Class A State XC Preview

Class A State XC Preview

Boys Preview

Defending champion Lisandro Berry-Gaviria of Mt Ararat will have the bullseye on his back on Saturday. The junior has run undefeated on the season, and easily won the Northern Maine Regional last week running 15:49.70 to turn back the competition by 24 seconds.

Berry-Gaviria has shown in the past he can win a race that goes out fast, goes out slow, or is a sit and kick affair. A repeat victory won't be easy as the Class A race is stacked with some of the top runners in the state.

Southern Maine Regional champion Alec Troxell, a senior from Deering showed he's ready to compete with his victory last week. Troxell commented after his race that he did what he needed to do to win, and wanted to save some energy for this weekend. Troxell hasn't run on the Belfast course in 2018, but he did earn All-New England honors last fall on the course.

Bangor senior Gabe Coffey has had to race Berry-Gaviria the last two weeks, he was 12 seconds behind him at KVAC, and last week was 24 seconds behind. Coffey has had plenty of success this fall including a 15:54 effort to win the Festival of Champions earlier in the season.

Junior Will Shaughnessy of Brunswick has had a tremendous fall which has seen him finish third at both the KVAC & Northern Maine Regional races. He clocked a personal best 16:04.76 at FOC for third.

Southern Maine Regional runner-up Tristram Coffin of Scarborough will be looking for a low stick, he was just 4 seconds back of Troxell last weekend. Coffin ran has run 16:06 two times this fall including once on the course at Belfast.

Aiden Willey of Bonny Eagle is over his early season injury and showed he isn't afraid to make a move to win, last weekend he busted opened the SM Regional at 2.2 miles and held the lead until 400m to go in the race.

Falmouth senior John Auer was fourth at the SM Regional last week despite being sick look for him to rebound.

Picking a team to win the title is no easy task as there are more than a handful of teams that could capture the top spot. Two time defending champion Falmouth won't go down without a fight, they finished second in the Southern Maine Regional a week ago 14 points out of first. Scarborough who some might have written off after a tough stretch rebounded with a strong run at regionals that saw them place four harriers in the top 13 finishers. They didn't run #2 runner Connor Coffin, and he will be inserted into the lineup on Saturday.

Brunswick has been the team to beat since they surprised everyone at Festival of Champions. The Dragons followed that up with a KVAC Class A title, and won the Northern Maine Regional title last week on the strength of their sixth runner as they tied Hampden Academy. Speaking of the Hampden Academy they were the team everyone expected to be one of the best at the beginning of the season, The Broncos have struggled at times during the season but last week they showed they have the talent to win it all.

Bangor is another team that could win it all, the Rams won the KVAC title by 10 points over Brunswick, and finished fourth a week ago at regionals but that was with senior Dwight Knightly running will illness.

Mt Ararat was third at the NM Regional just 14 points back of the winners in the Eagles best race of the season. Greely who was the top team in the state for several weeks this season shouldn't be overlooked, the Rangers finished third in the SM regional and ran without #3 runner Sam Wilson.

Class A State XC Preview

Defending champion Sofie Matson cruised to the Class A state title a year winning by by 37 seconds. In fact the closest any runner from Maine came to Sofie during her freshman campaign was 19 seconds. Fast forward to this fall, the Falmouth sophomore has once again turned back all competitors as she has one each time she has toed the starting line. However it hasn't been as easy this fall as Jillian Richardson of Edward Little & Kate Tugman of Gorham have made her work, each coming within 8 seconds of Matson.

But each time Matson has found a way to stay unbeaten, and until someone does beat her she will run with a target on her back. Sofie is a competitor and isn't afraid of the competition, she knows when she needs to push it and has been able to execute her race plans to perfection so far in her career.

On Saturday there is no reason to think she won't repeat as Class A champion.

Two runners hope they will take the top the spot on Saturday

Senior Jillian Richardson has had a great fall running running under 20 minutes for 5k five different times including two times under 19 minutes. She ran the second fastest time of the season 18:37.40 in winning the Northern Maine Regional title at Belfast, a race she won by 33 seconds. Earlier this fall Richardson ran 18:29.87 at FOC finishing second to Matson in there only head to head race.

While junior Kate Tugman of Gorham has emerged this fall as one of the top runners in the state. Tugman has won six races this fall, and in the process running under 20 minutes in each of her five 5k's. A year ago she didn't break 20 minutes in any of her 5k races, and went on to place 59th at the state meet. She put in a lot of miles this summer and that worked has paid off in a big way. Last week Tugman ran with Matson the first mile, got gapped by 16 seconds over the next mile, and then fought back to cut the gap to eight seconds over the final mile en route to a runner-up finish at the Southern Maine Regional.

Both athletes now the task ahead of them is daunting but are excited for the opportunity.

Other runners to watch include sophomore Karley Piers (Falmouth), Iris Kitchen (Gorham), Kahryn Cullenberg (Mt Blue) & Augusta Stockman (Camden Hills). Piers & Kitchen finished third and fourth in the Southern Maine Regional, while Cullenberg ran a personal best to finish second in the Northern Maine Regional, she was followed by Stockman who placed second at the state meet last fall.

Top 10 Finishers 2017

  1 Sofie Matson              FR Falmouth                6:01.0   18:41.60    1
  2 Augusta Stockman          JR Camden Hills            6:12.9   19:18.28    2
  3 Grace Iltis               SO Camden Hills            6:13.0   19:18.67    3
  4 Carolyn Todd              JR Greely High School      6:15.5   19:26.64    4
  5 Malaika Pasch             JR Falmouth                6:19.8   19:39.80    5
  6 Ami Beaumier              JR Bonny Eagle             6:20.0   19:40.46    6
  7 Karley Piers              FR Falmouth                6:20.2   19:41.16    7
  8 Kayla Raymond             JR Bonny Eagle             6:22.9   19:49.62    8
  9 Karli Leighton            FR Mt. Ararat              6:23.1   19:50.03    9
 10 Kylie Johnson             JR Massabesic              6:26.6   20:00.95   10

Everyone will be chasing the green of Bonny Eagle for the team title. The Scots have been dominate this fall out running the competition with speed and depth. They won the Southern Maine Regional title by 32 points over Falmouth as they packed all seven scoring runners between 6th place and 24th place. In fact the seventh runner for Bonny Eagle would have been on the scoring five of any other team. With three runners capable of a top 10 finish and pack time that was just 25 seconds last week make the Scots the heavy favorite to capture the team title.

Falmouth who finished as the runner-up a week ago ran very well has three runners capable of a top ten finish along with the individual favorite. However the 5th runner appears to be the issue for the Yachtsmen, in the regional the 5th runner finished 44th overall, and a 1:20 behind the 5th runner of the Scots.

Defending sate champion Camden Hills repeated as the Northern Regional Champions by a 39 point margin. The Windjammers will battle Falmouth for the runner-up trophy and are coming off there best team effort of the season with a 20:21 average for the team.