3 cross country teams capture state crowns

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(Ed. Note: For additional photos from this meet, please see the Web version of this story at theforecaster.net)

CUMBERLAND — Three more cross country championship trophies are heading back to Forecaster country.

Saturday, at Twin Brook, Falmouth’s boys capped their stellar season with their first Class B title in nine seasons. Greely’s late push gave it the runner-up spot. Freeport came in sixth.

In the girls’ race, won by powerhouse Mt. Desert Island, Greely finished fifth, Yarmouth 10th, Falmouth 11th and Freeport 13th.

In Class C, the North Yarmouth Academy boys made it two in a row. Merriconeag was eighth.

The Merriconeag girls won their second consecutive Class C title. NYA placed fourth.

Catch us if you can

The Falmouth boys came in first in every meet which they entered this fall, including the Festival of Champions in Belfast. The Yachtsmen were the favorites entering the state meet and didn’t disappoint, tallying 64 points, which was 38 better than the runner-up, Greely.

Senior Tim Follo led the way, coming in second (completing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 32.20 seconds). Other scorers were senior Thomas Edmonds (12th, 17:38.80), junior Jay Lesser (13th, 17:39.57), senior Henry Briggs (18th, 17:50.17) and senior Colby Howland (19th, 17:51.08). Senior Conor McGrory and freshman Spencer Brown didn’t score, but had the 25th and 26th-best times, respectively.

“We’re incredibly happy,” said Follo. “We were confident, but we have a saying that ‘You’re never all set.’ It’s a good end to the four years. I really have to hand a lot of credit to our two coaches. They’re unbelievably talented. They understand the kids. We always have a fun time. I think that’s what sets us apart.”

“The depth we have made me feel more comfortable,” said Falmouth co-coach Jorma Kurry. “We could afford to take some chances since we have Connor and Colby and Henry and Spencer, who are always there running strong.”

“(The guys) committed to something that makes a special team,” added co-coach Danny Paul. “We can coach our brains out, but if we don’t have that kind of group, it doesn’t happen. This group has been so focused and ready. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for Tim. He gives us great leadership. When you can put No. 2 to 7 within 20-25 seconds, that’s awesome.”

The Yachtsmen won’t project to be as powerful in 2012, but don’t write them off.

“We’ll chase instead of being chased next year, but I’ll take what we’ve got coming back,” Kurry said.

“Our eight, nine and 10 are all back and they’re all good,” Paul said. “We’ll have work to do, but we’re better than I thought coming back.”

Greely’s 102 points left it second, a point better than Caribou and three in front of York.

The Rangers had two runners finish in the top five, senior Stefan Sandreuter (fourth, 17:09.08) and junior Nathan Madeira (fifth, 17:10.53). Also scoring were seniors Isaak Emery (21st, 17:56.03), Nestor Taylor (31st, 18:15.25) and James Currie (41st, 18:27.66).

“Falmouth was tough to beat, but we realized about halfway through that Caribou was right there with us,” said Greely coach David Dowling. “We had to exhort our boys to go for the Caribou ones. We managed to pull it out. Nestor passed a couple Caribou boys in the final stretch. Realistically, second was the goal coming in. Falmouth’s depth was too much.”

The Rangers will suffer some key graduation losses.

“Next year will be a rebuilding year for the boys,” said Dowling.

Freeport’s 165 points left it sixth. The Falcons produced scorers junior Ian McGhie (25th, 18:02.41), senior Nick Sweet (26th, 18:03.81), junior Abrim Berkemeyer (30th, 18:12.86), senior Taylor Saucier (35th, 18:19.62) and junior Mason Cyr (49th, 18:44.15).

Yarmouth didn’t qualify as a team, but did send two individuals. Sophomore Braden Becker had the 23rd-best time (17:57.00). Junior Thomas Robichaud had the 54th-fastest finish (18:43.22).

MDI excelled on the girls’ side, easily winning with 59 points, placing all five scorers in the top 14.

Greely’s 166 points left it fifth. The Rangers were without standout sophomore Kirstin Sandreuter, but were paced by freshman Eva Bates, who placed 10th (20:47.08). Also scoring were junior Allie Day (34th, 22:07.43), senior Melissa Jacques (36th, 22:12.07), sophomore Jill Booth (40th, 22:23.62) and junior Jordan Ouellette (46th, 22:29.70).

“We didn’t have our No. 1 girl, Kirstin, who was out with mono and that’s anywhere from 10 to 20 points difference,” Dowling said. “Not that we would have touched MDI or (runner-up) Camden Hills, but we might have been closer to (third place) Caribou or (fourth place) Cape. The girls all ran close to their course-best times under these muddy conditions. I thought they performed well.”

Greely will be back in the hunt in 2012.

“We’re losing a lot of seniors, but it will hopefully just be a reloading year for the girls,” Dowling said.

Yarmouth was 10th with 225 points. Junior Sarah Becker capped her excellent season by coming in 19th (21:25.21). Also scoring were freshman Gabrielle Beaulieu (32nd, 22:05.22), sophomore Madison Hynes (41st, 22:24.22), junior Emma Pidden (55th, 22:42.94) and freshman Molly Walsh (78th, 24:09.87).

Falmouth came in 11th with 229 points. Leading the Yachtsmen was sophomore Madeline Roberts (25th, 21:53.48). Other scorers included senior Jena Mannette (42nd, 22:25.67), junior Abby Payson (51st, 22:33.48), senior Grace Dancoes (54th, 22:41.58) and junior Molly Ryan (57th, 22:45.03).

“The girls got out reasonably well, but it didn’t hold together,” Paul said. “We’re better than we ran. MDI was so good.”

“We struggled,” Kurry said. “I knew MDI was good and I expected them to win, but I didn’t expect them to be so dominant. Their five runners beat our league.”

Freeport’s 288 points left it 13th. Scoring for the Falcons were junior Ciera Wentworth (45th, 22:28.84), senior Ellie Soule (49th, 22:30.46), sophomore Nina Davenport (52nd, 22:35.77), sophomore Elly Bengtsson (68th, 23:11.24) and sophomore Emily Jennings (74th, 23:36.69).

Repeat after me

NYA’s boys set the standard in Class C all year and culminated their season in style Saturday, scoring 74 points, 34 better than runner-up Waynflete, to win Class C for the second year in a row and for the fourth time since 2001.

While senior Cam Regan struggled, placed 27th and failed to score, his teammates came through admirably. Leading the way were seniors Alex Coffin (eighth, 17:43.85) and Evan Kendall (ninth, 17:55.70). Also scoring were senior Rudy Guliani (12th, 18:07.10), freshman Matt Malcolm (20th, 18:28.89) and senior Grant McPherson (25th, 18:47.99).

“I was very proud of our team’s effort,” said Panthers coach Peter Sillin. “They performed very well under the weight of high expectations and when the unexpected happened and our leader, Cam, found himself in trouble, they really pulled together as a team. Alex just proved once again what a big meet runner he is and Evan and Rudy can be proud of the way they capped their senior season. Matt has been an increasingly pleasant surprise all fall. And Grant and Brian (Trelegan, who was 30th) gave us the kind of depth that no one else in Class C had this year.”

This senior-laden team will likely come back to the pack next year, but you can’t write NYA off.

“This team is full of seniors who will be missed as scorers and as leaders next year on the team and in the school,” Sillin said. “Our team will lose six of our top seven to graduation, but with the top freshman in Class C (Matt) and a few other runners with some potential, sophomore Jake Burns and freshman Ian Moore come to mind, we’ll have a base on which to build for the future of the program.”

Merriconeag had 199 points and was ninth. Junior Jack Pierce came in third (17:02.35). Other scorers were senior Tyler O’Brien (34th, 19:08.07), freshman Zach Neveu (35th, 19:08.92), junior Ben Tindall (59th, 20:42.59) and sophomore John Burgess (68th, 21:25.85).

The Merriconeag girls won with 61 points. Junior Zoe Chace-Donahue (who had the 16th fastest time, but was ninth for scoring purposes, 22:11.80), freshman Samantha Pierce (10th, 22:12.60), junior Teagan Wu (12th, 22:33.06), freshman Jesse Saffeir (14th, 22:52.74) and sophomore Carlin Tindall (16th, 23:14.85) were the scorers.

NYA had 104 points to come in fourth. Senior Hillary Detert capped her career with a seventh-place finish (21:53.43). Senior Maggie Meixell placed 19th (23:39.67), senior Hadley Gibson 21st (23:44.40), freshman Hannah Austin 22nd (23:45.23) and senior Sarah Jordan 35th (25:14.32).

New Englands

The New England championship meet is Nov. 12, in Rhode Island.

The Falmouth, Greely and NYA boys and Merriconeag girls qualified as a team. Greely’s Eva Bates and Merriconeag’s Jack Pierce qualified as individuals.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

NYA senior Rudy Guliani was 12th in Class C and helped the Panthers repeat as state champions.

Merriconeag’s Samantha Pierce finished 10th in the Class C girls’ race.

Merriconeag junior Jack Pierce holds off Waynflete’s Abshir Horor for third place in Class C.

Greely sophomore Isaak Emery placed 21st in Class B and helped the Rangers to a second place team finish, by one point.

Freeport senior Ellie Soule was 49th in Class B.

Sophomore Madeline Roberts was the top Falmouth female finisher, coming in 25th.

Falmouth seniors Henry Briggs (left) and Colby Howland run in tandem in the Class B boys’ race. Briggs wound up 18th, Howland 19th.

NYA senior Maggie Meixell was 19th in Class C Saturday.

Sidebar Elements

Falmouth senior Tim Follo races toward a second-place individual finish at Saturday’s Class B cross country championship meet. Follo helped the Yachtsmen win their first title since 2002.

Greely freshman Eva Bates (left) and Yarmouth junior Sarah Becker run nearly in tandem during the Class B girls’ state meet. Bates wound up passing Becker and finishing 10th, while Becker wound up 19th.

Merriconeag’s girls’ team poses with its new hardware after a second successive Class C title.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.