Prior to the fall of 2009, no girls’ athletic team at Cheverus High School had won a state championship.
The girls’ cross country team has now won three in a row.
The Stags completed another transcendent season by easily holding off runner-up Mt. Ararat at Saturday’s Class A championship meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Portland, in its first state meet this century, placed 14th.
Cheverus’ boys came in sixth, Deering 11th and Portland 14th.
In Class C, the Waynflete boys were runners-up, while the girls placed third.
The Cheverus girls were first in every meet held in the state of Maine this autumn, took the regional title a week ago and finished first in the final coaches’ poll. Saturday, the Stags had 41 points, 51 better than Mt. Ararat.
Individually, Cheverus featured individual champion, senior Emily Durgin, who was actually third, but moved to first when individuals who weren’t part of a qualifying team were removed from consideration. Durgin completed the 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes, 3.88 seconds. The Stags actually went 1-2-3-4 as senior Fiona Hendry (19:25.15), junior Kiera Murray (19:56.02) and sophomore Shannon Conley (19:59.55) came in behind Durgin. Also scoring was senior Lizzie Gwilym, who was 31st (22:06.00).
Portland’s last state meet appearance prior to Saturday was in 1998. This time around, the Bulldogs came in 14th out of 15 scoring teams with 312 points and were led by freshman Darcy Hinck, who was 50th (22:51.52). Also scoring were freshman Lizzy Landry (55th, 23:05.35), sophomore Sadie Sarvis (62nd, 23:29.04), junior Roland Elin (63rd, 23:30.12) and sophomore Abby Popenoe (82nd, 24:20.73).
Neither Deering or McAuley qualified as a team, but each squad sent an individual.
Senior Ella Ramona represented the Rams and had the 26th-best time (21:42.32). Lions senior Taxia Arabatzis posted the 53rd-best time (22:37.46).
The Class A boys’ meet was won once again by Scarborough with 85 points. Cheverus had 179, Deering 236 and Portland 266.
Individually, the Stags were led by senior Lukas Temple (19th, 17:58.33). Also scoring were juniors Brady Foshay (29th, 18:15.44) and Chandler Dundas (30th, 18:15.63) and seniors Adam Zieba (42nd, 18:33.42) and David Woodbury (59th, 19:01.34).
The Rams top finisher was senior Thomas Dean (13th, 17:51.13). Seniors Sean Perry (34th, 18:20.03) and Gabe Turner (43rd, 18:34.30), sophomore Dakota Hiott (71st, 19:18.37) and junior Jordan Stebbins (75th, 19:25.81) also scored.
The Bulldogs, who made it to the state meet for the first time since 2007, featured junior Dexter Morse (36th, 18:20.99), freshman Ben Allen (38th, 18:25.63), freshman Jake Morrow-Spitzer (50th, 18:39.81), junior Sam Hamilton (51st, 18:40.58) and freshman Matt Bliss (91st, 20:10.32) as scorers.
Both Waynflete teams came into the Class C championships knowing that first place was out of reach, but that second was a realistic goal.
The boys did manage to place runner-up to North Yarmouth Academy (74 points to 108). Senior Abshir Horor came in fourth (17:06.36). Juniors Josh Espy (10th, 17:57.02), Abukar Adan (15th, 18:15.12) Jack Cutler (33rd, 19:06.25) and senior Peter Stein (46th, 19:52.94) also scored.
The girls had 96 points and were third behind Merriconeag (61) and Washburn (69). The Flyers were led by junior Martha Veroneau, who came in second (21:10.60).
“(The course) was pretty slippery,” said Veroneau. “I’m glad we had the first race though. The later races will definitely have more mud. There was a lot of competition out here today. It was a tough race.”
Also scoring were seniors Hanae Miyake (17th, 23:17.70) and Emily Trafton (18th, 23:22.15), sophomore Rowan Price (27th, 24:25.91) and senior Chloe Rowse (32nd, 24:58.21).
“We got second at regionals and wanted second today, but Washburn got us,” said Waynflete coach Ziggy Gillespie. “There’s a little controversy there. They use two rosters. They use a soccer roster and they supplement each other. Their 4 and 5 ran much faster today and I’m thinking it’s not the same 4 and 5 they’ve been using. It’s not right. It’s not fair to the kids, but we had a good day.”
The New England championship meet is Nov. 12, in Rhode Island.
The Cheverus girls qualified as a team. Waynflete’s Horor qualified as an individual.
McAuley senior Taxia Arabatzis ran an individual Saturday and had the 53rd-best time in Class A.
Deering senior Thomas Dean was 13th in Western A.
Cheverus junior Brady Foshay was 29th in the Western A boys’ race.
Waynflete junior Josh Espy was 10th in the Western C boys’ race.
Waynflete senior Abshir Horor runs toward his fourth-place finish in the Western C boys’ race Saturday.
Deering senior Ella Ramonas ran an as individual Saturday and had the 26th-best time in Class A.
Portland junior Dexter Morse (left) and Deering senior Sean Perry sprint for the finish line at Saturday’s Class A state final cross country meet. Perry wound up 34th and Morse was 36th.
More photos below.
Cheverus standouts (from left) senior Fiona Hendry, sophomore Shannon Conley and senior Emily Durgin help set the pace during the Class A girls’ race. Hendry wound up fourth, Conley sixth and During third as the Stags ran to a third successive championship.
In a familiar sight, the Cheverus girls’ cross country team poses with another championship trophy.