Cross-country weather was in the air on Saturday at the Troy Howard Middle School as runners vied for a spot in next week's Maine XC State Championship.
Class C girls got the action under way and as expected Orono sophomore Ruth White, the #1 ranked runner in the state this fall went to the front from the gun. White pushed the pace as she has done all year pulling away from George Stevens Academy junior Thea Crowley in the early stages as she cruised to a 17:41 victory. Crowley finished as the runner-up in a strong effort of 18:27.30, the time ended up being the second fastest on the day.
Houlton freshman Teanne Ewing earned a low stick with her third place effort of 19:35.28. She was followed across the line by Bucksport's Rebekah Ireland in 20:48 while Ellie Brooks of Orono clocked 20:54 to round out the top five.
Houlton/GHCA captured the team title with thirty-seven points to edge Orono by three points. The Red Riots had the edge through the first three runners but Houlton/GCHA had the edge on the back end with their fourth and fifth runners. Orono's chances took a big hit as Nora White who ran 18:09 for 5k earlier in the year is out with an injury.
On the boys side Orono senior Kyle McClellan battled with sophomore William Hileman of Bucksport for the first couple of miles before McClellan found a new gear pulling away for the victory in 16:51.42. Hileman was the runner-up in 17:25.90 as he held off a hard charging Daniel Ross of Houlton/GHCA 17:27.38. Colby Farnsworth of Orono was next in 17:44.97 while Ethan Linscott of Lee Academy rounded out the top five in 17:54.93
The Red Riots of Orono won the regional title with 34 points as they placed four runners in the top nine finishers. George Stevens Academy nabbed runner-up honors with 69 points as they edged Bucksport by five points. Sumner and Limestone/MSSM finished fourth and fifth to advance to the state meet.
Bangor senior Megan Randall one week removed from winning the KVAC Class A title went to the front from the start of the Class A Northern Maine Regional race, and was never challenged as she covered the 5k course in a personal best 18:48.17. Randall's winning margin was 57 seconds over runner-up Payton Bell of Edward Little who broke twenty minutes with her 19:45.79. Mt. Blue's Emma Charles had a personal best 19:48.47 placing third overall and providing the Cougars with a low stick. Behind her Camden Hills sophomore Jenna VanRyn placed fourth in 20:01, while her teammate and freshman Cassie Middleton ran a strong race for a top five finish in 20:16.36
The team race came down to Mt. Blue's sixth runner who edged Bangor's by a scant three places as the Cougars prevailed over the Rams. Junior Moriah Reusch was the Cougars sixth runner as she finished 26th in 22:38. Mt Blue had four in the top 13, and five in the top 21, while the Rams countered with three of the first eight finishers. Camden Hills finished in third just 11 points back of the top teams while Brunswick and Mt. Ararat also advanced to the state meet.
The much anticipated Class A boys Northern Maine Regional race was as good as expected. KVAC champion Abbott Valentine of Hampden Academy set the early pace with seniors Daniel McCarthy of Bangor and Grady Satterfield of Mt Ararat following closely. By the halfway point Satterfield started to push the pace with Valentine, and McCarthy was left to hang on. McCarthy found a second wind after two miles and seized control of the race over the last 700 meters of the race. Finishing with a strong kick the Georgetown bound McCarthy crossed the finish line in a personal best 15:25.13, Valentine was second in a personal best 15:33.02, while Satterfield finished third, clearly exhausted from his be effort in 15:47.84. Behind them, junior Charlie Collins of Hampden Academy was fourth in 16:15, while Brunswick junior Eli Palmer ran 16:30 for fifth place.
The team race was a close one as #1 ranked Brunswick held on for a four-point win over #3 ranked Hampden Academy. Brunswick placed all five scoring runners in the top 18, while the Broncos had three top ten finishers and all five scorers in the top 22. Bangor was third with 73, while Messalonskee, Mt Ararat & Mt. Blue also advanced to the state meet in fourth, fifth, and sixth place.
Freshman Amelia Vandongen of Mt Desert Island showed no effects from an injury that had held her out of races since early October as she got to the front of the Class B Northern Maine Regional and gradually lengthened her lead throughout the race. Vandongen stopped the clock at 19:39.69 to lower her personal best by twenty seconds. Her winning margin was twenty seconds over junior Abby Williams of Waterville who moved up very well over the second half of the race to break twenty minutes for the first time in her career with her 19:59.27 effort. Caribou's Kayley Bell had a strong performance to place third in 20:09.78 while Anna Jandreau a junior from Presque Isle placed fourth with a 20:17.57. Rounding out the top five finishers was Grace Kirk a senior from Cony with her time of 20:18.91.
Mt Desert Island showed both quality and depth as they dominated the team race with seven of the top fifteen finishers. The Trojans tallied just 30 points to finish easily ahead of runner-up Cony by 29 points. Waterville ran strong for third, while Caribou and John Bapst finished fourth and fifth to qualify for the state meet.
Medomak Valley senior Connor Daigle was enjoying himself out on the course during the Class B Northern Maine Regional, he was often seen smiling, and giving a thumbs up as he cruised around the 5k layout at the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Daigle was relaxed but that didn't stop him from clocking a 15:53.52 effort, his winning effort was the fourth time this fall he had run under 16 minutes for 5k. Behind him Mt. Desert Island junior Sam York ran 16:45.61 for the runner-up finish with Cony senior Jacob Pelletier next in 16:51.82. Finishing in fourth place was Caribou senior Michael Cyr in 16:54.83 while Hermon's Ian Meserve rounded out the top five with his 17:12.24
The team race was close but in the end Mt Desert Island took top honors with 81 points. The Trojans held off John Bapst who tallied 91 and earned the runner-up plaque by besting Caribou on the sixth runner tie breaker. Cony wasn't that far back with 106 for fourth, while Hermon and Erskine Academy placed fifth and sixth t advance to the state meet.