Abbey Leonardi/Nate Hathaway -- Cheverus Girls/Scarborough Boys victorious at SMAA Relays

Last fall at the SMAA Relays, Abbey Leonardi (pictured left) gave us all an indication of her talent as she raced to a new course record time at the SMAA Relays, today was an encore performance. Abbey was in race #1 running against her talent classmate Emily Durgin (Cheverus), the two shot off the starting line, and hit the first 200m in 33 and covered the first 400m in 70 seconds. This daring and quick pace probably the two faster times in the end but if was any indication of the battles these two will forge against each other this season, the XC fans in Maine are in for a treat.

Leonardi took up pacing duities at the front as the 800m mark was hit in 2:32, and never looked back as she slowly built a lead over Durgin. Leonardi would go on the win (8:53) the 3rd fastest time in history, while Durgin (pictured right) clocked (9:03) the 4th fastest time in meet history.

With Leonardi and Durgin out front of race #1, the rest of field ran very well with Hannah Pierce (Massabesic) clocking 9:34, good for 4th overall and a spot on the top 30 performances list of all-time. Ella Ramonas (Deering) finished 4th (9:48) good for 6th fastest on the day. TA's own Grace Glynn (9:51) was next across the line, her time was 7th fastest overall. Melissa Dellatorre of Scarborough also broke 10 minutes with her (9:59) in race #1.

Race #2 was all Fiona Hendry (Cheverus pictured left) from the beginning. Hendry would run alone at the front, clicking off the 3rd fastest time of the day (9:27), her time ranks her in the top 20 all time on the course. The battle for 2nd was a good one with Bonny Eagle's Amber Dostie, Massabesic's Victoria Hurlburt, and Scarborough's Abby Chick all running closely together. Chick made a move with a little over 500m to go, but then went off course, Dostie and Hurlburt wouldn't look back from there. Dostie sprinted home for 2nd (10:11) with Hurlburt 3rd (10:13), Chick would cross in 4th (10:24).

Race #3 once again saw a Cheverus Stag runner take to the front early and never look back, as Lianna Rubinoff (pictured right) seized control of the race early on and ran a smooth race to stop the clock with the 5th fastest time of the day 9:44. Behind her Scarborough's Sarah Dugas ran well to finish 2nd (10:34), while TA's Brenda McCarthy was 3rd (11:01).

Race #4 was one of the better races on the afternnon, with four girls in contention most of the way. Leading the pack early was TA's Erica Reaser, she was followed by Caroline Summa (Cheverus), Margaret Benoit (Scarborough) & Jasmine Burgess (Massabesic). Summa would use surge to lead with her long stride and never look back, she would finish in (10:31). Burgess used a huge kick to finish 2nd (10:40), while Benoit and Reaser would battle to the line, with Benoit holding on (10:42) to (10:43).

Race #5 saw Scarborough's Libby Davis and Cheverus's Lauren Peter locked up in a close race. The two followed each other in the early going before Davis strode to lead and extended it to the finish line clocking 10:40. Peter held on for 2nd place (10:51), her insured the Stags a new team record time.

In the team race the times of the top 5 girls is added together to calculate the final results. Cheverus was the clear winner, after taking 3 first places and 2 runner-up finishes on the day. Their time of 49:36 was the fastest team time in the history of the SMAA Relays, breaking the 2006 Scarborough record. Scarborough rallied to nab second place (52:19) over a strong Massabesic team (52:59). Host team Thornton Academy showed it will be a team to watch out for this fall as well finishing in 4th (53:25).

Top 15 Individuals

Varsity Girls 1.55 mile run

Name Yr Team Time Pts
1 Abbey Leonardi Kennebunk 8:53.00 1
2 Emily Durgin Cheverus 9:03.00 2
3 Fiona Hendry Cheverus 9:27.00 3
4 Hannah Pierce Massabesic 9:34.00 4
5 Lianna Rubinoff Cheverus 9:44.00 5
6 Ella Ramonas Deering 9:48.00 6
7 Grace Glynn Thornton Academy 9:51.00 7
8 Melissa Dellatorre Scarborough High School 9:59.00 8
9 Lauren Fecteau McAuley 10:01.00 9
10 Jill Porter 12 Sanford High School 10:08.00 10
11 Talia McKay Windham 10:10.00 11
12 Amber Dostie Bonny Eagle 10:11.00 --
13 Victoria Hurlburt Massabesic 10:13.00 13
14 Abby Chick Scarborough High School 10:24.00 14
15 Kayla White 11 Thornton Academy 10:28.00 15

Top 5 Teams

Varsity Girls 1.55 mile run Team Scores
Team Pts 1 2 3 4 5 (6) (7)
1 Cheverus 52 2 3 5 16 26 - -
Total Time: 49:36 Average: 9:55.20 1-5 Split: 1:48
2 Scarborough High School 82 8 14 17 21 22 - -
Total Time: 52:19 Average: 10:27.80 1-5 Split: 43
3 Massabesic 105 4 13 20 33 35 - -
Total Time: 52:59 Average: 10:35.80 1-5 Split: 1:45
4 Thornton Academy 111 7 15 23 28 38 - -
Total Time: 53:25 Average: 10:41.00 1-5 Split: 1:31
5 McAuley 136 9 25 31 32 39 - -
Total Time: 54:42 Average: 10:56.40 1-5 Split: 1:28

Boys Recap

The Boys SMAA Relays featured the first matchup of the season between the Class A state meet favorites Cheverus and the defending Class A state champions, Scarborough. The two didn't disappoint as both teams had strong runs, with Scarborough's depth in the end prevailing. The SMAA relays format in the boys combines the time for the 7 races to decide the team champion.

In race #1 Scarborough's Nate Hathaway fresh off a win at the Chandler Relays on Tuesday sat in the pack as the runners circled the TA track before hitting the fields, by the 800m mark, Hathaway had moved to the front with Bonny Eagle's Tim Belanger, South Portland's Jonathan Clement and Cheverus's Andrew Snyder following closely behind. Hathaway with his smooth powerful stride would widen his margin over the rest of field with each stride. Hitting the mile in 4:49, Hathaway put in a surge on the only downhill part of the course. "I hit the mile mark feeling strong, but I could feel the lactic acid in my legs." Nate would continue to push on, clocking a fine 7:43, a time that equaled the 5th fastest time in history, and 15 seconds faster than he ran one year ago. "I wanted to get under 7:40, but it didn't happen today." Snyder would use his great track speed over the last ½ mile to pull away from Clement and Belanger to notch 2nd (8:10), while Clement (8:15) held on to beat Belanger (8:16), while Windham's Garret Clemmer rounded out the top 5 (8:20).

In race #2 Jack Terwilliger (Cheverus) controlled the pace from the gun, sprinting out to a lead over Scarborough's Sean Griffin. The two separated themselves from the rest of pack early. Terwilliger showed why he is one of the top distance runners in the state, as he continued to put time into Griffin over the last 800m, which was important for the team title, as Scarborough had a 27 second lead heading into leg two. Terwilliger finished strong, breaking the 8 minute barrier (7:58), his time was 2nd fastest on the day, and cracked into the top 30 times in history. In the end Cheverus would gain back 22 seconds, leaving them 5 down heading into race #3. Griffin ran a strong race for 2nd (8:20), good for the 7th fastest time of the day. Julian Gazzeloni had a string finish to finish 3rd (8:26).

Race #3 once again had a Cheverus Stag at the front with Taylor Dundas sprinting out to the early lead with only Zach Brown (Scarborough) keeping him within sight. Dundas would extend his lead throughout the 1.55 miles, really accelerating the last 800m or so. His time of 8:00 was 3rd fastest on the day, and enough to regain the lead for his team, who entered the leg down 5 seconds, at the end they would be 23 seconds. In all fairness to Brown who clocked 8:28 a fine time that was top 15 overall, Dundas is usually the Stags #1 or #2 runner. The time for Brown was a huge personal best on the course. Finishing in 3rd was South Portland's Sam Redstone (8:48).

Race #4 was another race that featured a Cheverus runner at the front. Tim Woods was leading the race early on with Scarborough freshman Robbie Hall running stride for stride with Woods. Hall would make move at the 800m to take the lead but it was short lived as Woods showed his strength closing well over the last mile of the race. Woods would extend the Stags lead to 40 seconds with his (8:23) leg while Hall held on for 2nd (8:40). The race for the 3rd spot came down to a kick with Tom Redstone (South Portland) edging out Bryant Perkins (Sanford) 8:58 to 8:59.

Race #5 was the turning point in the team race, entering the heat down 40 seconds, Scarborough turned to sophomore Nick Morris to try to cut the deficit. Morris started out conservatively until hit the 800m meter mark, he then started to open up his long smooth stride, eating up the grass with each step. He would go on to stop the clock at 8:28, the 14th fastest time of the day, and more importantly, he made up the 40 seconds, and gave the Red Storm a 20 second cushion with two runners to go. South Portland continued its strong showing with JC Esquibel running to a 2nd place finish (9:02). Greg Martin of Bonny Eagle was 3rd (9:15).

Race #6 was a two athlete race with Scarborough's Tom Hague and Massabesic's Ryan Anderson dueling throughout the race. Hague would seize control of the race just after the 800m mark, and continue to widen the gap to the finish line. His time was (8:52), Anderson was 2nd (9:05) while South Portland's Joe Michaud used a strong last 400 to finish 3rd (9:20).

Race #7 sealed the team title up for Scarborough, as senior Joe Prosack took command of the race early and never looked back, stopping the clock at (8:55). Massabesic continued its strong day with another solid performance from Jacob Brooks (9:05), and South Portland's Brian McHugh was the 3rd runner across the line (9:18).

In the end Scarborough showed its great depth with all 7 varsity runners running under 8:55, which was good enough for the 8th fastest team time in history (59:30). Cheverus finished a strong 2nd and showed it has the fire power up front to run with anyone (61:19), while South Portland showed it will be a much improved team in the SMAA in 2009 with a 3rd place finish (62:18) and Massabesic showed they will be a team to watch out for in 2009, as they had some strong depth to go along with two guys up front (62:37).