Good news all around at WMC cross-country meet

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There was plenty of firepower on hand last Thursday when Falmouth, Freeport, Greely, Merriconeag, NYA and Yarmouth joined the rest of the Western Maine Conference for the league’s championship meet.

Falmouth was the Division I champion (the meet was broken up between bigger and smaller schools with schools having the opportunity to ask up or down) with a team score of 42, 20 points better than runner-up Greely. Freeport (136) came in sixth.

The Yachtsmen (who are second in the latest coaches’ poll) were paced by Tim Follo, who was third overall on the three-mile course (and first among Division I finishers) with a time of 16 minutes, 28 seconds. Johnny Lake (fourth, 17:19), Conor McGrory (ninth, 17:59), Henry Briggs (11th, 18:01) and Azad Jalali (17th, 18:21) also scored.

“The meet went well for us as a team,” Falmouth co-coach Jorma Kurry said. “We were especially happy with the performance of our JV runners with their strong runs. The varsity races were a challenge for us with a short week of rest and doing some hard work in-between, but the results were good. Tim and Johnny ran very well and Conor McGrory had a strong race as well. Henry and Azad really stepped up for us, running their best races of the season.”

“We had some of our top five struggle, but like everyone else, we have some sickness, colds, etc.,” added co-coach Danny Paul. “We also did not rest for the meet. The boys team 5 through 10 is really helping by pushing one another for the last spots going into regionals. Briggs and Jalali stepped it up a notch.”

Greely’s top finisher was Sam Johnston, second in Division I (16:57). Stefan Sandreuter (seventh, 17:38), Connor Regan (10th, 18:00), Isaak Emery (20th, 18:26) and Nate Madeira (23rd, 18:30) were the other Rangers  to score. Greely is fourth in the coaches’ poll.

Freeport was paced by Bennett Wade (18th, 18:23). Mason Cyr (25th, 18:36), Ian McGhie (29th, 18:47), Taylor Saucier (31st, 18:51) and Max Jennings (33rd, 18:55) also scored.

In Division II, North Yarmouth Academy took top honors with a 50-point performance, 11 better than Waynflete. Yarmouth (68) came in third and Merriconeag (89) placed fifth.

The Panthers’ effort was keyed by top 10 finishes from Cam Regan (fifth, 17:27), Evan Kendall (sixth, 17:47) and Elliot Daniels (10th, 18:21). Rudy Guiliani (13th, 18:40) and Grant McPherson (16th, 19:02) also scored.

“I’m very pleased with how hard the guys have worked to get to this point in the season,” said NYA coach Peter Sillin. “They are a great, fun group. They laugh and joke a lot, but when it’s time to get down to business, they push themselves very hard. It’s a great testament to their dedication that they were able to come out on top considering the quality of the other teams in the WMC. The team still has some unmet goals, so they will have to continue to focus and stay healthy in order to have strong finish to the season over the next few weeks.”

Yarmouth’s top finisher was Ben Nickerson (fourth, 17:20). Ben Woodbury (ninth, 18:04), Jack Elder (12th, 18:32), Braden Becker (19th, 19:28) and Sam Alexander (24th, 19:58) also scored.

“The boys did well, but they’re working on hitting their perfect stride,” said Clippers coach Bob Morse. “They need to work on stepping it up at the start, as well as running a solid second mile. They’re working through some injuries and hope to be 100 percent by regionals.”

Merriconeag’s fastest runner, as usual, was Jack Pierce (third in Division II, fifth overall, 17:11). Phineas Samuelson (14th, 18:43), Tyler O’Brien (20th, 19:33), Ben Tindall (25th, 20:38) and Cyrus Fenderson (27th, 20:47) also scored. 

On the girls’ side, the Cape Elizabeth juggernaut won Division I with 34 points. Falmouth (62) came in second, Greely (112) was fourth and Freeport (143) fifth.

Falmouth (sixth in the latest coaches’ poll) was led by Maggie Parrish (eighth, 21:41). Meg Palombo (ninth, 21:50), Summer Greenwood (13th, 22:19), Abby Payson (15th, 22:24) and Cassie Darrow (17th, 22:30) were the other Yachtsmen to score.

“Maggie, Meg and Amy ran well,” Kurry said. “Summer Greenwood had a fantastic race and Cassie is really starting to figure it out.”

“Jena Mannette and Madeline Roberts ran strongly, adding some depth,” Paul added.

For Greely, freshman standout Kirstin Sandreuter led the way with a second-place showing (20:16). Jordan Ouellette (12th, 22:12), Dee Little (30th, 23:52), Krista Marble (32nd, 24:01) and Sarah Ezzio (36th, 24:43) were the other scorers.

Lauren Easler placed Freeport with a 19th-place showing (22:37). Ellie Soule (23rd, 23:24), Emily Jennings (29th, 23:46), Gabby Tilton (35th, 24:27) and Lia Wellen (37th, 24:46) also scored.

Yarmouth captured Division II with 30 points. Merriconeag (69) was third and NYA (91) fifth.

The Clippers placed all five scorers in the top 10. Sarah Becker (second, 21:12) led the way. She was followed by Josselyn Richards-Daniels (third, 21:47), Sydney Sperber (sixth 22:31), Chloe Sarapas (ninth, 23:13) and Anne Ryan (10th, 23:15). 

“The girls had a very, very good meet,” said Morse. “The coaches are very pleased with the effort of all the runners on the team. The girls still have some work ahead of them if they’re going to make a statement at regionals. Our goal is to qualify for states and these results bring us one step closer.”

Merriconeag had two top five finishers, Zoe Chace (fourth, 21:59) and Teagan Wu (fifth, 22:28). Carlin Tindall (15th, 23:43), Emelie Chace (20th, 24:38) and Zoe Oswald (25th, 27:57) were the other scorers.

NYA’s fastest runner was Hillary Detert (12th, 23:22). Sarah Jordan (16th, 24:13), Maggie Mexiell (18th, 24:25), Morgan Scully (21st, 24:46) and Hadley Gibson (24th, 25:29) also scored.

Waning days

The regular season comes to a close Friday. NYA is hosting Greely, Merriconeag and Waynflete, Falmouth (with Poland and Wells) goes to Traip, Freeport (along with Lake Region) runs at Gray-New Gloucester and Yarmouth (with Fryeburg and York) is at Cape Elizabeth.

The regional championships are Saturday, Oct. 23, at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state championships are Saturday, Oct. 30, in Belfast.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

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Yarmouth’s Ben Nickerson (left) and Greely’s Sam Johnston run neck-and-neck during Thursday’s Western Maine Conference championship meet in Falmouth. Johnston finished with a time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds, 23 seconds faster than Nickerson.

Maggie Parrish was the top finisher for a Falmouth girls’ squad which came in second.

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