The two-time Class A state champion Cheverus girls’ cross country team is ready to take a run at a three-peat.
The Stags (first in the latest coaches’ poll) proved to be in championship form Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland when they won the regional meet with a score of 45. Cheverus had the second (senior Fiona Hendry, who completed the course in 19 minutes, 15.27 seconds), third (sophomore Shannon Conley, 19:53.55) and fourth (sophomore Kiera Murray, 20:07.08) finishers in the field. Seniors Maddie Woods (15th, 21:42.84) and Lizzie Gwilym (21st, 22:30.31) also scored.
“I think that what we need to remember from Saturday is a team win and recognize that things don’t always turn out the way you had anticipated they might,” said Cheverus coach Valerie Guillet. “I could not have asked for much more from my top three. They ran very well. Maddie and Lizzie knew that their results could be instrumental to the team victory by the end of the day and they ran superb races.
“As for Emily (Durgin), she was strong entering the season and had good races in September. She is obviously not where she would have been without her anemia issue and is faced with what all runners face at some point in their career: a setback. And it is painful. Whether it is a setback due to an injury, a health issue or a psychological issue, it is an obstacle that needs to be surmounted. Emily is a strong person and I believe she can do this. Her performance may not end up being what she would have liked it to be and that is the toughest part of this whole equation. However, if as I hope she will, she looks at the opportunity to once again be a part of her team’s success, and considers focusing on a different kind of outcome, she will be successful.”
Guillet feels that there are several threats to the Stags’ quest for a three-peat this coming weekend.
“Once again I will say ‘hats off’ to Massabesic for their results this past Saturday,” she said. “It’s always a pleasure to be around this team, their energy, their coaches and to witness what a great job they do year after year. They ran very well on Saturday and had us very worried. They will be back and will be joined by Mt. Ararat, another team with a solid record of good performances, as well as Brunswick. It will be another good day at Twin Brooks if each one of the girls finishes the meet knowing she has run the best race she could have on that day.“
Portland came in seventh with 226 points and also qualified for next week’s state meet. The Bulldogs qualified for the first time since 1998 and were led by freshman Darcy Hinck, who came in 34th (23:13,79). Also scoring were freshman Lizzy Landry (37th, 23:25.95), sophomore Abby Popenoe (49th, 24:03.66), junior Roland Elin (50th, 24:05.64) and sophomore Sadie Sarvis (56th, 24:17.05).
McAuley (10th) and Deering (14th) did not qualify, but Rams senior Ella Ramonas (17th, 21:53.88) Lions senior Taxia Arabatzis (22nd, 22:31.11) did make it as individuals.
Scarborough won the boys’ regional meet with 61 points. Cheverus (fifth, 147), Portland (sixth, 154) and Deering (seventh, 159) all qualified.
The Stags were led by senior Lukas Temple (18th, 18:15.88) and junior Brady Foshay (19th, 18:16.69). Other scorers included senior David Woodbury (30th, 18:39.70), senior Adam Zieba (37th, 18:47.40) and junior Chandler Dundas (43rd, 18:51.72).
The Bulldogs had the fifth-fastest runner in freshman Ben Allen (17:41.41). Junior Dexter Morse was 11th (18:01.65) and freshman Jake Morrow-Spitzer placed 25th (18:33.68). Junior Sam Hamilton (36th, 18:47.01) and freshman Matt Bliss (77th, 20:24.39) also scored.
The Rams’ top finisher was senior Tom Dean (10th, 18:00.91). Senior Sean Perry placed 22nd (18:29.35) and senior Gabe Turner came in 26th (18:33.84). Juniors Alex Hebert (49th, 19:00.08) and Jordan Stebbins (52nd, 19:08.30) were the other scorers.
In Western C, Waynflete was second in both genders.
The boys were runners-up to North Yarmouth Academy (59 points to 92). The Flyers were led, as usual, by senior Abshir Horor, who placed fifth (17:12.95). Junior Josh Espy came in eighth (17:42.57). Junior Abukar Adan was 10th (18:03.41). Also scoring were junior Jack Cutler (32nd, 19:34.61) and senior Peter Stein (37th, 19:48.41).
The girls were second to Merriconeag (41-90). Junior Martha Veroneau was fourth (21:57.40). Senior Hanae Miyake came in 14th (23:17.70). Senior Emily Trafton was 18th (23:35.90). Also scoring were sophomore Rowan Price (21st, 24:06.20) and senior Chloe Rowse (33rd, 25:24.30).
The state championship meets are right back at Twin Brook Saturday. The Waynflete girls take part in the Class C meet to start the day at 11 a.m. The Flyers boys compete for Class C honors at 11:45. The Class A girls’ meet begins at 12:30 p.m. The boys run at 1:15 p.m.
Cheverus’ Lukas Temple was 18th in Western Class A on Saturday.
Cheverus’ Shannon Conley was third in Western A.
Deering’s Ella Ramonas was 17th in Western A and qualified for the state meet as an individual.
Portland’s fabulous freshman Ben Allen was the fifth-fastest runner in Western A.
Waynflete’s Abshir Horor placed fifth in Western C.
Cheverus’ Fiona Hendry was runner-up to Kennebunk standout Abbey Leonardi in Western A.
Deering’s Thomas Dean chugs his way toward a 10th-place individual finish at last Saturday’s Western Class A regional championships. Dean and his teammates will take part in the state finals Saturday.
Waynflete junior Martha Veroneau was her usual dominant self Saturday, placing fourth individually in the Western C girls’ race.