Matson Wins New England XC Title
Falmouth junior Sofie Matson continued her undefeated cross-country season as she captured the new England XC title at Wickham Park in Manchester Connecticut. Matson covered the 5k layout in 17:52 to hold off a hard charging Mari Noble of Greenwich, CT by five seconds.
Matson didn't get off to the start she wanted but was still in the top five as the pack crested the hill after the start. She didn't waste time though working her way to front as she narrowed the gap to the leader Kate Wiser of Pomperaug, CT during the rest of the first mile. Wiser set the Wickham Park record with her 17:39 at the Connecticut Divisional Championship two weeks prior.
During the second mile Wiser and Matson would switch off the lead several times, before Matson seized the lead for good just after two miles. With 600 meters to go the three time defending Class A champion put the pedal down as she knew she had to kick early.
The 2018 Footlocker finalist powered her way up the final hill of the finish with her usual smooth form, Noble the Connecticut All-State champion who ran a course best of 17:57 was closing fast but didn't have enough real estate left. Wiser who pushed the pace throughout was delegated to third place in 18:09.
Class B champion Lila Gaudrault nabbed All-New England honors for the second year in a row as she crossed the finish line in 17th with a 19:00 effort. The finish was a five spot improvement over a year ago.
Bangor's Lydia Gilmore had a strong effort with her 38th place (19:31), she was followed to the line in 39th by Bonny Eagle sophomore Delaney Hesler (19:32). Hesler's teammate Emmaline Pendleton was 46th in 19:37, while Class C champion Olivia Reynolds of Maine Coast Waldorf was one spot back in 47th (19:37).
Bonny Eagle the top team in Maine all year garnered a top ten finish which improved on their 13th place effort from a year ago.
In his last cross-country race in a Mt Ararat jersey senior Lisandro Berry-Gaviria led all Maine finishers at the 85th New England Championship. Berry-Gaviria the three time defending Class A state champion went with the leaders as he was in the top three at the 2k mark. He would maintain that placing through much of the second mile before losing focus and drifting back a bit during the third mile. He would rally over the final 400m meters after Brunswick's Will Shaughnessy went by him to nab a fourth place finish, improving on his sixth place effort from a year ago. His time was a strong 15:42, 13 second behind race winner Gavin Sherry of Conard, CT.
Berry-Gaviria wasn't pleased with how he raced "I lost focus in the last mile of the race, and then lost contact." he told us post-race.
Brunswick senior Will Shaughnessy ran perhaps his best race of the fall as he ran in the chase pack the entire race. Shaughnessy ran 15:45 to finish sixth overall and capture his first All-New England XC finish.
"I felt great today." Shaughnessy informed us after the race.
Bangor's Daniel McCarthy didn't come into the meet with many expectations, but the sophomore found his groove once the gun went off and the competitive juices were flowing. Just a sophomore he worked his worked his way through the field, and finished 15th overall in 16:14. He was the second fastest sophomore in the field only behind the winner, Sherry.
Scarborough senior Tristram Coffin bounced back after finishing ninth at the Class A meet a week ago as he out himself into the mix earlier and stayed in All-New England contention throughout as he crossed the lined in 16:18 to grab 21st place.
Brunswick finished as the top Maine team as they finished 15th overall, they were followed by Mt Ararat in 18th.