Class A State XC Preview
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.
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
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.