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Saturday’s cross-country regional finals proved to be memorable for Cheverus and Waynflete.
In Western Class A, the defending state champion Stags girls produced four of the top six individual scorers and easily won the team title with 31 points, 52 better than runner-up Massabesic. Cheverus was the lone city Class A team to advance. Deering had 239 points to finish 10th (only the top eight qualified), Portland (318) was 12th and McAuley (353) came in 14th.
In the boys’ competition, won by Scarborough with 38 points, defending Class A champion Cheverus qualified for states by coming in fourth with 170. Deering (10th, 235) and Portland (11th, 278) fell short.
Waynflete’s girls won Western C by a single point, 63-64 over Merriconeag-Waldorf and will look to win their fourth consecutive state title.
The Flyers boys ended a three-year drought and qualified by placing third with 91 points behind North Yarmouth Academy (61) and Freeport (85).
A year ago, Cheverus not only won its initial girls’ crown, but it was also the school’s first-ever female championship in any sport. In 2010, the Stags have had no peer and they look to do it again. Ranked first in the latest coaches’ poll, Cheverus finished first in every meet this fall and took care of business Saturday behind several stellar performances.
Junior Emily Durgin was second to Kennebunk standout Abbey Leonardi, completing the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 44.22 seconds. Classmate Fiona Hendry was third (19:31.48). Freshman Shannon Conley (fourth, 19:46.73), freshman Kiera Murray (sixth, 20:09.15) and junior Maddie Woods (16th, 21:01.37) also scored.
Deering’s top finisher was junior Ella Ramonas, who came in 26th (21:56.19). Also scoring for the Rams were senior Ania Chandler (30th, 22:22.56), senior Kristin Pollard (53rd, 23:37.77), sophomore Nyalat Bielew (62nd, 24:03.45) and senior Leah Johnson (68th, 24:14.17).
For Portland, which fell short of the state meet for the seventh straight year, sophomore Sadie Sarvis led the way with a 45th-place showing (23:02). Junior Maxine Eisenberg (59th, 23:55.07), junior Nyawal Lia (64th, 24:05.20), junior Alica Lala (72nd, 24:37.27) and freshman Lizzie Landry (78th, 25:17.29) also scored.
McAuley failed to qualify for states for the second straight season. The Lions were paced by junior Taxiarhia Arabatzis (36th, 22:41.92). Also scoring were junior Becca Kaiser (60th, 23:58.02), freshman Heather Chapman (79th, 25:18.87), freshman Samantha Libby (88th, 26:30.05) and freshman Katherine Possiel (90th, 26:38.24).
In the boys’ Class A meet, Cheverus was paced by senior standout Jack Terwilliger, who has been battling injury much of the year. Terwilliger placed ninth (17:24.40). Sophomore Brady Foshay (27th, 18:26.60), sophomore Chandler Dundas (38th, 18:38.50), junior David Woodbury (40th, 18:42.60) and junior Lukas Temple (56th, 18:57.10) were the other scorers.
Deering junior Sean Perry was 21st with a time of 18:07.80, just missing out on qualifying as an individual (the top 20 make the cut). Junior Gabe Turner (31st, 18:29.40), junior Tom Dean (44th, ,18:48.20), sophomore Alex Hebert (64th, 19:18.10) and senior Laug Luka (75th, 19:51.30) also scored.
Portland freshman Ben Allen did make it as an individual, placing 20th (18:05.80). The Bulldogs’ other scorers were junior Dexter Morse (35th, 18:32.60), freshman Jake Morrow-Spitzer (62nd, 19:08.10), junior Sam Hamilton (65th, 19:24.20) and junior Choka Bikales (96th, 21:21.40).
Still the one
Waynflete’s girls’ program has enjoyed dramatic success since 2007 and served notice to the rest of Class C with its performance Saturday.
Sophomore standout Martha Veroneau won the individual title in 21:04.60. She was joined as a scorer by junior Emily Trafton (seventh, 22:23.60), junior Chloe Rowse (17th, 23:29.10), senior Hannah Rindlaub (18th, 23:39.20) and sophomore Phoebe Suva (20th, 23:47.20).
“We knew Merriconeag would be tough,” said Flyers coach Ziggy Gillespie. “We expected it. Our race plan was to focus on each other and keep our time span of 1 through 5 runners under three minutes. We did it in 2:43. That, with six of seven girls setting a 5K personal record on the Twin Brook course and with Martha winning, gave us the edge.
“States will be close. Again, our depth is the key. We have seven strong runners and Merriconeag has five. That puts a lot of pressure on them. We’ll be even better at states. Having more teams helps us. We like the course. The girls hope to win our fourth straight title.”
The boys only qualified for states once between 2005 and 2009, but they’ll be making the trip this time around. Junior Abshir Horor led the way with a fourth-place showing (17:00.52).
“Abshir is the most gifted runner I’ve coached in over 30 years,” said Gillespie. “His level of ability is amazing. He’ll have a different plan Saturday. He’ll not go out so fast and try to finish 2 or 3. He wanted to try to win (regionals) and I let him try to gain the experience he needs. It took too much out of him early in the race. His time was still faster than the Class A race.”
Sophomore Josh Espy (11th, 17:59.30), sophomore Abukar Adan (12th, 18:00.60), sophomore Jack Cutler (31st, 19:00.10) and sophomore Dylan Kingsbury (33rd, 19:01.50) also scored.
“The boys’ program is ready to be very successful,” Gillespie said. “We finished only six points behind Freeport. That would have been a huge upset. We had the strongest 1-2-3 finish in Class C. All seven boys in Saturday’s race set a PR. Our focus Saturday will be on Freeport and try to be Class C runner-up. We need this experience. Our top six all return next year.”
The state meets are Saturday at Belfast. Waynflete’s boys run at 12:30 p.m. The girls look to win another title at 1:15 p.m. Cheverus’ boys start at 2 p.m. The girls run at 2:45 p.m.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com
Waynflete junior Abshir Horor heads toward a fifth-place individual finish at Saturday’s Western C regional cross-country meet. The Flyers were third as a team and qualified for the state championship meet.
Cheverus junior Emily Durgin nears the finish line as she places second in Western A. The Stags repeated as regional champs and look to win a second successive Class A title Saturday.