(Pictured above 2009 Scott Laliberte Individual Champions, Luke Fontaine (Cony) & Abby Mace (Maranacook)
The unqiue format of the 10th annual Scott Laliberte XC race makes it a great way to open the XC season. The Laliberte meet features a varsity race which features both boys and girls racing together. At the end of the race, the boys and girls are scored seperately, then added together to decide a team champion. The race in its 10th year, honors the former Cony HS runner, Scott Laliberte whose life was taken in a car accident. Scott's mom was on hand to hand out the awards.
The race featured some of the top talent in Eastern Maine, including defending Class A state champion, Will Geoghegan, & Class B state champion Abby Mace on the girls side. As the gun was fired, the runners ripped off the line, as the wanted to get into position before the course narrowed about 200m from the start. At the mile mark, it was Lewiston transfer Jaron Jones at the front of the pack. Jones came through the mile in 5:20 and had a 7 second gap on the chase pack of several contenders, Geoghegan, Luke Fontaine (Cony), Jason Kaake (Morse), Kelton Cullenberg (Mt. Blue) the defending champ, Liam Cassidy (Brunswick) & Sam Seekins (Erskine).
The second mile spread things out a bit as the runners hit the tough hills, Will Geoghegan (Brunswick) pulled ahead druing mile 2, as he ripped up the tough hill, Fontaine stuck to him like glue. The two runners emerged out of the woods together as the headed out to do the final loop before heading across the footfball field and up a short incline to the finish line. Behind them Cullenberg had a small lead over Seekins, with Kaake (pictured left) a short distance behind. Geoghegan continued to lead as they hit the football field with Fontaine sitting on him, as the two hit the final incline, Fontaine made his move, and unleashed his powerful finishing kick to capture his first Laliberte Invitational title, winning with a 16:30 over Geoghegan's 16:32.9. The race for 3rd and 4th was intense as well as Kelton Cullenberg (16:35.71) and Sam Seekins (16:36.4) battled. Kaake held on for 5th (16:48), while Charlie Jones (Fox Island) ran a strong race for 6th (17:18.19). Brunswick's Cassidy was 7th (17:24.32) with Tim Follo (Falmouth) in 8th (17:35.40)
Girls Recap: Defending champion Abby Mace showed that she is ready to repeat her success of her freshman campaign. Mace the defending Laliberte Invitational champion, dominated the race again in 2009. Mace led the race from the beginning, clicking through the mile in 6:10, following her was Brunswick's Kathleen McMahon and Mt. Blue's Melody Lam. Mace would run unchalleneged to the line, unleashing a furious kick nevertheless, the stop the clock at 20:00.87, just under 2 seconds faster than her run in 2008. The time was a new course record. Lam the defending Eastern Maine champion rallied for 2nd, clocking 20:44.7, while McMahon ended up 3rd (21:08.23). Finishing in 4th was Medomak Valley's Kiana Ocean (21:48.68), while Mt. Ararat's Katie Spies rounded out the top 5 (21:49.17).
Team Recap: The Falmouth Yachtsmen behind a 2nd place finish from their boys squad, combined with 2nd place from their girls, gave Falmouth the team victory with 789 points. In 2nd place was the Brunswick Dragons, led by the victorious boys squad, and a 4th place from the girls. Third place went to Mt. Ararat, who where led by the top girls squad, along with a 6th place finish on the boys side.