Alfie Walker came around the last hairpin turn at Belfast and began the final gradual climb that, at its crest, drops runners into the gauntlet of fans in the finish chute. He was running third and looked comfortable. Ahead of him, but also looking comfortable were two of the handful of pre-race favorites, Griffin Allaire of Wells and Martin Horne of Freeport. Horne passed Allaire, and, hearing his parents urging him, on Walker turned on the jets to pass both down the stretch. The senior from Fryeburg was his team's lone representative at the State meet. Still out of breath after the meet, Walker noted that it was his first major cross country win. He had finished 8th last week at regionals. In previous years he has typically finished in the mid-teens. Walker's 16:18.84 is a new best mark for him.
By taking the title he assured himself of a spot in Manchester for New Englands in two weeks. His time also put him in the top ten in the combined meet. He finished 8th there and every runner above him hails from Class A school. Horne's 16:19.92 also cracked the combined top ten at 9th.
York High School took the team title with their lead runner Elisha Hulstrom (17:11.47) finishing 9th. York is perfecting the model of winning, or nearly winning, championships with team with very compact 1-5 splits, but no runner who can realistically threaten for an individual title. York took the team title going 9, 12, 18, 26 & 29 and a 1-5 split of 17:11 to 17:45. Their scores at regionals were similar as Griffin McNamara led the team with a 9th place finish and his teammates flooded the teens with York's Columbia Blue. In addition to Hulstrom and McNamara, Joe Neal, Brady Harrod, and Josiah Mackaman scored for York.
York totaled 84 points. Lincoln Academy, with 90, was just behind. Jarrett Gulden crossed 4th for the Eagles, teammate Sam Russ (7th,) also cracked the top ten. Northern Maine Regional Champion Hermon slipped by Cape Elizabeth 104 to 108 . Cape's Jack Bassett finished 4th (16:30.03), while Hermon was led by Ian Meserve's 13th place finish. Martin Horne's Freeport team took fifth place with 126 points, a second Falcon finished top ten as Alex Les grabbed the final medal.
Other top ten finishers were Caribou's Dylan Marrero (6th), Ben Cox-Faxon (8th) of Yarmouth, and Allaire, who finished 3rd with time of 16:24.95.
Once the champions of each class are determined the entire meet is rescored and the three remaining fastest teams also qualify for New Englands; qualifying on points were Bangor, Brunswick, and Greely. These teams will join the other class winners, Scarborough in Class A, and, Maine Coast Waldorf in Class C in Manchester NH on November,10th.