior Bethany Sholl won the race in 20:10.07, with freshmen Sierra Aponte-Clarke leading the charge for Deering, finishing second in 20:31.61. Her teammate Nicole Whipkey was third in 20:46.01. Deering put six runners in the top-9 to score 26 points.
Living up to its No. 1 ranking, the Gorham girls' nearly achieved a perfect score at Massabesic High School on Friday. Anna Slager led the way running 21:24.90, with Iris Kitchen (21:40.40), Meadow Fortier (21:48.00) and Kate Tugman following. Gorham scored 16 points. On the boys' side it was Alexander Swett taking the win in 17:04.50 with teammate Jeffery Waters second in 17:22.20. Behind Swett and Waters, the Mustangs cruised to win scoring 37 points, 16 ahead of Portland (53).
The No. 7 ranked Lincoln Academy Eagles boys' were dominant in its win at Medomak Valley in Waldoboro on Friday. Led by Sam Russ's win in 16:24.06, Lincoln Academy four in the top five, and five in the top-10, to score just 23 points. Finishing in second was Waterville junior Nick Dall, crossing the line in 17:04.33. Both Russ and Dall came into the 2017 as two runners who are expected to finish in the top five in Class B. Russ finished a disappointing 79th at last year's state meet after finishing fourth at the Southern Regional, and is off to a terrific start this season. His 16:24 on Friday marked the second time he's gone under 17:00, and set a personal-best by over 30 seconds. Dall is the defending Class B North Champion, and ran to a fourth-place finish at the State Meet. Friday was the first loss of the season for Dall, who beat Russ back on September 1 at Maranacook. Russ's teammates David Barnum (17:13.61), Jarret Gulden (17:14.20) and Benji Pugh (17:49.62) completed the top five.
Like the Lincoln Academy boys', the No. 7 ranked Camden Hills girls' cruised to an impressive win, led by Grace Iltis and Augusta Stockman, who swept the first two spots running 19:09.53 and 19:26.01 respectively. Freshmen Courtney Paine of Erskine Academy had an impressive run, finishing third in 19:50.25, with Camden Hills runners Miranda Dunton (19:56.89) and Alli Wells (21:14.74) rounding out the top five. Expect to see Courtney Paine's name near the top of most results this season. She became just the fourth freshmen statewide to break 20:00 so far in 2017, and will likely be a favorite in the class race at the Festival of Championships coming up in just a few short weeks.
For the second time in three weeks, Bangor's Gabe Coffey and Hampden Academy's Wyatt Lord faced off against each other. On Hampden Academy's 5-kilometer home course on Friday, Coffey was victorious once again, winning in 16:36.14 to Lord's 16:47.13. The two finished more than a minute ahead of Lord's teammate Connor Glowa, a freshmen, who was third in 17:56.19. The Broncos placed four in the top five to score 27 points en route to an eight-point victory over Bangor. On the girls' side it was Brewer freshmen Olivia Mosca earning her first victory of 2017, crossing the line in 20:51.93, eight seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Lydia Gilmore of Bangor (20:59.94). Along with Mosca, Brewer received top five finishes from Erin Aucoin (4th, 22:10.55) and Hannah Smith (22:15.09) to take the win, scoring 34 points.
Staying in the KVAC, the Mt. Ararat boys' and girls' teams swept races at Brunswick on Friday. Leading the charge for the girls' was senior Katherine Leckbee, who crossed the line first in 19:25.60. Finishing behind her were two of her freshmen teammates, Camila Cembroniewicz and Karlie Leighton, who ran 20:01.84 and 20:10.97. The girls' put six in the top-10 overall, scoring 21 points. Cembroniewicz and Leighton figure to be two of the top freshmen in the KVAC this season and will get their chance to prove themselves amongst the top freshmen statewide in two weeks at the Festival of Champions in Belfast. On the boys' side, Lisandro Berry-Gaviria continued his stellar junior season with a win in 16:35.05, more than a minute ahead of runner-up finisher, and teammate, Lucas Bergeron (17:43.49). Like the girls' team, the boy Eagles were dominant, sweeping the first three spots and put five in the top-10 to score 23 points.
Among the boys' individuals capable of winning a Class A North title in 2017 is Oxford Hills senior Dominic Sclafani, who rolled to a win at Leavitt High School on Friday. Sclafini covered the 5-kilometer course in 17:13.20, 23 seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Abbas Muktar of Lewiston (17:36.70). Russell Allen of Edward Little was third in 17:45.40, with Mt. Blue teammates Sam Stinson (18:00.90) and Jesse Dalton (18:06.30) right behind. Stinson and Dalton led Mt. Blue to a six point victory over Lewiston, sandwiching its top three between Muktar and Lewiston's No. 2 runner, Maurice Beaulieu (11th, 19:03.60). Jillian Richardson won her third race of the season as she cruised away from the field, finishing in 19:39.50. Molly McGrail of Maranacook followed in 20:46.90, with Kahryn Cullenberg of Mt Blue third in 21:09.50. McGrail's runner-up finish helped the No. 10 ranked Maranacook girls' to a dominating victory. Maranacook put four runners in the top-9 to score 32 points. Class B South is dominated by WMC teams but Maranacook, who returns its entire top five from a team that finished sixth at the state meet, belongs in the state title discussion with those teams.
Two runners who figure to battle for high finishes at the Western Maine Conference Championships in early October gave us a glimpse of what to expect last Friday at St. Dominic Academy in Auburn. Wells senior Mitch Libby and Sacopee Valley senior Troy Hendricks duked it out over the 5-kilometer course, with Libby taking over in the final stages winning in 17:09.20 with Hendricks three seconds back in 17:12.60. Libby's first place finish -- along with Griffin Allaire's third place finish in 17:38.70 -- helped lead the No. 8 Warriors to a convincing win over Sacopee Valley, Old Orchard Beach, St. Dominic's and York. Wells scored 21 points, putting five runners in the top 10 overall . On the girls' side it was senior Kathryn Miller of York cruising to a dominating victory, running 20:03.80. The Wildcats, No. 5 in the latest poll, dominated the team competition, putting six in the top 10 overall on its way to scoring just 29 points. This was a very good race for Hendricks, who finished 23rd at the Southern Maine Classic last week running 17:17.48 -- a disappointing finish for his standards. He's come a long way from his 19th-place finish at last year's Class C Championship, and is looking like a surefire bet for at least a top five finish in 2017.
After winning the Southern Maine Classic team title, the No. 1 ranked Greely boys' cruised to an easy win at Gray-New Gloucester, running one of the most difficult courses in the state in Libby Hill. Luke Marsanskis took first in 18:04 with Cape Elizabeth sophomore Jack Bassett following in 18:29. Greely ran without Matthew Todd, but still received top five finishes from Caleb Thurston (18:34) and Adam Bruder (18:38) as the Rangers scored 23 points to win convincingly. Behind Lila Gaudrault's second place finish (20:36) , the Cape Elizabeth girls' were victorious scoring 38 points to Maine Coast Waldorf's 52. Carolyn Todd of Greely won the race in 20:15. The Cape girls' had five in the top-12 overall.
The Orono girls' and the Mt Desert Island boys' took the team races at the Lee Invitational at Central High School in Corinth. Camille Kohtala cruised to a win for Orono, covering the 5k course in 20:23.60. Teammate Julia White was second in 22:10.44. MDI was led by Katelyn Osborne and Olivia Johnson, who finished third and fourth running 22:15.90 and 22:35.62 respectively. Orono went 1-2-6-7-12 to score 28 points, six ahead of the Trojans who placed five in the top-10. On the boys' side Thorin Smith of MDI pulled away from Orono's Jonathan Steelman to win in 16:52.92. Steelman was 10 seconds back in 17:03.41. Thorin's teammate Nicholas Reznick was third in 17:07.60. Orono had four in the top seven, but MDI took individual spots 9-11 to eek out a 28-30 win.