Cape, Scarborough boys win regional CC titles

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Local runners excelled at the Western A and Western B cross country regional championships Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland.

And as a result, there will be a large local contingent this coming Saturday when the state meet is held at the same location.

In Western A, the Scarborough boys took the top spot and both South Portland teams qualified for states.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth had the top male runner and the top boys’ team, while the girls’ squad was runner-up.

Here’s a look at all the local results:

Beat goes on

Scarborough’s boys have won six of the past nine Class A state championships and could be on the verge of another if Saturday’s showing was any indication.

The Red Storm, regional runners-up in 2012, tallied 60 points to outdistance Falmouth by 11. South Portland (167) placed sixth.

Scarborough was led by Colin Tardiff, who was the individual runner-up in 17 minutes, 3.37 seconds. Jacob Terry was right behind in fourth (17:07.11). Also scoring were Andrew Sholl (11th, 17:26.36), Ian Morris (18th, 17:37.26) and Maxim Doiron (25th, 17:57.89).

“Things went well for us, but you could see it was still close with Falmouth just 11 points behind us,” said Red Storm coach Jim Harmon. “That means we’ll have to watch out for them and Massabesic, who is coming on strong at the end of the season, as well as the Eastern teams.”

South Portland’s top finisher was Saadelin Zackeria (14th, 17:33.83). Also scoring were Gavin Damian-Loring (34th, 18:09.5), Jacob Guay (37th, 18:22.84), John Salamone (40th, 18:31.39) and Jonathan Bagley (42nd, 18:33.77).

On the girls’ side, Bonny Eagle took the top spot with 59 points. South Portland (196) was the last team to qualify by placing eighth. Scarborough (261) was ninth and failed to qualify.

The Red Riots featured Casey Loring, who was fifth (20:06.55). Also scoring were Serena McKenzie (30th, 21:50.48), Ariana Mohammad (46th, 22:54.18), Casey Kelley (48th, 22:56.61) and Janey Blackwell-Orr (67th, 23:50.56).

The Red Storm will send Laura Volan and Marisa Carbone to the state meet as individuals. Volan came in 13th in 20:56.31. Carbone was 19th (21:17.02). Also scoring were Morgan McKeown (65th, 23:38.29), Mina Puig (76th, 24:25.6) and Maureen Degrinney (88th, 24:55.86).

Looking strong

Cape Elizabeth’s boys won the regional and Class B state titles in 2012 and appear to be even stronger in 2013. After a dominant regular season, the Capers surprised no one by winning the regional crown Saturday, tallying 45 points to easily outdistance runner-up York (102).

Stealing the show individually was Liam Simpson, who won the race by 21 seconds, posting a time of 16:15.92.

“I had a plan going into the race that after the first mile, I’d just surge,” said Simpson. “The first mile on this course is hilly. The second mile is the least hilly. The last race I ran, I didn’t do that enough and I couldn’t kick. I made the decision that after the first mile I’d pick it up and I did. The last 800 or so was just excruciating. I thought I was going to (get sick). There’s a steep hill and when you get over that, it’s still a long uphill. I thought I had a good lead, but you can’t tell because there’s so much confusion. You can’t look over your shoulder, because it will cost you a second or two. I just pushed as hard as I could. It was really intense. This is my best time here so far. The course is probably in the best condition I’ve ever run. That was a factor.”

“He knew what he needed to do,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Derek Veilleux. “He just executed a great race plan. It’s nice to see him win after so much hard work. He ran outstanding. He was flying.”

Simpson’s performance was only the beginning. Three other Capers placed in the top 10, as Peter Doane was third (16:37.87), Kyle Kennedy placed eighth (17:01.97) and Mitch Morris was ninth (17:05.1). Julian Pelzer (24th, 18:05.6) rounded out the scoring.

“The team was great,” said Veilleux. “We talked about getting four guys in the top 10 and that happened. Kyle rebounded today and was right up there. That’s the kind of race we need next week. We wanted this to be a rehearsal for next week and the kids have confidence now. The state meet is here next week. There’s no reason for our guys not to be confident. This is a championship meet. That’s what we focus our program on.”

The girls’ race was won by Freeport with 61 points, but Cape Elizabeth was 10 behind in second.

Rhoen Fiutak placed fifth in 21:05.4 to lead the way. Also scoring were Emma Shedd (11th, 21:08.58), Eva Brydson (17th, 21:40.95), Sam Feenstra (18th, 21:42.05) and Dana Hatton (20th, 21:43.38).

“The course conditions and weather stacked up perfectly for the girls to run great times on a tough course,” said Capers coach Amber Cronin. “We went into the meet with high expectations and the girls didn’t fail to meet them. Like they’ve been doing all season, the girls worked as a team to take home second. They left the meet hungry to beat Freeport this week to take second at states, but they are going to have to work hard to do it.”

States

The state meet begins Saturday with the Class B girls’ race at 11 a.m. The Class B boys run at 11:45 a.m.

Cape Elizabeth and Ellsworth are the favorites on the boys’ side.

“We’re confident in our fitness,” said Simpson. “Will Britton, our number three runner, has been out for three weeks. He’s working his way back. We’re hoping he’ll be strong for states, but even without him, we’d have a good chance. Our 2, 4, 5 and 6 guys have stepped it up.”

“Ellsworth has a lot of talent,” said Veilleux. “Their top runner’s been hurt, but I expect to see him back. Man for man, they’re pretty equal to us. Anything can happen. We won’t take anything for granted. We don’t even talk about winning. It’s more about going out and doing what we’ve been prepared to do all week long. It’s a senior group. Liam, Peter and Julian have been varsity since freshman year. There’s a lot of good leadership. They know what to do.”

Mt. Desert Island is the prohibitive team to beat in the girls’ race, but Cape Elizabeth figures to make noise.

“Everything has to add up just right, but I think if we run like we’re capable, we can definitely be top three,” Cronin said.

The Class A girls begin at 2 p.m. and the Class A boys’ race brings the curtain down on the day at 2:45 p.m.

Scarborough has a shot at bringing home more hardware.

“It looks like Lewiston will be the favorite with Bangor, Mt. Blue and us chasing them for a chance at the title,” said Harmon. “We like our chances, but any of those teams could win if their top five have great races.”

The New England championships are Saturday, Nov. 9, in Manchester, N.H. State championship teams from each class and the next 22 finishers in the three combined classes will earn the honor of running at that meet.

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

South Portland’s Casey Loring and Scarborough’s Laura Volan run near the front of the Western A girls’ race. Loring wound up fifth and Volan qualified as an individual after placing 13th.

Cape Elizabeth’s Rhoen Fiutak (left, who was fifth) and Emma Shedd (11th) run together during the Western B girls’ race.

Scarborough’s Colin Tardiff lunges to edge out Massabesic’s Michael Aboud for the second spot in the Western A boys’ race. The Red Storm won the team title.

South Portland’s Casey Loring hits the home stretch.

Sidebar Elements


Cape Elizabeth’s Liam Simpson leaves the field in his wake en route to an individual win in the Western B boys’ cross country regional meet Saturday. Simpson helped the Capers roll to a team title as well.

John Jensenius photos.

More photos below.

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