McCarthy Leads Maine Contingent at New England XC Meet

Results Photos | Interviews

The New England Cross-Country Championships returned on Saturday at Thetford Academy in Vermont after a one year hiatus due to the COVID19 pandemic which canceled the meet a year ago.

Bangor senior Daniel McCarthy had to wait two weeks after finishing second at the Class A State meet to Abbott Valentine of Hampden Academy. McCarthy used the extra motivation to secure the top spot amongst all Maine high school boys competing with his ninth place effort of 16:45.90. The place earned the Georgetown bound McCarthy a spot on the All-New England team for the second time in his career, he placed 15th as a sophomore in 2019.

"I tried to stay conservative early on knowing the hills that there were on the course, and take off the second half." McCarthy said of his race strategy.

That patience paid off as McCarthy was in the low twenties in the first 2k or so and then used his strength to move through the field throughout the last 3k. After "Morty's Monster" Dan had moved up to 12th overall before picking off three more runners to cross the line in ninth place.

Five places and around ten seconds later Class A state champion Abbott Valentine of Hampden Academy crossed to earned All-New England honors for the first time. Valentine the only runner in Maine to defeat McCarthy in 2021 battled with everything he had. Valentine mentioned today was about as well as he could have done after battling a cold for a couple of weeks. 

The surprise of the meet for Maine runners was Gorham senior Calvin Cummings who had the best race of his high school career to grab the 25th spot the earn the last All-New England spot with his 17:10 effort. It was a great close for Cummings as he picked up ten spots over the final kilometer. The senior finished sixth in the Class A state meet two weeks ago proved that anything can happen if you believe in your ability.

Finishing just off the podium was Medomak Valley senior Connor Daigle in 26th with his 17:12.50. Daigle who won the Class B state title two weeks ago had himself in position with 1k to go but came up just short of his goal.

Hampden Academy junior Charlie Collins was the top Maine under class men with his 44th place effort of 17:29.30. Class B state runner-up Logan Ouellette of Leavitt just missed the top fifty by two placed with his 17:35.20 run.

Class A team champions Hampden Academy behind the All-New England performance of Valentine and the top 45 finish from Collins were the top Maine team in 19th with 448 points. Bangor was next in 25th with 530 followed by Brunswick in 26th with 542 points. Class B Champion Freeport was 28th followed by Portland in 29th.