Gaudrault & Bassett Victorious, Greely Sweeps Team Race
The reputation of Cape Elizabeth senior Jack Bassett being a savvy racer proved to be true in the Class B boys' race.
Bassett stayed patient throughout much of the race as he ran with Lincoln Academy's Jarrett Gulden and Griffin Allaire of Wells. And as he approached the home stretch, Bassett perfectly timed his finishing kick to glide past Gulden to win in a time of 16:40.53. Gulden was less than two seconds back in 16:42.17, with Allaire coming through in third with a 16:52.25 effort.
Bassett's time was the 10th fastest in the combined results.
"I've been running the same race basically for the entire season," Bassett said. "If you look at regionals, it was almost to the second the exact same time. I just like to stick to my guns and try and sit and kick and I'm just happy it keeps working out."
Riley Franklin (17:03.12) and Sam Wilson (17:03.33) of Greely finished behind Allaire in fourth and fifth, respectively, to help lead the Rangers to their first state title since 2016. Greely also got strong runs from Leif Harvey (12th, 17:33.52) and Elias Leggat-Barr (15th, 17:41.07) as it scored 65 points, 18 ahead of runner-up York.
The Wildcats received top-15 finishes from Eli Hultstrom (7th, 17:04.85), Alex Hames (11th, 17:32.74) and Joe Neal (14th, 17:39.23). Mount Desert Island (99 points), Lincoln Academy (111) and Cape Elizabeth (139) rounded out the top five.
Bassett, Gulden and Allaire went through the first mile in around 5:22 to lead a big chase pack which came through roughly eight seconds behind the lead group. The three runners continued to put their foot on the gas, and extended their pace on the rest of the field through two miles and heading into the final loop. It was in the final mile of the race where Bassett and Gulden started to pull away from Allaire. It was a two-man race heading into the home stretch, but Bassett's finishing kick proved to be the difference. For Bassett, the win was a long time in the making.
"I can't be mad. This is what I've been working for my entire high school cross country career," Bassett said. "I'm just so happy."
In the girls' race, Cape Elizabeth junior Lila Gaudrault immediately opened up a gap on her fellow Class B compatriots as she glided through the first mile in 6:07, gaining roughly a 15-second advantage on the rest of the field.
Going out hard work to Gaudrault's advantage as she won her second straight individual title, running 19:19.62.
"My goal was to go out as hard as I could and form a gap hopefully," Gaudrault said. "Because I never like races coming down to the final kick ... So I try to stretch out my lead as far as I can."
Gaudrault's effort earned her a third straight trip to the New England Championships. Gaudrault finished 22nd at New England's last year, and is poised for a high finish next week.
"Hopefully I can improve on my performance from last year," she said.
Gaudrault's time was the third fastest in the combined results. Her teammate, Charlotte DeGeorge was the runner-up finisher in 20:07.87. Cape's 1-2 finish was good enough to lead the Capers to a third place finish it what turned out to be a tight team battle.
Greely, behind a third place finish from Marin Provencher, and seventh and eight place runs from Charlotte Taylor and Abby Hollis, won its first state championship since 2016 to finish 71 points. Mount Desert Island was the runner-up with 79 points, and got top-20 finishes from Callan Eason (11th, 21:04), Katelyn Osborne (15th, 21:18.71) and Olivia Johnson (21:31.04).
Competing in the wheelchair division was Leavitt sophomore Jonathan Schomaker, who finished in 34:41.64 to take close to three minutes off his time from last week's regional. He became the first Wheelchair division state champion in Maine with his victory.