White Wins New England XC Title for Third Time

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Orono senior Ruth White joined exclusive company with her victory at the 88th New England Cross-Country Championship meet becoming just the fifth individual to win three or more New England titles.

While the sun was shining the temperatures were in the low 40's a big difference from just one week ago at the Maine State Championships. The rain earlier in the week had softened the course up making it a bit slower than a week ago.

White assumed the lead after the first 800m and was never challenged as she powered across the line at 17:12.25. With the victory, Ruth completed her entire high school cross-country career undefeated in the state of Maine. Twenty-seven seconds behind White came Houlton/GHCA junior Teanne Ewings who earned her second consecutive All-New England honors moving up from 19th place effort in 2022.

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Brooke Strauss of Glastonbury finished third and top honors as the top finisher from the Nutmeg state. Strauss clocked at 17:49.7 improving on her 27th-place effort from a year ago. Conard, CT junior Tess Sherry had her best race of the season to grab fourth place (17:58.58), she finished third at the CIAC State Open on Monday. Katherine Bohlke of Newington, CT rounded out the top five with her 18:02.21, she won the CT State Open Championship on Monday.

For the host state, Maine Coast sophomore Soren Stark-Chessa finished sixth (18:07.09) while Class B state champion Cary Drake of York finished eighth (18:08.65). Class A runner-up Addy Thibodeau of Bonny Eagle ran her best race of the season to place 12th (18:22.15) her second consecutive season earning All-New England honors. Class A champion Samantha Moore was 15th (18:29) moving up from her 20th-place effort in 2022.

The top-ranked Champlain Valley Union girls from Vermont lived up to their billing as they scored 97 points to win the New England team title. The win was the seventh in school history, and their first since 2019. Oyster River of New Hampshire was the runner-up scoring 130, they were followed by rival Pinkerton Academy with 198. Glastonbury from Connecticut the defending champions ran well for fourth with 229 points while Hanover of New Hampshire rounded out the top five with 247 points.

Class A third-place team Portland had an excellent race as they were the top Maine team finishing in ninth place with 343 points. Bonny Eagle was 12th with 355 points.

The boys' race got off to an auspicious start with the field being recalled after athletes fell in the first 100 meters. The second time didn't prove to be much better but this time the race went on. Noble senior and Maine Class A champion Maddox Jordan towed the field through the first mile with a huge chase back behind him. At about the 1.25 mile mark Connecticut State Open Champion Steven Hergenrother assumed control of the race, and from there he put his stamp of authority on the race opening up an insurmountable lead as he came by with 800m to go. Hergenrother who is headed to Princeton next fall was the runner-up in the race last fall and moved up to the top spot with his fine 15:21.87 effort.


Behind him, there were plenty of Connecticut jerseys as Hall, CT senior Isaac Mahler was the runner-up clocking 15:36.30, while senior Griffin Mandirola of Suffield, CT was a few strides back in third (15:39.33). Mahler was sixth last year while Mandirola was eighth. The top New Hampshire runner was sophomore Sullivan Sturtz of Keene, NH (15:41.39) in fourth place while E.O. Smith senior Jack Mattingly was fifth running 15:41.70.

Maine's top runner was Maddox Jordan who was sixth after rebounding well in the second half of the race with his 15:42.08 effort. Nathan Blades of Portland jumped up 14 spots from a year ago to place 11th and earn All-New England honors again (15:53.65) while Class B runner-up Carter Libby of Gray-New Gloucester finished 24th to earn honors for the first time (16:05.93).

Connecticut dominated the team standings as Ridgefield claimed its first-ever New England title. They put on a display of excellence en route to scoring 57 points. Behind the winner Hergenrother, they placed 10th, 18th, 31st, and 39th. Danbury was the runner-up with 181 points followed by Xavier who tallied 200 points. Hanover of New Hampshire was fourth with 255 while Cumberland, Rhode Island was fifth tallying 266 points.

Maine Class A champion Portland was the top team from the 207 as the Bulldogs finished 13th with 366 points.