Matson & Berry-Gaviria Win Third Straight Class A Crowns
The race for the Class A girls' individual title was never going to be in doubt.
Falmouth junior Sofie Matson won her third straight title in 17:52.02, the fastest time of all classes, and less than a second off what she ran a week prior at the Southern Regional.
Despite the similarities in time, Matson used a different racing strategy than last week due to the course conditions after the Class B and C races mucked up the already difficult Twin Brooks layout.
"This week was really different from last week because of all the mud," Matson said. "I think last week my first mile was closer to 5:30 ... I knew because the grass was so wet, especially with the mud that it would be a little slower, so I tried to push the second mile to kind of make up ground for that and run a similar time."
Matson opened up close to a 30-second gap at the first mile as she crossed through in 5:37, by far the fastest opening split of the day on the girls' side. Gorham's Kate Tugman followed in 6:05, while Bangor's Lydia Gilmore and Matson's teammate, Karley Piers, were close behind in 6:10-6:11. Matson continued to pour it on from their as she opened up a 60-second advantage near two miles.
Tugman, Gilmore and Piers continued to stick together, but over the last mile it was Piers who made the decisive move to earn a runner-up finish. Piers crossed the line in 19:18.61 to pull away from Tugman (19:21.58). Bonny Eagle sophomore Delaney Hesler moved up well throughout the race taking fourth (19:29.35), and Gilmore hung tough for a fifth place finish (19:38.04).
Hesler's fourth place finish helped lead Bonny Eagle to its second straight title, and sixth over the past eight years. Emmaline Pendleton (10th, 20:06.90) and Hannah Stevens (13th, 20:09.24) added top 15 finishes for the Scots, who finished with 72 points. Falmouth was second with 114 points behind its 1-2 finish. Gorham was close behind in third (120), while Camden Hills (124) and Mt. Ararat (192) rounded out the top five.
In the boys' race, Mt. Ararat senior Lisandro Berry-Gaviria stopped the clock at 15:51.76 to win his third straight Class A championship as he gradually pulled away from Brunswick senior Will Shaughnessy, who was 11 seconds back in 16:02.03.
"I was pretty happy with the time considering the conditions," Berry-Gaviria said. "I felt like I pushed myself pretty well and ran a smart race from a tactical perspective."
Berry-Gaviria and Shaughnessy come through the opening mile together in approximately 4:55 to build a gap on the chase pack, which consisted of Westbrook's Mahamed Sharif, Falmouth's Ben Greene, and Bangor's Daniel McCarthy, who each came through in 5:01-5:02.
Berry-Gaviria and Shaughnessy continued to pull away from the chase pack, but a little after two miles, the Mt. Ararat senior made a decisive surge and developed a 10-meter lead heading into the final loop. Sharif made a move of his own as he separated from the chase pack to move into third.
In the end though, Berry-Gaviria powered his way to another individual state championship and helped lead Mt. Ararat to its first team title in 25 years. Sharif held on to take third in just his third 5k race of his career (16:17.02), Greene was fourth (16:22.38) and McCarthy rounded out the top five (16:26.11). Mt. Ararat received another top-10 finish from Grady Satterfield (8th, 16:37.66) and a 20th place finish from Lucas Bergeron, scoring 84 points to edge Bangor (91 points) for the team title. Brunswick was third with 116.
Falmouth and Scarborough each finished 123 points, but the Yachtsmen had the better sixth runner to take fourth. In the combined results, however, the Red Storm finished five points ahead of Falmouth to earn the final qualifying spot for the New England Championships.