We said that picking the Boys A team champion was no easy task. With three teams from the Southern Region and three from the North having flip-floped over each other all season it was hard to judge how they would match up with all six toeing the same starting line.
In the North Bangor and Hampden were probably preseason favorites with Gabe Coffey and Wyatt Lord leading the teams. But Brunswick surprised everyone at Festival of Champions by winning the whole thing on the strength of a compact 1-5 split led by a resurgent junior Will Shaughnessy back after an injury plagued sophomore year.
Even so grinding the data from FOC to remove all the out-of-state teams showed that Bangor would have prevailed by a single point over the Dragons. In fact, Bangor took the KVAC Championship with a ten point cushion over Brunswick with Hampden just behind. At Regionals Hampden and Brunswick tied for the top spot. The title went to Brunswick on the strength if its sixth runner's excellent finish. At regionals Hampden had packed the top ten with three runners in the single digits, more than any other team.
Clearly in the North, nothing was clear. Either of these three teams was capable of winning on any day.
But the big three in the South-Falmouth, Scarborough, and Greely-had some serious championship experience. The three had gone one-two-three at the 2017 State Meet. And at this season's big meets the same three teams alternated grabbing the top spot.
Last week however, one thing really stood out in the South. Scarborough managed to take the Southern Maine Regional without their number two runner, Connor Coffin. Coffin not only holds down the second spot for the Red Storm but is a frequent top ten finisher in big meets; he took the 4th spot in last year's State meet.
Bouncing back from a hip injury Coffin finished twelfth today and the Red Storm could not be denied. Also scoring for Scarborough were Tristram Coffin (4th, 16:06.22), Zachary Barry (16th), Erik LoSacco (18th), and Harrison Osborne (23rd).
Scarborough finished with 69 points. Bangor, led by Gabe Coffey (2nd, 16:02.25), was second with 89 points. The Greely Rangers finished third at 119; Luke Marsanskis led the way with a 10th place finish. Brunswick, led by Will Shaughnessy's 5th place (16:06.34) finished fourth with 125 points, and Hampden rounded out the top five with 135 points.
As Champion of Class A, Scarborough will run in the New Englands at Manchester New Hampshire on November 10th They will be joined by the Champions of Class B, York, and of Class C, Maine Coast Waldorf. Once the champions of each class are determined the entire meet is rescored and the three remaining fastest teams also qualify for New Englands. Bangor, Greely and Brunswick will live to run another day as they also qualified for Manchester.
Mt. Ararat's Lisandro Berry-Gaviria picked up right where he left off last year when he swept the distance championships in cross country, and both seasons of track and field. Berry-Gaviria put muddy turf between himself and the other top contenders and had opened up a small gap at about 400 meters. In recent meets he had run in a pack with Bangor's Coffey, Lord of Hampden and Brunswick's Shaughnessy and typically started to separate at about two miles.
Today it was Coffey's turn to use the two mile mark to move on the remainder of the field; for all intents and purposes Coffey was the leader of a separate race. Berry-Gaviria already enjoyed a 25 second lead. Lisandro would enter the chute alone and win by twenty seven seconds setting a new personal mark of 15:35.40 along the way.
Coffey was second at 16:02.25. Falmouth's John Auer (16:05.32) took third, followed by Tristram Coffin of Scarborough (16:06.22), who just caught Brunswick's Shaughnessy (16:06.34) at the finish line. Rounding out the top ten were Alec Troxell of Deering, Bonny Eagle's Aiden WIlley, Daniel McCarthy, a freshman from Bangor, Hampden's Wyatt Lord, and Luke Marsanskis of Greely.