The cross country postseason is underway and it’s clear that once again, Forecaster Country runners will be leading the pack.
Last Friday at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, the Western Maine Conference championships were held and results were most promising.
In the Division I boys’ meet, Falmouth placed its five scorers in the top 11 and rolled to victory with 32 points. Greely (70) was third, three points behind York, while Freeport (104) placed fifth.
The Division II boys’ meet was won by Fryeburg Academy with 42 points. Merriconeag (47) came in second, Yarmouth (102) was fifth and North Yarmouth Academy (128) placed eighth.
In the Division II girls’ race, Yarmouth, behind individual champion Grace Cowles, was first with 28 points. Merriconeag (77) placed third, while NYA (103) was fourth.
In Division I girls’ action, Falmouth’s 56 points left it 26 behind first place Cape Elizabeth. Greely (92) came in fourth, while Freeport (148) placed sixth.
Falmouth’s boys excellence is no surprise, as the Yachtsmen’s pack is something fierce.
Friday, Falmouth was led by Bryce Murdick, who had the top individual time of 16 minutes, 49 seconds, but he had plenty of company. Spencer Brown (17:13) came in third, Scott Lambert (17:39) finished seventh, Iain Kurry (17:46) placed 10th and Sean Soucy came in 11th (17:47).
“The boys ran well,” said longtime Yachtsmen coach Jorma Kurry. “The kids were ready to go and had a good team approach. They stepped up to help each other on and off the course and that resulted in some good performances.”
Greely’s effort was spearheaded by Ryan Morrison, who came in sixth in 17:37. Also scoring were Kyle Hansen (ninth, 17:44), Troy Cochran (15th, 18:10). Connor Rog (17th, 18:12) and Max Stickney (23rd, 18:38).
Freeport’s top finisher was Chandler Vincent, who placed fifth in 17:26. Eric Brobst (14th, 17:58), Tyler Frey (24th, 18:42), Henry Jacques (30th, 18:57) and Liam Gallagher (31st, 18:59) were the other scorers.
In Division II, Merriconeag’s points came from Tucker Pierce (third, 17:41), Zach Neveu (seventh, 18:17), Nick Neveu (ninth, 18:35), Dylan Wu (10th, 18:35) and Lars Gunderson (18th, 19:54).
Yarmouth produced the individual winner in Luke Laverdiere, who had a time of 17:10. Devin Shields-Auble (22nd, 20:21), Nick Snow (24th, 20:27), Caelan Pike-Meter (26th, 20:33) and Sam Gerken (29th, 20:53) were the other scorers.
For NYA, Matt Malcom placed fourth (17:59), Haley Cunningham was 17th (19:53), John Leblanc came in 32nd (21:14), Devlin O’Keefe finished 35th (21:23) and Jack Kostelnik placed 40th (22:09).
Yarmouth’s girls’ program has long taken a backseat to Falmouth, Freeport, Greely and Merriconeag, but this fall, the Clippers have a special squad and they’re just getting started.
Yarmouth left the WMC field in its wake, thanks to a solid performance across the board. Cowles was first in 20:26. Also placing in the top five were Abigail Hamilton (fourth, 21:03) and Anneka Murrin (fifth, 21:10). Caitlin Teare came in seventh in 21:34 and also scoring was Lucy Alexander (11th, 22:17).
“The girls ran with a game plan on trying to run with the (Division I champion) Cape girls,” said longtime Clippers coach Bob Morse. “It was a very exciting and a very close meet. We were very happy to come out on top. This is the first time that the Yarmouth girls have been the overall WMC champions.”
Merriconeag’s points came from Olivia Skillings (third, 20:43), Samantha Pierce (ninth, 21:40), Fiona Ahearne (14th, 22:25), Louise Ahearne (16th, 22:33) and Fiona Libby (35th, 26:00).
NYA standout Hannah Austin was second individually to Cowles (20:33). Also scoring for the Panthers were Sarah Austin (21st, 23:50), Sarah Cooper (22nd, 23:51), Megan Alberding (28th,24:52) and Lea Webster (30th, 25:00).
In Division I, Falmouth’s Mira Wyman was the top individual, posting a time of 20:17. Antoinette Lambert (eighth, 21:49) and Hannah Berzinis (ninth, 21:53) also placed in the top 10. Paige Chamberlain (18th, 22:23) and Gina Pardi (20th, 22:34) were the other Yachtsmen scorers.
Greely’s scorers were Sophie Stickney (seventh, 21:43), Kristina Smith (13th, 22:14), Faith Price (16th, 22:18), Kate Curran (19th, 22:28) and Olivia Bucknam (37th, 25:26).
Freeport was paced by Lily Johnston (24th, 23:07). Hannah Schnyder (25th, 23:18), Chloe Hight (29th, 24:00), Ella Russell (31st, 24:07) and Jasmine Olins (39th, 35:37) also scored.
The regional championships will be contested Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland.
Class C starts things off with the boys running at 10 a.m. and the girls at 10:35 a.m.
Class A boys start at 12 p.m. The Class A girls compete at 12:35 p.m.
“We’re keeping a long-term focus on the state meets,” Kurry said. “We hope to run well against our class A competition this week but ultimately our focus is on the state meets.”
Class B boys run at 2:30 p.m. The Class B girls start at 3:05 p.m.
“The girls’ race is too close to call,” Morse said. “Five points could separate Cape, Greely and Yarmouth. Greely has the top 1-2 runners and Cape has the very talented top 3 runners. Yarmouth has a low stick runner with a support cast of three runners. Cape gets the nod with the best 4-5 runners. They will be the team to beat. The course will be very muddy for the Class B girls who run the last race of the day. The big question will be how well Twin Brook is able to prepare the course.
“Boys’ Class B is going to very interesting with York, Greely and Cape again running for the number one spot. Yarmouth will be cheering for the Falmouth boys and girls in class A. We have two talented freshman that need the seniors to come with their game face on Saturday, or it will be their last cross country race.”
The state championships will be the following Saturday, Nov. 1, in Belfast.
Falmouth’s Mira Wyman races to a first place finish in the Division I race.
Yarmouth’s Grace Cowles won the Division II race and led the Clippers to a team title.
There was no reason for Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere to look behind him, he strolled to the Division II boys’ title.
Greely’s Ryan Morrison was sixth in Division I.
Freeport’s Eric Brobst and North Yarmouth Academy’s Matt Malcom run neck-and-neck. Brobst finished in 17:58, Malcom in 17:59.
Falmouth’s Bryce Murdick had the fastest boys’ Division I time Friday.
Olivia Skillings of Merriconeag was third in the Division II girls’ race.
North Yarmouth Academy’s Hannah Austin heads for an individual runner-up performance in the Division II girls’ race. The Panthers came in fourth as a team.
Freeport’s Chandler Vincent races toward a fifth-place individual finish in Division I at Friday’s Western Maine Conference championship meet. The Falcons were fifth as a team.