For the first time in six years, the Cape Elizabeth boys’ cross country team has no peer in Class B.
Saturday, at the state meet in Belfast, the Capers tallied 76 points to hold off runner-up Falmouth by 11.
Cape Elizabeth placed two runners in the top 10, as Liam Simpson was sixth for scoring purposes (with a time of 16 minute, 55.42 seconds on the 5-kilometer course) and Peter Doane placed ninth (17:03.29). Both runners qualified for the New England championships, to be held Nov. 10 in Cumberland. Also scoring were Will Britton (18th, 17:42.56), Kyle Kennedy (20th, 17:46.95) and Justin Guerrette (23rd, 17:52.36).
It was the Capers’ eighth championship overall.
“The race went just about as we expected,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Derek Veilleux. “We knew it would come down to the team that could run the last mile the fastest. Up until 1,000 meters to go, we were still losing the meet to Falmouth. We talked all week about being able to dig deep to finish strong, and when the time came, we found another gear. Kyle and Justin were able to move up several spots to seal the win for us. It was a great moment to see our guys coming up the final hill to the finish area. I knew at that point we had pulled off the win. They didn’t know they had won when I met them in the finishing chute, but when I told them they were ecstatic. We put in 19 weeks of training to have a shot at winning. To get the job done on race day was rewarding to all.”
Cape Elizabeth will be the favorite to repeat in 2013.
“We return our entire top seven,” Veilleux said. “I know several guys will be running at least one season of track either this winter or spring, which should help us continue to develop. We will have to commit to the summer training if we want to stay on top. I think this group will stay motivated. They want to be the best then can be. The expectations will be high and we will have a target on our backs. Ellsworth returns most of their top runners, so I expect them to be a serious challenger. Falmouth is supposed to move to Class A, but if they don’t they will be very good. I expect York, Greely and Yarmouth to be strong as well.”
The Capers girls also ran at states and finished ninth with 193 points (Mt. Desert Island was the champion with 67).
Individually, the Capers were led by Rhoen Fiutak, who came in 23rd (21:05.85). Also scoring were Ellen Best (29th, 21:36.56), Sam Feenstra (44th, 22:06.84), Emma Inhorn (46th, 22:09.02) and Dana Hatton (51st, 22:25.31).
In the Class A boys’ meet, Scarborough sought a third straight title and seventh over the past decade, but the Red Storm had to settle for third after scoring 95 points (Massabesic was the champion with 82 and Lewiston was runner-up with 91). South Portland (394) placed 15th.
Scarborough’s top finisher was Robby Hall, who came in second individually in 16:39.88 and qualified for New Englands. Also scoring were Jack Sullivan (12th, 17:04.83), Colin Tardiff (24th, 17:31.51), Ian Morris (27th, 17:32.3) and Jacob Terry (30th, 17:40.71).
The Red Riots were paced by freshman Gavin Damian-Loring, 37th in 18:01.3. Also scoring were Jacob Guay (83rd, 19:04.59), Colton Gervais (89th, 19:20.19), Daniel Jordan (92nd, 19:29.57) and John Salamone (93rd, 19:34.4).
On the girls’ side, Bonny Eagle was the champion with 66 points. South Portland placed sixth with 168.
The Red Riots featured Nyajock Pan, who was second to Lawrence’s Erzsebet Nagy, with a time of 19:01.89. Since Lawrence didn’t qualify as a team, Pan was first for scoring purposes. Casey Loring came in 10th, 19:44.82, and joined Pan in qualifying for the New England meet. Also scoring were Angela Tirabassi (33rd, 21:38.6), Ariana Mohammad (51st, 22:37.17) and Ciera Mullen (73rd, 23:33.81).
Cape Elizabeth’s Liam Simpson runs stride for stride with Greely’s Nathan Madeira during the Class B boys’ cross country state meet Saturday. Simpson finished sixth individually and the Capers won the team title for the first time since 2006.
South Portland standout Nyajock Pan had the second-best time and was first for scoring purposes at the Class A meet. Pan qualified for New Englands in the process.
Peter Doane helped Cape Elizabeth’s title cause with a ninth-place finish in Class B.
Rhoen Fiutak was the first finisher for the Cape Elizabeth girls, coming in 23rd in Class B.
Scarborough’s Robby Hall was the individual runner-up in the Class A boys’ meet.
Scarborough’s Jack Sullivan finished 12th in Class A.
South Portland’s Casey Loring finished 10th in Class A.