The sophomore is a solid runner for the Brunswick Dragons 2018 edition of its boys cross country team. Simmons has been a consistent six or seven runner on a Brunswick team that has taken team titles in several big meets this fall--Laliberte, Quabacook, Festival of Champions, and the Camden Invitational--but he has not exactly been a household name in the cross country community. But this weekend the sophomore proved that the sixth and seventh runners matter.
When the numbers were tallied for the top five finishers, Hampden and Brunswick had both finished with 53 points. There's no overtime, no penalty shootout. Scorer-keepers instead look to the respective teams' sixth runner. Simmons, clocked in at 17:39.70, finished 20th overall, and accomplished two things for the Dragons: first, by beating the Broncos 5th finisher (23rd), he added a point to the Hampden total and forced the tiebreaker, and second, he outpaced Hampden's sixth place finisher (28th) to nail down the team title for Brunswick.
Leading the Dragons was Will Shaughnessy with a third place finish (16:19.20). The junior ran much of the first two miles in a tight pack with Hampden's Wyatt Lord (4th, 16:30.60), Mt. Ararat's Lisandro Berry-Gaviria, and Bangor's Gabe Coffey. Berry-Gaviria picked up right where he left off last season and collected another top-spot (15:49.70), while Coffey was the runner-up (16:13.90). These four, along with 5th place finisher Daniel McCarthy of Bangor finished in the same order a week prior at the KVAC "A" championship.
In Class A, the Northern Maine Regional currently includes all the teams who run the previous week at the KVAC Championship. One might think this would provide a pretty good predictor for the Northern Maine Regional. And it is true the top four teams last week finished in the top four spots again this week but there was some rearrangement of the team scores this week. After all, it's a different course and the race happens out there on the trails.
Following Brunswick and Hampden with their 53 points was Mt. Ararat with 67 points, Bangor was just behind with 69. Last week Bangor had taken the KVAC title with a ten point cushion over Brunswick, Hampden had been third and Mt. Ararat fourth.
Other teams advancing to States next week are Cony (167), Brewer (183), and Mt. Blue (196). In addition to team qualifying the top thirty individuals to finish will qualify even if their teams do not. Lewiston's Maurice Beaulieu (17th) and Hayden Thibeault of Camden Hills (12th) will join those whose teams advanced.
Scoring for Brunswick were Shaughnessy, Tyler Patterson (10th), Joey Valliere (11th), Andrew Chingos (13th), and Cam Ashby (16th). With Aiden Simmons at 20th and Daniel Lyons at 29th, all seven Brunswick runners would have qualified for States as individuals too. Scoring for Hampden were Lord, Jason Mathies (6th), Graham Sokoloski (8th), Connor Glowa (12th), and Abbott Valentine (23rd). Lucas Hale also garnered a top 30 finish at 28th.